Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses Worldwide
MELISSA - Hurting to Healing with Melissa
Melissa has put together a series of support programs discussing her experiences leaving the Jehovah’s Witness religion after being raised in the Watchtower. Her “Hurting to Healing” broadcasts offer hope to those going through the process of leaving Jehovah’s Witnesses and reaching loved-ones still involved in this religion.
PHONE: 719-355-7164 ext 284
PHONE HOURS ARE (Central Time):
- Monday 6-8pm
- Thursday 6-8pm
- Fridays 8am-8pm
GLORIA - A 5th Generation Jehovah's Witness Leaves the Watchtower
She was a fifth generation Jehovah’s Witness. Her history with the Watchtower goes back over 100 years to the time of her great grandmother. Her family followed the teaching of Russell and became special pioneers, putting in 150 hours a month in door to door ministry, traveling from town to town in the Midwest and showing his photodrama of creation. Gloria did not leave the Watchtower because she found out the organization was wrong. She left because she was looking for the REAL Jesus.Read more
.: TAMMIE - Former Jehovah's Witness Pioneer
Raised by Jehovah’s Witness parents (her father an elder), Tammie was confident she was in the only true religion. Pioneering in her 30’s (spending at least 90 hours per month), she reported an average of 10 “Bible studies” and placed 100’s of Watchtower magazines and books monthly. As a skilled debator, Tammie gave frequent “talks” and “demonstrations” at Theocratic Ministry School from age 7. She was considered the model “Witness” by her family and friends, until the conditional love she had embraced failed and everything in her life fell apart. Only in Christ, did Tammie find what she had been looking for.Read more
I was born in 1977 and raised as a Jehovah’s Witnesses until I left at 18 years old. From a very early age, my mother taught me to recite Scripture from memory. When I was 6 years old, she married my stepfather who soon became an elder and required all of us children to become examples for the congregation. Oh, how we studied and studied those years to prove ourselves! God was never real to me. It was only how I was perceived by others in the congregation that mattered.
At 8 years old, I joined the Theocratic Ministry School, consistently commented at the meetings and was out in field service EVERY Saturday morning. But at 13 or 14 years of age, the need to be accepted by the “worldly kids” led me to rebel and lash out at school. I never rebelled violently, but I was tired of being different, and made fun of at school. So, I began to live the “double life” as they called it.Read more
.:THE TESTIMONY OF JULIE - Offers Support to Former Jehovah's Witnesses
Julie offers one-on-one Bible Studies in the book of Galatians for anyone seeking help leaving Jehovah’s Witnesses and wanting to grow in their relationship with God apart from the organization.
Email Me or Call me anytime at: 719-355-7164 Extension 113
As a convert to Jehovah’s Witnesses, Julie believed she had found “the Truth,” but when she was mocked for reporting a “wolf” in sheep’s clothing in the congregation and told that “those verses” about wolves were “only for first century” Christians, not for Jehovah’s Organization today, she knew something was desperately wrong! At that instance when Julie saw the way elders are trained to cover-up their failures to make the organization look good, her faith in the Society was broken. She was “disfellowshipped” for “apostasy” when she refused to trust the organization over Jesus as her ONLY mediator, and today, Julie is freely serving the REAL Jehovah God in joy and truth!Read more
.:THE TESTIMONY OF JASON – How God Rescued Me and My Family
My story is similar to many ex-Witnesses. My father attended the Pentecostal church and revivalist meetings in and around the Boston area in rural Lincolnshire England during the 1960’s. My mother was christened into the Anglican Church although she was not active there. When I was born in 1971, my father and mother did not attend church but still had an inner love of God.
