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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Don A. Adams (1925 - )

Born in about 1925 in Oak Park, Illinois, U.S., Adams grew up in a big family, which originally had connections to the Episcopal church. His mother showed interest in Jehovah's Witnesses and gradually the children also became interested. His father initially showed no interest, but involved himself in a legal case when one of Don's younger brothers was not exempted from military service; he eventually became a baptized Witness.

After serving as a full-time preacher, Adams was invited in late 1944 to serve at the world headquarters of Jehovah's Witnesses in Brooklyn, New York, where he was secretary to Society president, Nathan H. Knorr. By the 1960s, Adams served directly under the Governing Body as a zone overseer, visiting various countries to audit branch offices and meet with Witness missionaries. Later, Adams directed world missionary activities, and served on the "Bethel Home Committee". In 2000, the New York Daily News described Adams as "a longtime insider...at the world headquarters in Brooklyn Heights". The Washington Post described Adams as "a 50-year veteran of the organization," which has been restated in subsequent publications.

Adams became president of the Watch Tower Society after Governing Body member Milton G. Henschel stepped down from the position in 2000. In that year, members of the Governing Body resigned from their executive positions of the corporations of Jehovah's Witnesses, although the periodical Christianity Today reported that the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses would continue its "oversight" role. Adams’ presidency is purely administrative, and he is not considered to have impacted the organization's ministry as have past Watch Tower Society presidents. - From Wikipedia, 12/13/2010
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The Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses has decided that the positions of President, Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, etc. in the legal corporations (e.g., Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc.,) do not have to be filled by anointed brothers. Therefore, all of the brothers that were currently holding these positions, all of whom were on the Governing Body, have resigned. Brothers of the other sheep have replaced them. Therefore, Brother Don A. Adams is now the president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. Quite a lengthy discussion was given as to the reason this was decided and why it's okay. Essentially, it boils down to the fact that this allows the Governing Body to step back and deal primarily with spiritual matters, while these brothers of the other sheep handle day-to-day business operations of the legal corporations. Brother Max H. Larson has been serving as the president of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., for a number of years. He died on Sept., 24, 2011, and was replaced by Brother Leon Weaver Jr., as the new president of the New York corporation.

In addition, three new corporations have been formed: 1) Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, which will supervise matters of a religious and educational nature. This includes organizing the preaching work, holding conventions, etc. The directors and officers of this corporation are primarily brothers who work closely with the Service department in Patterson. Brother William Van de Wall is the president of this corporation. 2) Religious Order of Jehovah's Witnesses, which cares for matters pertaining to those in Special Full-Time service, including Bethelites, Special Pioneers, Traveling Overseers, etc. Brother Patrick LaFranca is the president of this corporation. 3) Kingdom Support Services, Inc., which handles design & engineering of buildings and holds titles to vehicles used by the Society.

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BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — Max Larson, president of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, who helped to pioneer the printing operations and property acquisitions for Jehovah's Witnesses at their world headquarters in Brooklyn Heights, died on Saturday, Sept. 24, in Brooklyn at 96.

Larson was well-known and highly regarded around the world by both Witnesses and non-Witnesses, not only for his strong work ethic and publishing expertise, but especially for the gracious and dignified manner in which he dealt with others. He was baptized into the Jehovah's Witnesses on June 5, 1938, in Seattle, Washington. A few months later, he began his career as a member of the Witnesses' headquarters staff in Brooklyn, where he was assigned to operate a printing press.

In 1942, Larson was appointed as factory manager at the age of 26, supervising the global printing operations of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society for more than 60 years, making him the longest-serving factory manager in the history of the Witnesses' world headquarters.

Despite a severe shortage of raw materials during World War II, Larson was able to obtain paper and other supplies needed to meet the Witnesses' fast-growing publishing needs and sustain publication of The Watchtower, published continuously since 1879.

In addition to his responsibilities as factory manager, in 1949, Mr. Larson was appointed as construction supervisor and property manager for the Witnesses' world headquarters. This involved the acquisition of many properties used for the Witnesses' facilities in Brooklyn, including 25 Columbia Heights (the current world headquarters for Jehovah's Witnesses), 117 Adams St. (where commuters can still see the sign "Read God's Word the Bible Daily"), and the former shipping complex at 360 Furman St. (now One Brooklyn Bridge Park).

Max Harry Larson was born on April 29, 1915, in Tampico, Montana, the second of four children born to Harry and Sophia (née Madsen) Larson, immigrants from Denmark. The young couple moved their family to a rented farm in eastern Montana, where they raised Max along with his older brother Norman.

While working in Brooklyn, Mr. Larson met fellow headquarters staff member Helen Lapshanski. The two developed a friendship and were married on April 7, 1956.

Larson is survived by his cherished wife of 55 years, Helen; his sisters, Jean Mock of Brooklyn and Laverna Semprebon of Lugano, Switzerland; and a host of nieces and nephews.

- by Brooklyn Eagle, published online 10-11-2011 @ http://www.brooklyneagle.com/

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Leon Weaver Jr. is the current president of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc.

The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. is a corporation used by Jehovah's Witnesses, which is responsible for administrative matters, such as real estate, especially within the United States. This corporation is typically cited as the publisher of Jehovah's Witnesses publications, though other publishers are sometimes cited. The corporation's stated purposes are: “Charitable, benevolent, scientific, historical, literary and religious purposes; the moral and mental improvement of men and women, the dissemination of Bible truths in various languages by means of the publication of tracts, pamphlets, papers and other religious documents, and for religious missionary work.”

Originally known as the Peoples Pulpit Association, the organization was incorporated in 1909 when the Society's principal offices moved to Brooklyn, New York. In 1939, it was renamed Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, Inc., and in 1956 the name was changed to Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. Until 2000, a member of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses was president of both the Watch Tower (Pennsylvania) and Watchtower (New York) corporations, as well as Britain's International Bible Students Association corporation; in 2001, it was decided that the corporations' directors need not be members of the Governing Body. In 2001 the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York was listed among the top forty revenue-generating companies in New York City, reporting an annual revenue of about 951 million US dollars. - From Wikipedia, 04/10/2012