If you’ve ever wondered what goes on at the world headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses in New York, you’re not alone. As one of the most well-known centers of this Christian denomination, Bethel in New York is a place of great interest to both members and non-members alike.

In short, Bethel serves as the administrative hub for Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide. But there’s much more to this sprawling complex than just offices and meeting rooms. Keep reading to learn about Bethel’s history, facilities, activities, and significance to the global Jehovah’s Witness community.

A Brief History of Bethel in New York

Bethel in New York has a rich history that dates back several decades. It has served as the headquarters for the Jehovah’s Witnesses since their establishment. Over the years, Bethel has undergone various transformations and relocations, playing a significant role in the growth and development of the organization.

Brooklyn Heights Beginnings

The story of Bethel begins in the neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights in New York City. In 1909, the headquarters of the Watch Tower Society, the organization behind the Jehovah’s Witnesses, was established at 13-17 Hicks Street.

This small building served as the central hub for the activities of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, including the printing and distribution of literature.

During this time, the organization experienced rapid growth, and the need for larger facilities became apparent. In 1922, construction began on a new headquarters building at 124 Columbia Heights, which would later be known as the Brooklyn Bethel.

This iconic building became the center of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ operations for many decades.

Major Expansions Over the Decades

As the Jehovah’s Witnesses continued to expand their reach and activities, the Brooklyn Bethel underwent several major expansions. Additional buildings were acquired and converted to accommodate the growing number of volunteers who dedicated their lives to the work at Bethel.

These expansions included the acquisition of neighboring properties and the construction of new buildings.

Throughout the years, Bethel became a bustling community of volunteers, with various departments working together to support the worldwide activities of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The work at Bethel involved not only printing and distributing literature but also translating and producing materials in multiple languages, broadcasting, and organizing international conventions and assemblies.

Relocation to Upstate New York

In recent years, the decision was made to relocate the headquarters of the Jehovah’s Witnesses from Brooklyn to upstate New York. In 2016, the new headquarters complex, known as Warwick Bethel, was completed in the town of Warwick.

This modern facility was designed to meet the organization’s evolving needs and to provide a more efficient and sustainable workspace for its activities.

Warwick Bethel continues the tradition of Bethel as the central hub for the worldwide operations of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The move to upstate New York has allowed for greater expansion and the ability to better serve the needs of the Jehovah’s Witnesses community around the globe.

Bethel in New York has played a significant role in the history of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Its rich history, from its humble beginnings in Brooklyn Heights to its relocation to Warwick, is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the volunteers who have made Bethel their home and have contributed to the growth and success of the organization.

Facilities and Amenities at Bethel

As the headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Bethel in New York boasts a range of state-of-the-art facilities and amenities to support the organization’s operations. Let’s explore some of these key features that make Bethel a unique and functional campus.

Residence Buildings

The residence buildings at Bethel provide comfortable accommodation for the dedicated volunteers who live and work on the campus. These buildings are designed to foster a sense of community and offer a peaceful environment for those serving in various roles.

The well-maintained living spaces ensure that volunteers have a home away from home during their time at Bethel.

Factory Complex

The factory complex at Bethel is a hub of activity, where a wide range of products are manufactured to support the global activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses. From printing literature to producing audio and video materials, this complex plays a vital role in disseminating spiritual information to millions of people worldwide.

Publishing and Production Facilities

Bethel is equipped with cutting-edge publishing and production facilities. These facilities enable the creation and distribution of literature, magazines, and other spiritual resources. With advanced printing presses and digital technology, Bethel ensures that high-quality materials are produced efficiently and in large quantities to meet the needs of Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide.

Offices and Conference Rooms

The offices and conference rooms at Bethel serve as the central nerve center for the administrative and organizational activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses. These spaces are designed to facilitate effective communication and collaboration among the staff.

From planning meetings to decision-making sessions, Bethel’s offices and conference rooms provide a conducive environment for important discussions and decision-making processes.

Kitchens and Dining Halls

Feeding the dedicated volunteers at Bethel is a top priority. The campus is equipped with modern, well-equipped kitchens and dining halls that cater to the dietary needs of the diverse community. Volunteers can enjoy nutritious and delicious meals, fostering a sense of well-being and ensuring that they have the energy to carry out their important work.

Laundry, Maintenance, and Other Services

Keeping the campus running smoothly requires a range of services, and Bethel has them covered. From laundry facilities to maintenance services, the dedicated staff at Bethel ensures that all necessary support functions are in place.

This allows volunteers to focus on their spiritual work without worrying about day-to-day tasks.

Bethel’s facilities and amenities are designed to create a harmonious and efficient environment for Jehovah’s Witnesses to carry out their work. The attention to detail and commitment to excellence ensure that Bethel remains a thriving center of spiritual activity and support.

Life and Work of Jehovah’s Witnesses at Bethel

Bethel in New York is the headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses, where dedicated volunteers carry out various essential tasks that support the global activities of this religious organization. The life and work at Bethel are characterized by a strong sense of community, dedication to spiritual goals, and a commitment to follow the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Voluntary and Modest Lifestyle

Those residing at Bethel embrace a voluntary and modest lifestyle. They live in shared accommodation and receive basic necessities to meet their daily needs. This communal living fosters a strong sense of unity and teamwork among the volunteers.