In the early 1970’s, my uncle Derrick (who was married to my father’s sister) began a study with the Jehovah’s Witnesses from the Horncastle Congregation. He had been raised a Catholic, but with the help of the Witnesses, quickly accepted the Watchtower Society’s theology. In a short time, he was converted and baptised. My uncle was articulate in his defense of Watchtower doctrine and he would tie my dad up in knots with biblical quotes. My uncle as a new convert was very zealous. However, he failed to convince his wife and after the 1975 failed Watchtower prophecy about the end times, he became inactive. As the years went by, he became more and more depressed, feeling he had let God down (a common trait in those who drift away from the organisation).Read more
.: THE TESTIMONY OF DAN - Raised Jehovah's Witness
I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, but I never felt like I fit in at the Kingdom Hall. In 2008, as I was in the process of working to gain acceptance by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, my brother and sister who had left Jehovah’s Witnesses before me, began to reach out to me in love, using the resources on this website. I soon gave my life to Christ and was then able to lead my wife Kaci to Christ as well. Now my walk with Jesus is so great. I love my Savior!
Email Me or Call me at: 719-355-7164 ext 111Read more
.: ANNE MARIE - Disfellowshipped but Saved by Jehovah!
Call me at: 719-355-7164 ext 283 (Available Monday-Friday 10AM - 8PM PST)
I was that young and pretty sister you might have seen at the Kingdom Hall. You know, the one with “all those kids.” The one who struggled to raise her children in “The Truth” alone. The one who was rarely considered as “wife material” because she was “damaged goods.” After all, “No one is going to want you and all your burdens!” as it was put to me by a well-meaning pioneer sister.
Like many of you, I was raised from a tender age to be a Jehovah’s Witness. I truly loved Jehovah all my life. I loved my Brothers and Sisters, and I truly believed that IT (the Watchtower Organization) was “THE Truth.” I grew up in San Francisco, during the Vietnam War, the Black Panthers, riots, protests, and the “Hippie” movement, and I became disillusioned with “the truth,” leaving it at age fifteen, since I believed Jehovah God was going to “kill me anyway” because I would never be “good enough.” Also, I was sick of the gossip, the judgments, and the fear of Armageddon…which was always “just around the corner.” But pregnant with my fourth child at nineteen, (after my children’s father had walked out on us in late 1974), the Jehovah’s Witnesses asked me, “How can you let your children die just because you don’t want to live up to Jehovah's righteous requirements? Do you REALLY want your children’s blood on your hands?”Read more
THE TESTIMONY OF CARLENE - Former Jehovah's Witness of 20 years
Growing up in a Christian home, Carlene enjoyed reading the Bible but was spiritually hungry because her questions were not being answered at her home church. When the Jehovah’s Witnesses seemed to have a answer for every question she had, she and her husband were baptized. Serving the Watchtower organization for over 20 years before Christ opened her eyes, she now has a heart to help others on their way out.Read more
UNDERCOVER AT THE WATCHTOWER MEETINGS
My name is Thomas, and I am sorry to say that I am currently serving time in prison for sexual abuse. God has totally forgiven me for this crime, but the damage I have done is irreversible.
I am currently 68 years old. I joined the Jehovah’s Witnesses at age 19, in 1966, with no prior religious knowledge or experience, and remained in the organization until my divorce in 1975. In 1986, my 14-year-old son and I both gave our lives to Christ.Read more
I joined the Watchtower in 1996 after graduating from Junior high school at the age of 15 years, on my own volition without any prior studies from the Watchtower Organization as was and is the practice. Not a single member of my immediate and extended family expressed interest in the Watchtower Organization, but this did not bother me.
Almost immediately, I started engaging in preaching from house to house with an un-baptized Jehovah’s Witness. In 1997 and in 2000, I dedicated myself to God by water baptism. After baptism, I became more zealous and committed to preaching and teaching throughout the period of my Secondary, Post Secondary and University Education.
This was so because I had been convinced by the Watchtower twisted doctrines that this religion was God’s only earthly organization to lead all who heed the preaching message to salvation because I was taught that all the existing Christians denominational churches were false. I became convinced sincerely because I learned that for a particular denomination to pass the test of truth, all of its core doctrines and beliefs must be founded in the Bible. I was taught that this was not the case with the existing denominations because they taught the following teachings and views: Celebrating Christmas and Birthdays, Not preaching the Kingdom message from house to house but on medium of communications, teaching of eternal torment of the wicked in fire, Immortality of the soul, Trinity doctrine and heavenly hope for all righteous people, just to mention a few of the doctrines rejected by Jehovah’s Witnesses.Read more
.:THE TESTIMONY OF ANGIE - “The Word Was God.” - A Story of His Grace.
