The Kingdom Hall No More
by Daniel Chamberlayne
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Then all the Elders closed their Bibles simultaneously. They said if I had anything else to comment on about the matter I should do so now. I thought long and hard. I really didn’t have anything to say. In my mind, I wanted peace and closure, to finally move on no matter what their decision was. I said, “No, I have nothing to say.” They stated that their position of being Elders was a very difficult one. They had to adhere to bible scriptures for reproving, correction and for discipline. It was not always an easy task but it had to be done in order to keep the congregation morally clean. Brother Ivory and Brother Badstone looked at Brother James for him to speak. What needed to be said finally came out. Brother James stood up and looked right at me. He was void of any facial expression. He said, “Danny, we have come to a unanimous decision that you will be expelled from the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and no longer to have any association with Jehovah’s Witnesses in good standing until you produce works or fruits that is befitting repentance and find it in your heart to return to being in Jehovah’s favor. You are not allowed to participate in any Field Service activities and are restricted from commenting at the meetings.” Brother James continued, ”If you believe that a serious error in judgment has been made, and you wish to appeal the decision of this committee, you may do so by writing a letter clearly stating your reasons for an appeal. You have a week from today to do so. An appeal committee could again hear the case.” He then asked if I understood what he just said and I told him that I did. Then Brother James said, “If you felt that I or Brother Ivory or Brother Badstone weren’t fair in this decision, another committee can be arranged and that request must be in writing as well. If there isn’t a written appeal received by next weekend, we take it that you won’t be appealing our decision and an announcement will be made at the Kingdom Hall next Thursday night that you have been disfellowshipped. If you request to be reinstated, a written plea of reinstatement must be made to the body of Elders no matter what congregation you attend. You will have to go through us for recommendation.” He had a smirk on his face, sounding like the King of all Elders when talking. I guess he wanted to let me know no matter what congregation I attended; there wouldn’t be a loophole or a way of escaping them. I would always have to go through them because they were the original committee from where I was disfellowshipped. I didn’t care. I don’t remember if a prayer was said to conclude the meeting, I just remember leaving. Brother James dismissed me from his house like he would a dog. And then, it was all over. The double life was now single. There I was alone. I kept saying, “I’m disfellowshipped.” and started thinking about what that really meant. I felt like I lost everything but couldn’t really explain what I had lost. One part of me wanted to jump for joy. I wanted to yell and call all my Kingdom Hall peeps and tell them the good news. The other part of me wanted to hide somewhere. I was ashamed to be disfellowshipped. I didn’t want to be seen by anyone again. I only knew a handful of people that were disfellowshipped. Just about all of them used to study the Bible with me at one point in time. I would to see them after they were disfellowshipped months or years later, and they sure didn’t look well spiritually, mentally, physically and financially. They all had this lost look about them and they appeared confused about life. I wondered if I would become like them. Will Jehovah put a curse on me so I would never be successful no matter what I did in life all because I’m disfellowshipped?
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