Manchester Kingdom Hall
The Manchester Kingdom Hall is an offspring of the Southside congregation and was formed in 1985. New congregations are formed whenever membership in a congregation reaches 150 to 200 members. Kingdom Halls are built by volunteers, often in about one week. The congregation is loaned the funds to purchase construction materials by the denomination.
The Manchester and Southside Congregations meet in the same hall and rotate the times they meet each January. Until 1987, the Southside Hall was located on 28 th Street and had been used by the congregation for over forty years. When it became too expensive to continue renovating the old building, a new hall was built in 1987 for the Manchester and Southside Congregations.
There were twelve elders in the Southside congregation before the Manchester congregation was formed. Six elders then joined the Manchester congregation. The Manchester congregation was racially integrated until it grew to the point that a new congregation was needed. With the formation of the Rockwood congregation in 2004, the Manchester congregation’s racial make-up changed to being predominately African American, working and middle-class.
A typical Sunday service at the Manchester Kingdom Hall begins with a song, prayer, and scripture. An elder then delivers a public talk for about forty-five minutes; the talk is followed by a Watch Tower study session based on a current publication issue. The format of this discussion is similar to a classroom setting as it involves a question and answer session. During the weekday evening the Theocratic Ministry School is held for forty-five minutes and is designed to help Witnesses improve their public reading and speaking skills. Six students are chosen to give topic assignments and are evaluated on their performance.
Special celebrations and services consist of the Lord’s Evening Meal, which is celebrated the first full moon after the equinox, with the calendar date varying according to the Jewish calendar. The Evening Meal consists of partaking of Bread and Wine. Only active Jehovah’s Witnesses are allowed to part take of the Evening Meal. Member outreach consists primarily of spreading the news of the Kingdom door-to-door. During times of disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina, members first help fellow Jehovah members with home and Kingdom Hall reconstruction.
Jehovah’s Witnesses – Manchester
5720 Swanson Road
Richmond, VA 23225
Profile prepared by Hope Ireland