I grew up in a very dysfunctional family. My mother was a teenage runaway that used prostitution to live and support her addictions. My father is not known. Almost immediately after birth, the state placed me with my maternal grandmother. As I grew older I realized the things I had heard about my mother started close to home. My grandmother and other family also had drug and alcohol addictions. I desperately craved normalcy. I hadn’t been brought up in church, but we always had a Bible around the house, so I tried to “be good” by reading it.Read more
I was a Jehovah’s Witness for 42 years, literally born and raised. My father was baptized when he was young but fell away then came back to the organization when he and my mother started studying again shortly before I was born. My great-grandmother was one of the 144,000 “anointed ones” (special JW group that goes to heaven) so my background is pretty extensive!
I am the youngest of 5 children. I had a number of cousins who all lived in the same neighborhood, attended the same schools and went to the same Kingdom Hall. This made it really easy to keep an eye on each other and to “tell” on each other when someone wasn’t following the rules. Guess who that usually was who reported bad behavior? No, it wasn’t me! I was terrified of making waves and having anyone find out I wasn’t who they thought I was. (I had seen what happened to those who didn’t measure up!) It was one of my sisters. She was always challenging the rules and the authority given and sneaking out to be with boys. They labeled her “crazy” and someone “in need of medication.”Read more
“The Making of a Missfit – A Princess of the King!”
I was supposed to be the little boy who’d save my parents marriage, but by the time I was born, my dad had moved 2000 miles away and never came back. My mom remarried when I was 3, but divorced him after 6 months, after discovering he was homosexual. By then, she was easy prey for her 4 younger sisters who convinced her to join them in becoming Jehovah’s Witnesses.
I loved my mom a lot as a small child, but lost respect for her as I watched her allow this organization to rule our lives, forbidding everything from celebrating birthdays and Christmas to receiving a life-saving blood transfusion. Every word we were or were not allowed to say was carefully dictated, and constantly changing. We first called our gatherings “classes,” but later we were ordered to refer to them only as “meetings.” We were required to know the latest terminology, and it always changed. The person in charge of the congregation went from being a “Congregation Servant” to an “Overseer” to—I think today—an “Elder.” We’d been instructed to call them the “Judicial Committee.” This struck terror in my heart, as I believed they were appointed by Jehovah Himself, Who, I believed, was terribly harsh and demanding.Read more
.:THE TESTIMONY OF DAVID H. - Former Jehovah's Witness elder who was involved 49 yearsRead more
.:THE TESTIMONY OF CHRISTINE (David's wife)
I was born in 1949 in England. When my mother was pregnant with me; my aunt who was a Jehovah’s Witness convinced my mother to start a “Bible Study” with one of her Jehovah’s Witness friends. The woman who studied with my mother was considered to be one of the “anointed remnant” of the 144,000 1. spoken of in Revelation 7 and 14. Thus, my mother and father joined Jehovah’s Witnesses before I was even born.Read more
.: Chris S
It was in 1967 when my family started associating with Jehovah’s Witnesses. My mother had had me Christened in the United Church in June of 1963 when I was only six months old, but at four years old, she started studying with Jehovah’s Witnesses. So, other than the two or three times when I went to United Church Sunday School, Jehovah’s Witnesses were the only religion I knew growing up. I was surprised to learn that my grandmother’s family had been associated with them since the late 1800’s. By 1968 my father also started studying to become a Jehovah’s Witness, and in 1971, he underwent water baptism as a sign of his devotion to the organization.Read more
I was born and raised as a third generation Jehovah’s Witness. My biological mother was only 14 years old. Her father, my grandfather, said he could not raise another baby—especially one without a father—without any help. He was already a single father trying to raise 3 children alone. His wife, my grandmother, was institutionalized; so my biological mother was forced to give me up for adoption.Read more
.:THE TESTIMONY OF FRANK
