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Saturday, Apr. 25, 2015

Jehovah's Witnesses celebrate a milestone - in English and Spanish

Thursday, September 20, 2001

It only took three days to build, and now with an official dedication, congregation members of the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses are welcoming the community to their new church.

Located on Geisinger Road, the Kingdom Hall was officially dedicated last weekend. An open house was held so the public could see first-hand a true work of faith.

Construction started on a Friday during the summer of 1999, with over 500 volunteers from across the state helping. Over 90 percent of the building was complete only three days later.

Crews worked morning, evening and over night on the church. "It took a lot of organization to be able to do in three days," said congregation member James Holmberg.

It was in the 1960s that the first Jehovah's Witnesses came to Storm Lake. "From there they formed a small group into a congregation," said Francisco Altamirano, congregation member.

In 1992 the first Hispanic Jehovah's Witnesses moved to the area.

They started meeting first in any place they could find - over downtown businesses and in homes - but the congregations both continued to grow and a permanent location was needed.

The Kingdom Hall was constructed for several reasons, including expected growth in the area, said Altamirano.

Now that the construction is all complete, the congregation will be able to return to its true mission.

"It will allow us to focus on our main purpose," he said.

Two congregations use the facility, one English speaking and the other Spanish speaking. The building can hold over 200 people.

"The main goal of the Kingdom Hall is to worship our creator and have a place of worship," Altamirano said. "It allows us to worship the God of comfort to our community."

It is common practice for other congregations to travel across the state, even the country, to help out others with building projects or other events like the one here in Storm Lake.

"People chip in some way, then we provide help the same way they provide help to us," Altamirano said.

Now that the building is officially dedicated, the welcome guests and visitors. English services are Sunday at 10 a.m. and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. Spanish services are Sundays at 1 p.m. and Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

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