Jehovah`s Witness/ordained minister


Hello Derrick...

I have tried asking the JW experts this but they have refused to answer, only making rude, comments that make no sense.

I was told that after I was baptized as a JW, I would be an Ordained Minister. I actively proclaimed this to people in field service and others. I thought this would lend credibility to the message. I was asked to prove this one day. I replied I most certainly was and then asked the Elders, when can I expect my certificate? I was told that I was registered at WTBTS and Jehovah knows. This should suffice. Have I been lying to people? This discredits me in the eyes of my peers,people of the world and associates, not to mention JWs. Are Baptized JWs Legally Ordained Ministers.

Hello, and thank you for writing with your question.

I apologize for the delay, but to be honest, I needed to do a little research before answering and get someone else's input on this matter since it was outside my area of expertise.  I simply did not want to tell you wrong, or give you inaccurate information.  I hope you don't mind, but I did consult with another expert on this board whose area of expertise is Organizational policy and the way the Watchtower operates.  My area is doctrinal.  

Am I understanding correctly that you are a JW yourself, and when you asked JWs on this board about this question, they were rude to you?  Not that I have trouble believing that they were rude, as some of them display this characteristic on a daily basis.  But to a fellow JW?  I am truly sorry that you experienced that, for merely asking a question.  It seems there are about 3 here especially, who get very irritable if they are asked a question they don't want to answer.  Kind of makes you wonder why they signed up.  There is no excuse for that kind of treatment.  

To answer your question...."Have I been lying to people?"

No, I do not think you have been lying, as you stated this in good faith and honestly felt it to be true.  Even inaccurate information is not the same as willful lying, if there is no intent to deceive involved.

Now, as I said, I consulted with another expert in order to give you an accurate answer to this.  If I may, I will relate to you what he said.



I am happy to provide what I know on the topic. The Watchtower magazine for many years explicitly said that at baptism a baptized Jehovah's Witness becomes an ordained minister in a association with the worldwide brotherhood of Jehovah's Witnesses. If needed I am sure that I can produce several references from the Watchtower CD saying such. In addition, at the baptism talk, the baptism speaker reads and makes it very clear that the baptism candidates understand that they are becoming ordained ministers in association with Jehovah's Witnesses. Whether the WT Society has changed the wording in recent years, I am not sure. But the questioner, and any JW from years back, is quite correct to come to the conclusion that are an ordained minister at baptism based on WT Society teaching for many years.

Up until the late 1960s many JWs carried a minister identification card with them for the very purpose of pulling out the card when questioned about their credentials while in field service. The WT Society stopped circulating those cards to the congregations by the early 1970s.

In recent years the harping about "you are an ordained minister" quieted down, like so many teachings that the WT decides to change. They just get quiet quiet about it for a few years. The questioner is wrong on one account. Members are not registered with the WTBTS. The WTBTS has no idea who its member's names are, so they are certainly not registered. However, the WT Society does have the names of all the appointed servants in the congregations as well as the regular pioneers. From experience, I do know that in practice only the elders are viewed as ordained ministers in the traditional sense. By that I mean that only elders perform marriages and funerals and teach at public functions like assemblies and so forth. The general JW, even though told that he is an ordained minister, does not act as one in a practical sense in the congregation.

I hope this helps a bit with the twists and turns.


Also, this expert gave me another link with a quite extensive read on this very subject as well.  It is....

I hope this helps answer your question, and I apologize that I was not more helpful.  This was simply an area that I was not too familliar with.

Take care, and have a wonderful day.


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Derrick Holland


I was raised in the religion known as Jehovah`s Witnesses for 13 years. Since becoming a born-again Christian, I have researched extensively this religion, especially their doctrines and their history. I can answer questions about their doctrines from the perspective of Biblical Christianity. To be clear: Jehovahs Witnesses is the religion of my upbringing, though I myself was never baptized into the religion, nor have I ever been considered as a Jehovahs Witness.


29 years of Biblical research into the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith, and how they differ from the teachings of the Watchtower.

I would advise each questioner to this forum, to carefully READ the profiles of the various volunteers. There are several such as myself, who are not practicing JWs, but will provide you with an accurate and honest answer, regarding JW teaching. If we don't know the answer, we will try to research and get it for you. There are also some excellent practicing JWs here, who also endeavor to give you a factual and honest answer, based on their point of view. I believe by getting both points of view, the questioner can weigh the evidence for themselves, and make an informed decision. Unfortunately, there are also 3 here who claim to be JWs, but do NOT give honest, or well-researched answers. They will tell you only what they want you to believe, and they often hide facts about the history of their religion, as well as print untruths about other people's beliefs. This is done in an attempt to deceive the unsuspecting reader. It can be easily seen who these 3 are, simply by reading the public posts and "answers" which they write. Their posts will normally be filled with personal attacks, and if you question them about some teaching or aspect of the Watchtower that makes them uncomfortable, they will often reject your question, question your motives for asking it, tell you that you have been reading "apostate" sites, or turn the conversation into an attack on another expert. These ones are better avoided, as there is nothing to be gained by way of positive discussion, as they are not interested in intelligent conversation, or honest dialogue. If after reading the forum, you still have any questions as to who they are, just ask me, and I will be happy to tell you. And I can also provide documentation of their willful dishonesty. One thing is for a forum where people from both sides claim to be "Christians", there should never be any willful lying. Such ones only create a distraction in the forum, and provide nothing of any real value.

High School, some college. Studies of God's Word, the Bible, and how it compares to JW theology. I have found my own personal study and experiences to be far more valuable than any formal education or training. The Bible message is clear...Salvation is ONLY through and by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and no religious organization has a thing to do with it. While attendance at a Bible-preaching, Bible-believing church is a must for spiritual growth and fellowship, no church can grant salvation to its members. Nor is joining a particular group a prerequisite for being saved.

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