My name is Frank and for 13 years I have associated myself with Jehovah’s Witnesses as a Watchtower Publisher (one who distributes Watchtowers and Awakes door-to-door). My mother became ill at an early age and after my parents divorced, I began to rome about the neighborhood. I met Jews, Catholics, whites, blacks, rich, poor and even perverted people. Between 9 and 12 years of age, I was a rebellious child. Since my mother and her friends would speak of “Jehovah” and Watchtower beliefs, I naturally accepted their religion, but I was wrong! Deep down in my heart, I always felt like I was serving man. Jehovah’s Witnesses would teach that Jehovah God didn’t want people to go to college and that a high school education was enough; yet, these same people who were preaching this would send their kids to college. That seem hypocritical to me.Read more
.: THE TESTIMONY OF AARON
My name is Aaron. I grew up going to the Kingdom Hall from the week I was born. In my mother’s scrapbook where it asks for first church service, my mother wrote “Theocratic Ministry School”. I gave my first scripture reading at 4 years old, my first talk from Deuteronomy in 1983, at 5 years old. I say all this to show how deeply rooted my family is in the Watchtower Organization. My grandfather is a Circuit Overseer. My uncles are Presiding Overseers. My cousin is an Elder, as was my father for many, many years. I can remember being baptized at age 15 and being scared. Before my baptism, I had been going through the study book with an elder who barely went through the questions. Because of who my parents were, I scored very well on the tests, if you know what I mean. With all that Watchtower hierarchy in my DNA, you would think I would be the exemplary Witness until I died—and I tried. I wanted to please my family and I did what I could to gain their approval. I assisted with certain “privileges” but at the ripe old age of 16 I realized...something wasn’t right.Read more
.: THE TESTIMONY OF ALLISON
My parents raised me as a Jehovah’s Witness. As early as four years old, I can remember attending the meetings and going out in field service door to door. Our family times consisted of weekly Bible studies using the publications of the Watchtower Society.Read more
.:THE TESTIMONY OF ANDREW
I was never a pioneer, an elder or a ministerial servant and I was never wrongly disfellowshipped. I don’t have any hard feelings towards any Witnesses whatsoever. My choice to leave the organization was strictly based on what I found out about the history of the organization, the roots of its teachings and its contrast with historic Christianity. I guess there were times when I felt I was a model Jehovah’s Witness, but then there were times when I can say just the opposite. I was the prodigal son on more than one occasion you might say. I hope to reach anyone who can identify with my story.Read more
I experienced quite a normal, blissful childhood until the age of nine when my mother was visited one day by two Jehovah’s Witnesses. At first, I thought it was fun to get some attention from “the friends,” as they called themselves. Since I had grown up on a very isolated farm in rural Pennsylvania, anything new coming our way was welcomed, and they seemed so benign, so polite, so well dressed.
After a while, I realized how much destruction the Watchtower organization could levy. My mom, a Methodist Sunday school teacher at the time, sat me down very soon after beginning a home “Bible” study with Jehovah’s Witnesses, and in one giant swoop she told me I would have to give up all my holidays, all my friends, my birthday, and all our relatives. My life up until then revolved around play-time with my cousins from literally sunrise to sunset; so this was quite a devastating change in my young life! Having no choice to do otherwise, I obliged. For the next 9 years, I grew up without a single girlfriend and lived a solitary life. I call it my “nine-year grounding”—despite good behavior.Read more
.:THE TESTIMONY OF DENNIS
I was born and raised as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. From about 7 years old, I was active in the Jehovah’s Witness ministry and enrolled in the Watchtower Theocratic Ministry School. The biggest thing I remember about my childhood was constant fear. I took the Watchtower idea of “Armageddon” seriously. (The Watchtower teaches that Armageddon is a battle God will bring to the earth that will end all world governments and destroy all wicked people, including unworthy Jehovah’s Witnesses). I was afraid that if I or any of my siblings did anything wrong, Armageddon would come and we would not survive.Read more
.:THE TESTIMONY OF DOUG
I was born and raised one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I was involved with the Watchtower organization until I fell away when I was about 14 years of age. I went back to the organization when I was 22 years old, but fell away again 2 or 3 years later. At this point, I was only a publisher, gave a few talks and did a little door-to-door work.
