Why was Anthony Morris III removed from the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses?  (2024)

On February 22, 2023, Anthony Morris III was officially removed from the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses. The organization made the announcement via a short notice on its website and said that the news of his departure was announced at the World Headquarters.

Reports suggest that this is the first removal of a Jehovah's Witnesses governing member since 1980, when Raymond Franz’s departure as a member of the governing body and of the Brooklyn Bethel family was announced on the second page of Our Kingdom Service.

Wonder why Anthony Morris is no longer serving as a Governing Body member of Jehovah's Witnesses. Does anyone have the tea on this, non of my contacts know why. https://t.co/paF1C74EGa

No exact cause of Morris III’s removal has been announced at the time of writing. However, the reason behind his departure has been subject to major speculation.

According to Jehovah's Witnesses member and writer Jason Wynne's article for AvoidJW.org (Assisting Victims of Ostracism, Injustice and Deceit in Jehovah's Witnesses), some of the speculation includes allegations of alcohol abuse, alleged implications in the Pennsylvania Grand Jury investigation into child abuse within Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Morris III’s possible public disagreement with another governing body member about “ecclesiastical matters relating to prophecy.”

Wynne also pointed out in his AvoidJW story that there is a “clear indication” that Morris III’s removal from the governing body was “the result of a judicial action” because of the rapid changes made in the “What is the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses?” page.

Shortly after the announcement, the page changed the cover visual of Anthony Morris III shaking hands with Geoffrey W. Jackson to a more generic image. His name was also immediately deleted from the list of governing body members and the audio clip was also revised to match the textual changes within a day.

Anthony Morris III is no longer a member of the Governing Body. https://t.co/KFrfOeXrld

Twitter user @/JW_PIMO also shared similar claims in a post speculating about the reason behind Anthony Morris III’s removal. They wrote about Morris III’s alleged alcoholism and claimed that a “reliable source” in Bethel said that one of the daughter-in-laws accused him of getting drunk in family gatherings.

They also alleged that Morris III’s two sons are also being investigated for allegedly covering his addiction issues.

In another theory, the user alleged that Morris III reportedly had a disagreement with another governing body member about “the time of the end and not speculating” during a broadcast that “did not go well.”

@Liliplum2 Here you go Gabby👆🏾👆🏾👆🏾 https://t.co/80RBt7Hrax

Despite the ongoing speculations, it remains unknown if any of the aforementioned theories are true. So far, no official announcement about his departure has been made available to the public.

What is known about Anthony Morris III?

Anthony Morris III was reportedly born around 1950. He was just 19 years old when he served in the Vietnam War in July 1969 and worked “in an army hospital in the Mekong Delta” as well as a “technician in an operating room during the war.”

His service in the war reportedly lasted less than a year as he was admitted to a Pennsylvania hospital for suffering from a serious infectious illness. Following his service, Morris III bagged a job at a hospital in Boca Raton, Florida.

Why was Anthony Morris III removed from the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses? (1)

Morris III’s association with Jehovah’s Witnesses began after he started attending meetings at a Kingdom Hall in February 1971 in Delray Beach, Florida. He was baptized into the organization in July 1971 and eventually became a full-time preacher that same year.

After moving to Rhode Island, Morris III met his future wife Susan, and the duo tied the knot in December 1971. The pair had two sons together and serviced in the state for 16 years.

The family moved to North Carolina in 1987 and Morris III was appointed a substitute travel overseer, and eventually a regular travel overseer. He and his wife serviced another 15 years in North Carolina.

Why was Anthony Morris III removed from the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses? (2)

The couple was eventually invited to serve at the World Headquarters in Patterson, New York, in 2002. Morris III worked in the service department, while Susan was in the laundry section. Nearly three years later, he was asked to serve as a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses Governing Body.

He served in the role for more than 17 years, starting in 2005 and continuing until his removal on February 22, 2023.

Netizens reacts to Anthony Morris III’s removal from Jehovah's Witnesses governing body

Why was Anthony Morris III removed from the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses? (3)

The news of Anthony Morris III’s sudden removal from Jehovah's Witnesses governing body left followers of the organization as well as the general public shocked.

