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Kingdom Hall reopens after devastating arson attacks

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Kingdom Hall reopens after devastating arson attacks

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - It is a brand-new beginning for the Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall in University Heights which had been targeted by arsonists three times, beginning in December 2011.

With the help of hundreds of volunteers donating their time, labor and expertise the hall has now been completely re-built.

"It really is a blessing to be back in here," said Kingdom Hall's Local Elder Ted Dorius.

It was a blessed new beginning Saturday for the Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall on Adams Avenue in University Heights.

From its landscaping outside to its main auditorium inside -- with seats, carpet and state of the art video system, an updated security system including reinforced doors, as well as its conference room and auxiliary classroom used for bible education.

"More people can participate in our school... We can have two schools going on at the same time," said Dorius.

In late 2011 and early 2012, arsonists targeted Kingdom Hall three times, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage.

"We weren't able to save one thing out of the Kingdom Hall," he said.

In one incident, firefighters found someone had broken into the hall and doused it with gasoline, although failed to start a fire.

The building was also vandalized, with part of the exterior church sign torn down and the numbers 666 spray painted on a wall.

"It was very disappointing somebody would do that," said Dorius.

While the building was destroyed, the congregants' spirit was not, coming together from across San Diego to help re-build.

"Many of our brothers are professionals in the building industry -- so they volunteered their time," he said.

In all, a crew of 776 volunteers worked for a total of 14 weekends to help complete this modernized Kingdom Hall, bringing everything up to current code.

The old hall was built in 1960, the surrounding community also impacted by the arson attacks, showed its support as well.

"We've gotten a lot of support from our neighbors... Some left flowers, some wanted to contribute money toward the feeding of the volunteers," he said.

During the past year, the five congregations which use this hall, more than 300 members, met in other Kingdom Hall locations throughout San Diego.

"We didn't miss a meeting during all that time," said Dorius.


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How wonderful for the Brothers to have their own Hall again.

Unbelievable what arsenos do.

Ours was burnt down a few weeks after the Twin towers. Thought

Armagedon was starting.

The arsenonists. Started a fire behind the Hall, there is some grasslands.

He set fire to another church done the Road. He then went to a Puzza hut about 20mins drive

Further on. He sent the Firebrigades in many dirrections. Came back to our Hall

& burned it. We had some friends in the front House. They would also look after the grounds.

We almost lost the Brother & my friend who was one of my Bridesmades.

So scarey.

It took like 8yrs for it to finally get rebuilt. The property was partly owned by the railway.

So had to buy the rest. The property also had to have many tons of soil to fill in & level

The site. As it was also in a flood zone. The old Hall was flooded in 08.

& Wollongong council had so much red tape & a few neighbors were not

Pleased. I had Jessica 7yrs ago. So its been 7 yrs since we finally got the Hall.

I went to see what was happening when the Hall was being rebuilt. At the time Jess was a few weeks old.

I parked on a side road near the Hall. You could hear the Hammering &all the commotion that goes on at a work site.

It was amazing. Cause instantly you new it was our brothers & Jehovah

Working together. Then you walk onto the site. Everyone was busy but happy.

There are many talented brothers.

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  • 4 weeks later...

This is such a encouraging story. People don't have love and respect any more like the Bible said. Jehovah is so good and we show that because he shows us to demonstrate our love towards each other and toward our neighbors by preaching the good news and by the friends building this hall I am sure this bought Jehovah a lot of glory to his name. I am glad you have a hall again. Enjoy it to the fullest. Soon this all will be something of the past,no more sickness bad people murder death etc. we will all be happy and we will all be one happy family.post-2632-0-70727200-1368717381_thumb.jp

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It is unthinkable that people could do that to Jehovah's place of worship. It is so heartbreaking but more encouraging to know that despite various attacks. Jehovah always ensures that his organization continues firm. Enjoy the new k.hall dear brothers and wishing you Jehovah's protection.

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We certainly know what the brothers have gone through having their hall burned. In 1988 we built a big new, beautiful KH here in Fairbanks and a month later, an arsonist burned it. It was on a Thurs. night and as we were leaving the hall we commented about how beautiful it was and later that evening we got a call that the Hall was on fire! We had to go to the North Pole KH 13 miles away until it could be rebuilt, so when we got back to our hall we were so overjoyed. The culprit was never charged even though the police said they knew who done it but lacked evidence to prove it. The result was the greatest witness this town ever received. The Mormon church said we could use their building and so did the Catholic church. Of course, we said thanks but no thanks. We had people in the territory say how sorry they were that it happened and many, many gave us money to help out. I don't think whoever did it, thought that would be the outcome! There was a huge writeup in the local paper with many favorable comments.   :whistling:

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