When I left the Watchtower, I moved to Winnemucca. This is where I met my wife and was married in 1997. She was a Christian and had a brother-in-law who was also a Christian. They planted some seeds of truth in my life, but all this did was drive me to my knees before God, being utterly confused! There were just so many religions out there and I didn’t know where to turn.Read more
.:THE TESTIMONY OF FRANK M
I was born into a Roman Catholic family—a perverse family who were nothing but pedophiles. At the ripe old age of six, two Jehovah’s Witnesses came to my door and started converting my mom to their religion. Given the super strong personality that she was, once she believed, she quickly converted my dad and us children. At the same time that I was being converted into the Jehovah’s Witnesses, I was also being converted into a pedophile’s victim. My Uncle John started molesting me at age nine.Read more
.: THE TESTIMONY OF GRACE
Grace's Website: exjw.weebly.com
For twenty-five years, I thought I was serving the only TRUE God - Jehovah! Although my Father was an atheist, my Mother believed in God, but we never prayed, never went to church nor did we did go to Sunday School until I was 6 yrs old.Read more
Things all started for me when I when I was about 9 or 10 years old when I went to stay with my aunt. My first conversation with my aunt who is a Jehovah’s Witness got me thinking about God. She had asked, “Hazel, do you believe in God?” I remember specifically saying, “I’m not sure. I guess there could be one.” and that was that.
About 2 or 3 years later when I was 12, I was having a pretty rough time at home because I had grown up, along with one of my brothers in an abusive household. One particular weekend when I visited my aunt, I was feeling pretty down and my aunt started telling me of all the promises that Jehovah has made for the “New World Order” (Watchtower term for the future paradise earth). I heard this and being so young and naïve, I thought “Gee! This sounds good! Maybe God can help my situation.” This is what got me interested in joining the Jehovah’s Witnesses.Read more
.: THE TESTIMONY OF KEVIN - An Ex-Jehovah's Witness Delivered from Homosexuality
I was born in Connecticut as the youngest of four children in 1955 when gas was still $.39 per gallon. At this time in culture, people didn’t talk about homosexual feelings. It was taboo to even insinuate such things. When the word “gay” was used, people would not think of homosexuality. Instead, they would think of being “happy” or a having “joyful” time, like a festival. So, people wouldn’t say, “he’s queer” or “he’s different.” If someone used the term “queer,” it made you feel that you were really a FREAK of nature. And you were totally ostracized from society. So, to be sensitive, people would just say, “He’s one of THOSE.”
My mother did not know how to show affection. Never once did she cuddle, hug me or tell me that she loved me. My first recollection of her is a statement in which she told me:
“You were a mistake. I wish I never had you. You remind me of a BEAST!”Read more
.:LB’S STORY OUT OF THE ANTI-TRUTH “SOCIETY” OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
Because I was a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses for more than thirty years, I tell you that the quality of my life was destroyed by this sect that claims to be inspired of God. As a child, born and raised as a Jehovah’s Witness in the 1950s, I remember my parents taking me to meetings three to four times a week. During these meetings, we were supposedly instructed about the Bible. However, what we really were taught was what the Jehovah’s Witnesses wanted us to believe—that we were the only “true” religion and anyone not associated with us was of the “world.” We were instructed not to celebrate birthdays, Christmas, or any other holiday. We were taught that the world was going to end “any day” by a battle of God called, “Armageddon”. We were taught that all the other churches of the world were under Satan’s influence and that their followers would soon be destroyed at Armageddon.Read more
I was born and raised in the Jehovah's Witness organization. My father is an elder and my mother a pioneer. I know what every Jehovah's Witness knows about the religion. I served our congregation as an overseer and was also a regular auxiliary pioneer.