Several social media users also took to Twitter to share their reaction to the sudden announcement:

Anthony Morris III is no longer a member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I wonder why???? https://t.co/BTPFPSFVkK
BREAKING: Anthony Morris III becomes the first Governing Body member to stand down since Ray Franz. So much to say on this. Stay tuned for a @JWWatchorg bulletin! https://t.co/5bYaV9EY4P
So they removed his name and picture from the FAQ article but the audio version of the article still lists his name which further shows this was not planned and was sprung on the web team suddenly. #exjw #MorrisOut #TonyMorris #AnthonyMorris https://t.co/qaH3e6dwR9
@Liliplum2 Just reading from the grapevine: Apparently his daughters- in- law outed him for being a drunk and he disagreed with Lett the clown on issues
@Liliplum2 Wow! That's big news! I don't know what happened. I'm curious though because he was the one GB member that was overly critical about dress & grooming. They called him "Tight Pants Tony".
Jehovah's Witness Anthony Morris III was basically disfellowshipped from the Governing Body. Rumors claim alcoholism as one possible reason. #JehovahsWitnesses #Watchtower #Disfellowship #Cult #CultsSuck https://t.co/eGjECIHJpJ

As reactions continue to pour in online, it remains to be seen if Jehovah's Witnesses will share the reason behind Anthony Morris III’s removal or if the latter will share his story in the days to come.

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Why was Anthony Morris III removed from the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses?  (2024)


Why was Anthony Morris removed from JW? ›

Jehovah's Witness Anthony Morris III was basically disfellowshipped from the Governing Body. Rumors claim alcoholism as one possible reason.

Who is the Governing Body of the Jehovah's Witnesses in 2023? ›

Jeffrey Winder (2023)

How much do the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses get paid? ›

Since this is a Religious Order there is no salary and one must be a member of the religion. It is non-profit organization that goal is to produce and distribute the Bible and Bible literature in over 239 lands around the world.

When was Raymond Franz Disfellowshipped? ›

The Governing Body investigation resulted in the disfellowshipping of several other headquarters staff. On September 1, 1980, the Governing Body distributed a letter to all Circuit and District overseers stating that apostates need not be promoting doctrines to be disfellowshipped.

What is the film about leaving Jehovah's Witnesses? ›

Apostasy (2017 film) - Wikipedia.

Where JW is banned? ›

Jehovah's Witness members have been imprisoned in many countries for their refusal of conscription or compulsory military service. Their religious activities are banned or restricted in some countries, including Singapore, China, Vietnam, Russia and many Muslim-majority countries.

How many people are leaving Jehovah's Witnesses? ›

An estimated 70,000 Jehovah's Witnesses are disfellowshipped every year — roughly 1% of the church's total population, according to data published by the Watchtower. Their names are published at local Kingdom Halls. Of those, two-thirds never return.

What is a Jehovah Witness pastor called? ›

Jehovah's Witnesses have no professional clergy, so there is no distinction between clergy and lay people. All baptised members are considered ordained ministers.

What are ex Jehovah's Witnesses called? ›

Those who leave the faith are called "apostates" and are "disfellowshipped", a term for formal expulsion and shunning, where members are "prohibited from talking, and even from saying 'hello' to them", according to Ohmyjw.

Who really runs the Watchtower Society? ›

Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania
FormationFebruary 16, 1881 (incorporated December 15, 1884)
Legal status501(c)(3) church
HeadquartersWarwick, New York, US
PresidentRobert Ciranko
6 more rows

How much money do Jehovah's Witnesses have to give to the church? ›

There is no tithing or collection, but all are encouraged to donate to the organization; Witnesses typically provide an opportunity for members of the public to make such donations as they encounter them in their preaching work.

Can I sue Jehovah's Witnesses? ›

In other words, if you reasonably believe that someone who trespasses on your property or who harasses and abuses you is acting under the instruction, control, or authority of the Jehovah's Witness group of institutions, you can sue them individually and join the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society as a co-defendant in ...

