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Don Alden Adams is the current president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania,[1][2][3][4][5] the oldest and most important of the corporations of Jehovah's Witnesses. He is occasionally cited as the "religious leader" of Jehovah's Witnesses.[6][7][8]


DonAdams 200907.png

Born in about 1925 in Oak Park, Illinois[9], U.S., Adams grew up in a big family, which originally had connections to the Episcopal church. His mother showed interest in Jehovah's Witnesses and gradually the children also became interested. His father initially showed no interest, but involved himself in a legal case when one of Don's younger brothers was not exempted from military service; he eventually became a baptized Witness.[10][11]

After serving as a full-time preacher, Adams was invited in late 1944 to serve at the world headquarters of Jehovah's Witnesses in Brooklyn, New York,[12][13][14][15] where he was secretary to Society president, Nathan H. Knorr. By the 1960s, Adams served directly under the Governing Body as a zone overseer, visiting various countries to audit branch offices and meet with Witness missionaries.[16][17] Later, Adams directed world missionary activities,[18] and served on the "Bethel Home Committee".[19]

In 2000, the New York Daily News described Adams as "a longtime the world headquarters in Brooklyn Heights".[20] The Washington Post described Adams as "a 50-year veteran of the organization,"[21] which has been restated in subsequent publications.[22][23]

Watch Tower presidency

Adams became president of the Watch Tower Society after Governing Body member Milton G. Henschel stepped down from the position in 2000.[24][25] In that year, members of the Governing Body resigned from their executive positions of the corporations of Jehovah's Witnesses, although the periodical Christianity Today reported that the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses would continue its "oversight" role.[26][27]

Adams’ presidency is purely administrative, and he is not considered to have impacted the Society's ministry as have past Watch Tower Society presidents.[28]


  1. ^ The World Almanac and Book of Facts, Volume 2003 by World Almanac Education Group, Inc., ©2003, Press Pub. Co. (The New York World)
  2. ^ Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches 2009, Volume 2009 by Eileen W. Lindner, Abingdon Press, 2009, page 131
  3. ^ Theologische Realenzyklopädie, Volume 36 by Gerhard Krause, Gerhard Müller, ©2004, Walter de Gruyter, ISBN 3110178427, 9783110178425, page 661
  4. ^ Lexikon neureligiöser Gruppen, Szenen und Weltanschauungen by Harald Baer, ©2005, Herder, ISBN 3451282569, 9783451282560, page 1413
  5. ^ "Headquarters of Selected Religious Groups in Canada", The History Channel, As Retrieved 2009-09-01, "Jehovah's Witnesses (1879), Canadian office: Box 4100, Halton Hills, ON L7G 4Y4; Pres., Don Adams"
  6. ^ "Religious leaders",, As Retrieved 2009-09-01
  7. ^ "Jehovah's Witnesses Restructure Their Leadership", The Leader-Post, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, October 28, 2000, page A12
  8. ^ "Church Restructures Leadership, Eyes Worldwide Expansion", St. John's Telegram, Newfoundland, B.C., Canada, October 22, 2000, page 14
  9. ^ "Changing the Watch At the Watchtower" by Charles W. Bell, New York Daily News, October 14, 2000, page 24
  10. ^ Historical Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses by George D. Chryssides, ©2008, Rowman & Littlefield, page 5, "[Don Adams'] father, William Karl Adams, was baptized in 1952."
  11. ^ "Seeking First the Kingdom—A Secure and Happy Life", The Watchtower, March 1, 2003, pages 29
  12. ^ The Watchtower, June 1, 1985, page 28
  13. ^ The Watchtower, December 15, 2000
  14. ^ The Watchtower, April 1, 1957, page 200
  15. ^ The Watchtower, March 1, 2003, page 23, "Seeking First the Kingdom—A Secure and Happy Life"
  16. ^ "Ivory Coast", 1981 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, page 174
  17. ^ The King's Highway: El Cannino Real : God's Highway to Peace and Happiness by Kenneth R. Guindon, ©1996, Ignatius Press, page 89
  18. ^ "Changing the Watch At the Watchtower" by Charles W. Bell, New York Daily News, October 14, 2000, page 24, "Among his previous assignments, Adams...directed world missionary activities"
  19. ^ "New Missionaries Urged: “Stay Loyal!”", The Watchtower, November 15, 1982, page 27
  20. ^ "Changing the Watch At the Watchtower" by Charles W. Bell, New York Daily News, October 14, 2000, page 24
  21. ^ "Jehovah's Witnesses Order Shake-Up" by Richard N. Ostling, The Washington Post, October 9, 2000, As Retrieved 2009-09-01
  22. ^ The Challenge of the Cults and New Religions by Ron Rhodes, Zondervan, 2001, page 85-86
  23. ^ A Guide to New Religious Movements by Ronald M. Enroth, InterVarsity Press, 2005, page 31
  24. ^ "Jehovah's Witnesses Order Changes at Top", Grand Rapid Press, Grand Rapids, Michigan, October 14, 2000, page B5
  25. ^ "New Leadership Structure for Jehovah's Witnesses", Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, October 10, 2000, page A02
  26. ^ Christianity Today, March 5, 2001, As Retrieved 2009-09-01
  27. ^ "Jehovah's Witnesses Order Shake-Up" by Richard N. Ostling, The Washington Post, October 9, 2000, As Retrieved 2009-09-01, "The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, as the group is officially known, had been run by a so-called Governing Body. Now, religious and administrative duties will be divided, with three newly formed corporations running the group's U.S. operations. President Milton Henschel, 80, and the group's six other board members resigned their posts on Saturday. ... Don Adams, a 50-year veteran of the organization, has been named president of the organization, and seven lower-ranking members will make up the new board. Henschel will remain a member of the Governing Body."
  28. ^ A Humble Defense: Evidence for the Christian Faith by Mark E. Moore, Mark Scott, ©2004, College Press, page 247, "Joseph F. Rutherford ... outdid Russell in writing numerous books, but his greatest strength was in the area of organization. ... During Knorr's presidency, membership grew to well over two million. ... Jehovah's Witnesses experienced some serious crises during the presidency of Frederick Franz. ... Milton Henschel served only eight years. The organization experienced a time of great restructuring. ... Don Adams, the present president, has not had enough time to impact the Society's ministry."
Preceded by
Milton G. Henschel
President of Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania
October 7, 2000
Succeeded by


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