At age 19, I moved out of my parents' house. This is when I started to leave the Watchtower organization. I had only been one of Jehovah's Witnesses because my parents had told me that this was the right thing to do. Having the adult freedom, I began to question the doctrines and policies of the organization. The more I learned about the Watchtower, the more I moved further and further away from it. What opened my eyes were the Watchtower's failed prophecies, false teachings, doctrinal changes (changing/blinking light), child abuse cases, the Governing Body's lordship over the rank-and-file Witnesses and the deadly no-blood transfusion policy.Read more
.:THE TESTIMONY OF MARGERY
I was a housewife who had no church background and no particular religious beliefs when the Jehovah’s Witnesses came into my life. I didn’t know that there was someone (a Creator) who had made this world and the universe we live in.
My story begins one Wednesday morning while preparing the family’s midday meal back in 1957. That morning a knock came on the door and when I answered it, two young ladies stood there. They told me that there was a Creator who had brought us into being, and they told me about Adam and the fall of man through his sin of disobedience, that because of that, death had passed upon all mankind. Then, they then gave me a book called, The good news of the Kingdom, which they asked me to read, and made an appointment to come visit me again. I told them to come again about this time the following Wednesday, and after reading their book which seemed like the promise of paradise on earth, I eagerly looked forward to their next visit. I even went next door to tell my neighbors about the Witnesses’ visit, but they only scoffed at what I told them.Read more
Visit Midge's Website at: www.jwhelpandsupport.50megs.com
From a very young age, I have wanted to know about God. My stepfather was Catholic so most of elementary school, I went to Catholic schools. After we moved to Utah and my mother and stepfather separated, I attended the Mormon Church until I was 15. Then we moved to Washington State and I attended any church that was close by. Shortly after I was married, we moved to Hawaii, and I started studying with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I liked the Witnesses because they were the first ones who used the Bible a lot, and I loved learning.Read more
.:NANCY’S STORY - How The Watchtower Policy On No Blood Transfusions Impacted My Family
My involvement as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses came about through my mother who became a Witness when I was very young. My mother is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and this group came along in the door-to-door ministry and professed a more hopeful life for her. But what this religion really did, over the course of more than 40 years, was to completely divide my family, including my parents who divorced 24 years ago. My mother has four children. The three of us who finally walked away, endured years of my mother’s shunning. Two of my brothers escaped before they considered committing suicide, and I walked away a year and a half after my husband Kurt’s death due to the Watchtower’s policy of not allowing blood transfusions. My oldest brother nearly committed suicide before separating himself from our entire family. Another one of my brothers has struggled with homosexuality, had been disfellowshipped for it, but has returned to the Watchtower organization and no longer speaks to any of us, and my youngest brother became very depressed and close to suicide before finally leaving the organization.Read more
I was raised in the Methodist Church and loved the Lord. At one point I was even teaching Sunday School. One day I questioned a lesson plan as it didn't seem to teach what the Bible said. I asked the minister about it and he said that I didn't have to understand it, just teach it. I realized that I needed to get to know the Bible better, so I quit teaching the class and joined an adult Sunday School class. But even there, I didn't receive answers to my questions as the class seemed as confused as I was.
Soon after that, the bulletin announced that they were starting a comprehensive Bible study. I eagerly walked the three-mile distance to the church for the class, but arriving a little late, I was surprised to find that there was no one in the classroom. When I inquired at the church office, I was told that only one other lady showed up for the class, so they had decided to cancel it. I was also informed that the Women's Auxiliary group was making fruitcakes to sell for Christmas and that I could help. So I went over to the kitchen and found what must have been about thirty women there. When they put an apron on me, I got very upset. I hadn't come to make fruitcakes! I wanted to learn the Bible!! I ran outside and immediately headed home, earnestly asking God for direction to a new church that taught the Bible.Read more
My name is Renee and I grew up in a small town in Idaho. Population 600 (maybe). My Mom, Sister and our neighbor were the only Jehovah’s Witnesses in this town of Horseshoe Bend. My Dad was not a Jehovah’s Witness and although we were abused by him, my mother stayed with him because the elders looked down upon divorce as “such uncleanness.”
