Jehovah's Witnesses say center would have big impact

2011-01-29T04:30:00Z 2011-01-29T11:49:48Z Jehovah's Witnesses say center would have big impactBy GENE ZALESKI, T&D Staff Writer The Times and Democrat
January 29, 2011 4:30 am  • 

A planned 3,000-seat educational center will have a substantial economic impact on Orangeburg County over the next five years, Jehovah's Witnesses officials say.

The center could generate $264 million in revenues over a five-year period, with the added benefit of more than $18.4 million in new sales tax revenues for the local area, church spokesman Bill Sims said.

"This will increase consumer spending in the county without impacting essential community services such as schools, and other community services that residents typically require," Sims said. "The facility is already reserved for more than 40 weeks of the year."

The Assembly Hall of the Jehovah's Witnesses will be constructed on land near the intersection of S.C. Highway 33 and Interstate 26. The 58-acre parcel is near Gussy Drive and Assembly Hall Way, which serves as a frontage road to I-26.

Initial plans call for a $14 million, 65,000-square-foot facility with parking that will meet and exceed zoning requirements, Sims said.

Sims said the facility is expected to result in new local construction jobs and long-term sustainable jobs being added to the Orangeburg area in the form of additional restaurant and hospitality sector jobs.

Officials project there will be about 40 two-day events held at the center annually with an estimated total attendance of 160,000 visitors a year.

With each person spending an estimated $66 per day, there will be a total annual revenue of $52.8 million, Sims said. With a sales tax of 7 percent, the total annual sales tax collections will be about $3.7 million with a five-year total sales tax projection of $18.5 million.

Sims said although the church owns about 58 acres, engineers are studying how much land is needed for the center now and in the future.

If permitting and other considerations align, Sims said ground could be broken in the third quarter of 2011 under a construction management arrangement with licensed contractors. Construction estimates range from 12 to 15 months.

"The purpose of the educational center is to educate the Jehovah's Witnesses and their neighbors in the practical application of Bible principles in daily life," he said. "The public is invited to attend weekly meetings."

Sims said the Orangeburg site was chosen from a large pool of possible locations.

"Our search team examined more than 200 sites in the state," Sims said. "We would like to extend our thanks to all those in Orangeburg County who helped make this site our choice.

"This facility and its strategic location near the I-26/I-95 region make it a convenient option."

Representatives from the congregation appeared before the Orangeburg County Transportation Committee earlier this month with a request to widen the turning radius of S.C. 33 in an effort to accommodate the increased traffic. The work is estimated to cost about $400,000.

Due to the lack of quorum, the committee received the proposal as information and will most likely take the matter up again.

In the interim, Sims said the Assembly Hall will help the economy for years to come.

"Witnesses are experiencing growth not only globally but also in the Southeastern region," he said. "Approximately 2,100 of the more than 100,000 anticipated annual visitors are Orangeburg County residents. More than 25,000 Witnesses in South Carolina, southeastern North Carolina and the Savannah and Augusta areas of Georgia will also use the facility."

Contact the writer: gzaleski@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5551.

Copyright 2015 The Times and Democrat. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(30) Comments

  1. StevenSmity
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    StevenSmity - February 22, 2011 7:07 am
    Quote-''The center could generate $264 million in revenues over a five-year period,''


    That would be a million dollars a week?


    This is a LIE folks put out by a "God fearing Bible toting" faith.



    Also,remember the facility is Tax Exempt religion


  2. MaterialGirl
    Report Abuse
    MaterialGirl - February 22, 2011 6:04 am
    GO HERE for notes

    http://www.jehovahs-witness.net/social/current/205961/1/Jehovah24-Witne2424e24-say-center-would-have-big-impact
  3. MaterialGirl
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    MaterialGirl - February 22, 2011 5:18 am
    On average the wealthy Watchtower corporation build and sell 3 of the real estate tax free smaller Kingdom Hall churches a week in the US for profit.
    The corporation gets free labor ( like a barn raising ) provided by the Jehovah's Witnesses followers.