By living simply and focusing on the spiritual aspects of their lives, they are able to fully devote themselves to their work and the mission of spreading their beliefs.

Rigorous Daily Schedule

The volunteers at Bethel adhere to a rigorous daily schedule. They wake up early in the morning to begin their day with prayer and Bible study. Throughout the day, they engage in various tasks that contribute to the smooth functioning of the headquarters.

From administrative work to maintenance, each individual plays a vital role in keeping Bethel running efficiently.

Bible Study and Spiritual Education

Bible study and spiritual education are fundamental at Bethel. The volunteers dedicate a significant portion of their time to deepening their understanding of the scriptures and the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

This continuous learning helps them in their personal growth and enables them to effectively share their beliefs with others.

Preaching and Outreach Activities

Despite their busy schedules, the volunteers at Bethel actively participate in preaching and outreach activities. They engage in door-to-door witnessing, public events, and other forms of evangelism to share their faith with others.

These activities aim to reach out to individuals who may be seeking spiritual guidance and offer them the opportunity to learn more about Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Production of Publications and Media

Another crucial aspect of life at Bethel is the production of publications and media. The volunteers work diligently to produce literature, magazines, videos, and other materials that serve as educational resources for Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide.

These materials are designed to provide spiritual guidance, address contemporary issues, and promote the values and beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The Significance of Bethel to Jehovah’s Witnesses Worldwide

Bethel, located in New York, holds immense significance for Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide. It serves as both an operational hub and a spiritual guidance center, playing a crucial role in the functioning of this global religious organization.

Operational Hub and Spiritual Guidance

Bethel serves as the nerve center for Jehovah’s Witnesses’ administrative and logistical activities. It is here that the printing and distribution of literature, including Bibles, tracts, and magazines, takes place.

This ensures that Jehovah’s Witnesses have access to the spiritual materials they need for their ministry work worldwide.

Furthermore, Bethel provides spiritual guidance and support to Jehovah’s Witnesses. The dedicated volunteers who reside at Bethel receive training in Bible teachings and are equipped to answer questions and offer guidance to fellow believers.

Bethel is a place where Jehovah’s Witnesses can find spiritual nourishment and strengthen their faith.

Link to Governing Body Leadership

Bethel is closely linked to the leadership of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Governing Body, made up of experienced and appointed members, provides guidance and direction to the worldwide organization.

Bethel serves as the headquarters where the Governing Body carries out its responsibilities, including making decisions on doctrinal matters, organizing conventions, and overseeing the global activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Focal Point for Conventions and Pilgrimage

Bethel plays a crucial role in hosting conventions and gatherings for Jehovah’s Witnesses. These events bring together thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses from different parts of the world to receive spiritual instruction, participate in worship, and foster a sense of unity and community.

Bethel provides the venue and infrastructure necessary to accommodate these large-scale events, making it a focal point for Jehovah’s Witnesses’ conventions and pilgrimage.

Source of Teachings and Materials

Bethel is the primary source of the teachings and materials used by Jehovah’s Witnesses in their ministry work. The literature produced at Bethel reflects the beliefs and teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses, providing guidance on matters of faith, morality, and the interpretation of biblical texts.

These materials are widely distributed and used by Jehovah’s Witnesses in their efforts to share their beliefs with others.

For more information about Bethel and Jehovah’s Witnesses, you can visit the official website of Jehovah’s Witnesses: https://www.jw.org/

What the Move to Warwick Means for Bethel

The relocation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses headquarters from Brooklyn to Warwick has significant implications for the Bethel community. This move marks a new chapter in the history of Bethel, bringing about changes and opportunities for growth.

Phasing Out of Brooklyn Headquarters

The decision to move the headquarters from Brooklyn was not taken lightly. The iconic buildings in Brooklyn served as the spiritual and administrative center for the Jehovah’s Witnesses for many years.

However, due to the need for expansion and modernization, the organization made the difficult choice to sell the Brooklyn properties. The move to Warwick allows for a fresh start and a chance to create a more efficient and modern headquarters.

Expansion in Upstate New York

With the move to Warwick, the Bethel community is now located in a beautiful and serene setting in upstate New York. The new headquarters spans over 250 acres and includes various facilities such as offices, residences, and recreation areas.

This expansion provides ample space for the growing needs of the organization and ensures that the Bethel community can thrive in a peaceful environment.

More Remote Working Allowed

One of the positive outcomes of the move to Warwick is the increased flexibility in working arrangements. With the advancements in technology, more Jehovah’s Witnesses volunteers are now able to work remotely.

This allows for greater participation and involvement from individuals who may not be able to relocate to Warwick. The ability to work remotely also promotes a better work-life balance for Bethel members.

New Media Production Facilities

The move to Warwick has also brought about the establishment of state-of-the-art media production facilities. These facilities are equipped with the latest technology and resources to enhance the production of audio and video content for the global audience of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

This investment in media production demonstrates the organization’s commitment to effectively communicate its message in the digital age.


For over a century, Bethel in Brooklyn was the undisputed headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide. While its New York facilities continue to play a key role, the new Warwick complex allows for expansion and modernization.

But no matter where it is located, Bethel remains vital as the spiritual home base and nerve center of this Christian faith. Bethel will surely continue to shape the operations and identity of Jehovah’s Witnesses globally for many years to come.

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