My mother became a Jehovah’s Witness after she married my dad and being 45 minutes away from the closest Kingdom Hall, we were always given the territory of Horseshoe Bend for door to door ministry. Everybody knew us and always TP'd our house—especially around Halloween. My Mother would tell us that the true disciples and “Witnesses of Jehovah” would be persecuted because of their faith. With that idea, I grew up, knowing nothing else.
Going to school was a challenge. Just as I was taught that I would receive “persecution” for my faith, I was hated by my peers and had no friends. My Sister would always have her nose in a book, so I was left to fend for myself. Jehovah’s Witnesses discouraged me from playing sports and I again got flack from my classmates. Although I felt alone, I knew that I was doing the right thing.Read more
I was born into the Jehovah’s Witness religion. My father was and still is an elder and actually is serving as the presiding overseer of his congregation. He has been the cleaning overseer for the District Conventions and Circuit Assemblies since I was a little girl and was in charge of the drama for the 2009 convention entitled, “My brother was dead and has come back to life”.
My mother is a Regular Pioneer and has been since I was little. My brother is serving where the need is great with his wife in Nicaragua. I was baptized at age 13 and went to Pioneer School at age 16. I continued my full-time service after marrying a Bethelite from Patterson. I would be lying if I said that my childhood was not happy. During school, I occasionally felt left out around birthday or holiday times, but since I knew nothing except the Witness way of life, I had no idea about what I was truly missing.Read more
I’m a 23 year old mother of two boys. I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness: Five meetings a week, breakfast bible study, tea bible study, family bible study, weekends spent knocking doors and hours of preparation for the meetings were a normality for me. The amount of daily time we spent “studying the bible” through the Watchtower literature, I can only compare to nuns at a convent.
My father was an “Elder” which meant we rarely saw our dad—let alone spent fun time with him. He would come home from work and eat his meal with us. Then, he’d disappear off to his room to do, yet more religious study and preparation for meetings he would be leading. He rarely did anything in the house for my mother or us.
When I started school, my eyes saw happy, loved children with happy loving parents. It was so opposite to my life. The children would laugh when I said my prayers. They cried and screamed when I told them that they would soon die at Armageddon because they worshipped Satan. (I caused a few problems for my parents for telling that Jehovah’s Witness belief at school.) As a child, my prepared speeches were designed to simulate knocking on the doors of adults, not the doors of 5 to 9 year olds. Some of my teachers were afraid of me because they believed that I as well as my parents was “possessed” by some kind of evil power. Slowly, I learned to be different at school, to hide my family and lifestyle, and slowly, the bullying from my classmates faded.Read more
I was raised in a Catholic family. It was my father who had the greatest impact on my spiritual life. In subtle and sometimes not so subtle ways, he taught me to love God. As a teenager, I remember not being allowed to go to a party without the “clear understanding” that no matter how late I got home, I would attend mass Sunday morning! He always encouraged me to pray and “get to know” God.Read more
.:THE TESTIMONY OF DOUGLAS LEE
As ill-luck would have it, I was born in 1964 to an unyielding Witness father who, as I was to discover, was intent on proving himself to be more holy than Swiss cheese. If that weren’t enough to be getting on with, my two older siblings and I regularly suffered the effects of his violent nature as well as his compulsive behaviour. So obsessed was he with his religion, that his life revolved around straining every last self-righteous drop of meaning from the Society’s non-stop outpourings.
My earliest memories as a Jehovah’s Witness were that of being dragged mercilessly backwards and forwards to the Kingdom Hall and from door to door, preaching the Good News of the Kingdom. Even then, the regimen and strict organisation of our lives seemed, to me, to be bordering on the ridiculous.Read more
THE TESTIMONY OF AMBER
Over the years, I have felt a huge spiritual void. My parents divorced about 12 years ago and dad still believes in the religion but does not practice and my mom fell away completely. I stopped going to the meetings but continued praying to Jehovah because in my heart I felt it was the truth. I continued to believe in the Jehovah’s Witness beliefs and when asked about it, I would say, “I believe in the doctrine but there are some things I really don’t like, such as feeling constantly guilty and judged, other than that I believe in it.”