    GO HERE for notes
    http://www.jehovahs-witness.net/social/current/205961/1


  4. StevenSmity
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    StevenSmity - February 21, 2011 11:12 am
    Do the homework legwork.The Watchtower uses 90 percent all volunteer free labor by devoted member craftsman/woman who will travel from as far away as out of state and CAMP OUT and eat cafeteria style on the facility.This is great system for getting their projects done cheap.

    This is how they do all their real estate developments.
    Good for them.... except it is WRONG for the Watchtower to totally lie about the community benefits.HEY! Ain't these people *Bible believers*?
  5. MaterialGirl
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    MaterialGirl - February 19, 2011 4:41 am
    JehovahWitness said: "JW IssuesJehovah’s Witnesses would be obscure and no one would say anything negative about them except they cause these problems:1) break up families under the guise of Jesus said so.2) let kids die from no blood transfusion then say it’s from God and then have all kinds of you can use blood parts loopholes.3) go door to door and lie about why they are really there say it’s to encourage Bible reading when they want to get literature in your hands ask for donation and then come back both"

    Jehovah's Witness Watchtower is a truly Orwellian world.

    JW’s have had over 100 years of hiding their scandals behind the Watchtower magazine. The reality is they are as riddled with scandal as any religion that seeks to put happy face on perversion.
  6. MINIMOUSE
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    MINIMOUSE - February 15, 2011 5:29 pm
    if the Baptist's educate other Baptists to be better Baptist in a building designed for that purpose it is a Baptist Educational Facility.

    Not all education is secular. I see no reason to say this is not an educational facility.

  7. Sarah M
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    Sarah M - February 11, 2011 6:30 pm
    I was raised as one of Jehovah's Witnesses and my family has been torn apart because of the extreme practices of the Cult. Once recruited, they attempt to isolate the new covert from family and friends outside of the group. They keep people trapped in the group by having a extreme shunning policy for anyone who escapes. There is no honorable way to leave. A Jehovah's Witness is forced to shun their own parents or even their grown children if they leave the Cult. Protect your family from them.
  8. truthsetsonefree
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    truthsetsonefree - February 11, 2011 6:22 pm
    This religion discourages higher forms of education so this will not be an educational building but a cult indoctrination. Those who go to these meetings usually drive back home and eat at home so the town isn't going to benefit as JW claim. Witnesses are discouraged from associating with non-jw because they claim everyone on the outside is serving the devil. Majority of their own people don't know that the religion was teaching 1874 date as Jesus return for 50 years before changing to 1914!
  9. thetrueone
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    thetrueone - February 11, 2011 3:03 pm
    Education Center for Jehovah's Witnesses

    Now there's an oxymoron if there ever was one.

    There is no doubt that whenever an Assembly takes places there is going to be some sales revenue created

    by local retailers and service providers.

    Unfortunately what the those community commissioners are being fed though by the WTS. are disingenuous exaggerated lies

    to help in the decision of having that complex built there in the first place.

  10. thetrueone
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    thetrueone - February 11, 2011 2:41 pm
    You can expect that an organization that proclaims that any government

    run institution is evil and controlled by Satan's driving spiritual force, to not afford them appropriate respect and honesty, certainly not

    when presenting information to support their own agenda.
  11. thetrueone
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    thetrueone - February 11, 2011 2:34 pm
    Those figures are over exaggerated to be sure.

    One obvious thing it doesn't mention is the loss in property taxes this religious exempt building will occur over the years.

    Why didn't the Watchtower Society state how many lives they will ruin, how many deaths will occur, how many families they will destroy.

