NEW YORK—Guy H. Pierce, a member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses at their world headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, died on Tuesday, March 18. He was 79 years of age.

Mr. Pierce served on various committees that supervise activities related to the Witnesses and their international Bible-education work. His organizational responsibilities required that he travel extensively, and he used these occasions to provide encouragement for Jehovah’s Witnesses throughout the world. Despite his workload, he was well-known for never being too busy to listen to those needing assistance or advice, and he put others at ease with his warm smile and good sense of humor. His closest associates noted that people from different backgrounds or cultures were naturally drawn to him. In a discourse at a graduation program for full-time ministers, Mr. Pierce made remarks that he was known to exemplify: “Be firm for right principles, but be flexible. Do not look down on those in your assignment because their culture is different.”

Guy Hollis Pierce was born in Auburn, California, on November 6, 1934. He was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses on August 14, 1955, at the age of 20. He married a fellow Witness, Penelope (Penny) Wong, on May 30, 1977, and the two raised a family together. Mr. and Mrs. Pierce became full-time Bible instructors (referred to by Witnesses as regular pioneers). Later, he became a traveling minister of Jehovah’s Witnesses, visiting congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses throughout the United States to provide spiritual encouragement to other full-time Bible instructors and local congregation members. In 1997, the Pierces were invited to work full-time at the United States branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses. On October 2, 1999, Mr. Pierce was announced as a new member of the Governing Body.

Mr. Pierce was the chairman for the 129th annual meeting of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, on the weekend of October 5 and 6, 2013. A total audience of 1,413,676 in 31 countries attended the event either in person or via webcast. According to the Witnesses’ official website, this was the largest gathering of Jehovah’s Witnesses to date.

In addition to his wife, Penny, Mr. Pierce is survived by his six children, several grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He will also be fondly remembered by Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world whom he regarded as family.

In a statement, his fellow members of the Governing Body commented on “his solid faith and firm stand for Jehovah’s laws and principles,” adding: “Our memories of his courageous and faithful earthly life course will continue to strengthen us for years to come.”

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