I started praying because I missed a sense of security. As a Jehovah’s Witness, we all believed in the same thing. We were a big family as long as we stayed in the religion. (Ironically, now my family is divided because of this religion.) I began to pray:
“Please Jehovah, I have everything I want except I need you and I have a huge spiritual void. I am soooo confused. I miss the sense of security I had as a Jehovah’s Witness. I miss the sense of family. I miss knowing my future in a beautiful paradise, perfect, healthy, and worshiping You. I need to go back to church, but where do I go? I don’t feel comfortable going back to Jehovah’s Witnesses. Something doesn’t seem right and I don’t want to feel judged and guilty again. But if that is the Truth and your Word, then please give me the strength to go back. Wherever your truth is, please guide me. I want my children to grow up happy and with the desire to help others. I want them to follow your path not because they are forced or feel guilty, but because they have the overwhelming desire to have complete faith in you and Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins. Not to judge anyone, but to just love them as you and Jesus do.”Read more
.: JEAN - Why I left Jehovah’s Witnesses
Visit Jean's Website: http://www.tutorsforchrist.org/
I was a third generation Jehovah’s Witness. We truly believed we could not earn eternal life unless we attended all of the meetings at the Kingdom Hall, witnessed from house to house, made return visits and started home “Bible” studies (actually, a Jehovah’s Witness book study). Our goal was to convince people we “Jehovah’s Witness” were the only people who had the “Truth” and that they must also become a Jehovah’s Witness to have eternal life. We encouraged them to attend all of the meetings at the Kingdom Hall and as soon as they were ready, we taught them how to go from house to house and leave the Watchtower literature (for a donation) and do the same things we did.
We did not celebrate holidays and birthdays. Every word written by the Watchtower was considered “truth” that must be followed to the letter, whether it’s taking a blood transfusion, voting, participating in war, pledging to the flag or attending a place of worship other than the Kingdom Hall, which was forbidden. To do otherwise was sinning against Jehovah, resulting in the possibility of losing our hope of eternal life.Read more
Wow…how do you sum up a life in 3 pages? It would be a challenge for anyone but for a wordy woman like me….doubly so! Then I thought about the Author of my life story and realized that writing a three page testimony is no challenge for Him at all.
You see, for me, even as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I always had complete and total trust in Jehovah’s power and faithfulness. When I fell in love with Him at the tender age of seven, He became my world and I couldn’t do or give Him enough of myself and my life. I loved Him, not just the organization. I was also raised that while we were part of the Watchtower, Bible and Tract Society, life was about serving Jehovah, not pleasing man, even in the organization. It never was about Paradise for me or any other benefits I could claim. During the 32 years in the organization, I don’t know how many Jehovah’s Witnesses looked at me like I had lost my mind when I would passionately express the following thought.Read more
Joe B. Hewitt - My Testimony
Visit Joe's Website: www.joebhewitt.net
When I was eight-years-old my Mother was in the midst of a crisis. Her marriage of 21 years was coming apart. She needed a word from God, the “Bread of Life.” Rather she got “sawdust,” something that filled but did not nourish. A woman visitor had walked down the sandy road of our Arkansas Ozark home in the woods and convinced Mom that Jehovah's Witnesses believed the same as her father. He had been a follower of Charles Taze Russell and his Watchtower Society.
After Dad deserted us, Mom’s brother, Al Gordon, who claimed to be among the exclusive 144,000 going to heaven, moved us to Wichita, Kansas. There we became firmly involved with the JW congregation that met in a second story meeting hall in the seedy side of downtown.
At the age of 9 I carried a card that proclaimed me to be "an ordained minister of the Gospel, ordanined by Jehovah Himself." My mother married Ray Alexander, a life-long Jehovah’s Witness who was held in high regard at the Kingdom Hall. Our home was dominated by anxiety. Measure up. Be faithful to the end. Study your Watchtower lesson. Do your book study. Don’t be close friends with anyone “worldly.” (Anyone who was not a Jehovah’s Witness was worldly.) Get your field service time in. (At least 10 hours a month knocking on doors.) Turn in your weekly field service report. Be ready for Armageddon; it will happen any day.Read more