    Shouldn't the general public know the whole picture of what they are supporting, instead of the proverbial

    dollar bill at the end of a stick
  12. JehovahWitness
    Report Abuse
    JehovahWitness - February 05, 2011 1:02 pm
    JW Issues

    Jehovah’s Witnesses would be obscure and no one would say anything negative about them except they cause these problems:

    1) break up families under the guise of Jesus said so.

    2) let kids die from no blood transfusion then say it’s from God and then have all kinds of you can use blood parts loopholes.

    3) go door to door and lie about why they are really there say it’s to encourage Bible reading when they want to get literature in your hands ask for donation and then come back both
  13. justsayin
    Report Abuse
    justsayin - February 05, 2011 7:54 am
    Caring2 said: ""educational center" - ??? This group has the lowest college graduates of any religious groups. They totally discourage their youth from going to college."

    This is a INCORRECT statement.Witness youths & adults are infact encouraged to get a good education so that they can find secular work to support their families.Living a balanced life in all things is what a witness strives for while putting God & his requirements first.
  14. JJ2014
    Report Abuse
    JJ2014 - January 31, 2011 7:48 pm
    The following website summarizes over 500 lawsuits filed by Jehovah's Witnesses against their Employers, incidents involving problem JW Employees, and other secret JW "history" court cases:

    EMPLOYMENT ISSUES UNIQUE TO JEHOVAH'S WITNESS EMPLOYEES

    jwemployees.bravehost.com

  15. StevenSmity
    Report Abuse
    StevenSmity - January 30, 2011 4:17 am
    JehovahWitness said:calling JW opposers *extremist* is like calling Scientology opposers *extremist*

    Like Scientology they can take over towns like Scientology did with Clearwater Florida and Watchtower did to Brooklyn New york once in a while will throw a bone to towns and pay toward a playground or fire station and reap exaggerated puff over it.
    But unlike Scientology they don't stay put in their compounds but outreach recruit door to door stay away from mine.

    INVESTIGATE
  16. JehovahWitness
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    JehovahWitness - January 29, 2011 11:42 pm
    Heads up folks,True-fully I am not from around here but my family is and have been adversely affected by the deceptive practices of the Jehovah Witnesses real estate development and book magazine publishing corporation.

    Sooooo,....calling JW opposers *extremist* is like calling Scientology opposers *extremist*.

    That's it!
  17. Oburg Implant
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    Oburg Implant - January 29, 2011 8:22 pm
    ERROR IN FIRST POST: People in Orangeburg need to show somoe tolerance for their fellow man. If you do not agree with the practices of a person or people, do not involve yourself with them. I'm sure no one has ever been kidnapped and forced to practice their beliefs. Be happy for others, this is great news for JW believers. If you truly follow your own beliefs and are less concerned with others, you can reach the kingdom. Keep YOUR eye on YOUR prize.
  18. Oburg Implant
    Report Abuse
    Oburg Implant - January 29, 2011 8:20 pm
    People in Orangeburg need to show somoe tolerance for their fellow man. I you do not agree with the practices of a person or people, do not involve yourself with them. I'm sure no one has ever been kidnapped and forced to practice their beliefs. Be happy for others, this is great news for JW believers. If you truly follow your own beliefs and are less concerned with others, you can reach the kingdom. Keep YOUR eye on YOUR prize.
  19. MINIMOUSE
    Report Abuse
    MINIMOUSE - January 29, 2011 7:56 pm
    T and D regular readers and posters are Minimouse 94 posts Slingbeer 44 posts economic hawk 40 posts.
    All other posts here are 1 time only poster's.
    Not from here and most likley just anti jehovh witness extremist.
    Welcome to o burg all you who will bring good folks who respect fellow man and act like followers of the christ.
  20. economic hawk
    Report Abuse
    economic hawk - January 29, 2011 5:34 pm
    Site should have been at I-95 and Hwy 178...they would have great exposure to North South traffic...Thanks for coming to the area...
  21. TheVinny
    Report Abuse
    TheVinny - January 29, 2011 2:16 pm
    StevenSmity said: " Do a search of google*Jehovah Witness Watchtower* and find out what others who have had dealings with them say too. "

    As a 15 year Zealous Person for Jehovah (and elder) here is my story too.

    http://exjehovahswitnessforum.yuku.com/topic/922

  22. TheVinny
    Report Abuse
    TheVinny - January 29, 2011 2:16 pm
    As a 15 year Zealous Person for Jehovah (and elder) here is my story.

    http://exjehovahswitnessforum.yuku.com/topic/922
  23. TheVinny
    Report Abuse
    TheVinny - January 29, 2011 2:11 pm
    As a 15 year Zealous Person for Jehovah (and elder) here is my story.

    http://exjehovahswitnessforum.yuku.com/topic/922
  24. slingbeer54
    Report Abuse
    slingbeer54 - January 29, 2011 12:12 pm
    I too encourage yo'all to Google The witnesses.You'll find that as a group,they were the first religion to fully integrate their Kingdom Hall's and are some of the nicest people I have ever met.I hope all the "Christians"on this board will remember that your God frowns upon other Christians bearing false witness.Just the fact that most of the work will be done by voulenteers,speak volumes about how sincere these folks are and how true they are to their religion.Show a little faith
  25. slingbeer54
    Report Abuse
    slingbeer54 - January 29, 2011 12:04 pm
    What a bunch of religious bigot's.I see why Orangeburg is such a sorry place to live and bring uo your children.A totatlly benign,peaceful,sect of christianity,who by the way teach their kid's respect for their parents,cleaniness and to do well in school,are completely trashed by ,what I'm sure are other"Christian's",who disagree with their way of life.There is a church on every corner of Orangeburg and we have the most uncivil and rscist group of people,I have ever seen.We need decent folk's
  26. Caring2
    Report Abuse
    Caring2 - January 29, 2011 10:14 am
    "educational center" - ??? This group has the lowest college graduates of any religious groups. They totally discourage their youth from going to college. Their 'elder' leadership are "reviewed" for possible removal if they support their own children to college. They cannot do independent research, and cannot seriously question the leadership without threat of absolute shunning, involving even their own family members.
    Research their history and their many flip-flops. jwfacts.com
  27. MaterialGirl
    Report Abuse
    MaterialGirl - January 29, 2011 9:56 am
    [" MINIMOUSE sez,..the influx of money spent in the region .]"

    Jehovah's Witness families will spend very little on vendors,they are the opposite of high rollers the *religious* facility will pay no property tax.The Construction will be all volunteer labor with no payroll.

    Just the facts fair and square
  28. MINIMOUSE
    Report Abuse
    MINIMOUSE - January 29, 2011 9:31 am
    Ihop will be getting a lot of nice customers for a change as will many other restaurants and hotels in the county. this is a win win for Orangeburg. It is like when a big new golf course brings visitors with their money to a region. If you dont like golf don't have to go to the links. the county still greatly benefits from the influx of money spent in the region by those who do like golf.
  29. StevenSmity
    Report Abuse
    StevenSmity - January 29, 2011 5:57 am

    Do a search of google*Jehovah Witness Watchtower* and find out what others who have had dealings with them say too.

  30. JehovahWitness
    Report Abuse
    JehovahWitness - January 29, 2011 5:45 am



    Jehovah Witness share some doctrinal beliefs with Christianity,but many of their beliefs either completely contradict,or at least pervert Biblical truths.

    Some of these are as follows:
    Only 144,000 go to heaven,two classes of Christians,Michael Archangel is Jesus,works based salvation by door to door 'placement' of Watchtower literature,ban on whole blood transfusions but permitted to use components as fractions..

    Theologically,Jehovah's Witnesses are a cult of Christianity. The oppressive organization does not represent historical, Biblical Christianity.
    Sociologically, it is a destructive sect whose false teachings frequently result in spiritual and psychological abuse,as well as needless deaths.
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