Are Jehovah witnesses the true religion? ›

Although many of their eschatological teachings have changed over the years, Jehovah's Witnesses have consistently claimed to be the only true religion.

Who is the ex MBA turned Jehovah Witness? ›

Which current and ex-NBA players are Jehovah's Witnesses? According to Google, there are actually three current and ex-NBA players who are Jehovah's Witnesses — Dewayne Dedmon (currently of the Miami Heat) and former Indiana Pacers' teammates, Danny Granger and Darren Collison.

What can you get Disfellowshipped for? ›

An individual may also be disfellowshipped for promoting activities that are considered "serious sins" without actually engaging in the practice, or for accepting related employment (e.g. selling lottery tickets, firearms or cigarettes; working in an abortion clinic, church or military base).

What is the controversy about Jehovah's Witnesses? ›

Jehovah's Witnesses have also been criticized because they reject blood transfusions, even in life-threatening medical situations, and for failing to report cases of sexual abuse to the authorities. Many of the claims are denied by Jehovah's Witnesses and some have also been disputed by courts and religious scholars.

Are any celebrities Jehovah Witnesses? ›

Tennis champion Serena Williams was raised in the Jehovah's Witness faith and continues to practice many of her beliefs stemming from the religion today. The Jackson family was raised in the Jehovah's Witness faith, but several of the family members, including sister Janet, no longer practice the religion.

What is the Netflix show about Jehovah Witnesses? ›

Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey.

Why can't JW go to college? ›

Witness leadership also discourages higher education because they believe it's a waste of time. Jehovah's Witnesses have been predicting the end of the world since the religion's founding at the end of the 19th century.

Where does JW org rank in the world? ›

jw.org is ranked number 1 as the most popular website in the Faith and Beliefs category in May 2023. The average amount of time that users spend on the website is 00:07:38 minutes, and they see, on average, 7.97 pages per visit.

What happens if you leave the JW Church? ›

Feelings of loneliness, loss of control, and worthlessness are also common after leaving. The culture of informing on other members inside the Jehovah's Witnesses also leads to a continued sense of distrust and suspicion long after leaving.

What race is the majority of Jehovah Witness? ›

Jehovah's Witnesses are among the most racially and ethnically diverse religious groups in America. No more than four-in-ten members of the group belong to any one racial and ethnic background: 36% are white, 32% are Hispanic, 27% are black and 6% are another race or mixed race.

What percentage of the US is Jehovah's Witness? ›

For example, Jehovah's Witnesses report approximately 1.2 million active publishers in the United States, whereas the Pew Research Center reported that Jehovah's Witnesses make up 0.8% of the US population (approximately 2.5 million).

How many people Jehovah's Witnesses believe are going to heaven? ›

Based on their understanding of scriptures such as Revelation 14:1-4, Jehovah's Witnesses believe that exactly 144,000 faithful Christians go to heaven to rule with Christ in the kingdom of God.

What is Jehovah Witness Bible called? ›

The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT) is a translation of the Bible published by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society; it is used and distributed by Jehovah's Witnesses.

Who wrote the Jehovah Witness Bible? ›

Jehovah's Witnesses started in 1870 when Charles Taze Russell led Bible studies in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Jehovah's Witnesses movement came out of the Bible Student movement, also founded by Russell.

Who is the God of Jehovah Witness? ›

Jehovah's Witnesses believe that: God the Father (whose name is Jehovah) is "the only true God". Jesus Christ is his firstborn son, is inferior to God, and was created by God. The Holy Spirit is not a person; it is God's active force.

What do you say to a Jehovah Witness when someone dies? ›

Sympathy Messages for a Jehovah's Witness Who Lost a Sibling
  • I'm so sorry to hear of your sister's passing. Please know I'm here for you. ...
  • Your brother was a wonderful teacher. ...
  • I'm glad I got to know your sister during our first year at university. ...
  • Kaylin, please know how sorry I am to hear about your loss.
Feb 23, 2023

How many ex players are Jehovah's Witnesses? ›

There are three players in NBA history – Danny Granger, Darren Collison, and Dewayne Dedmon – who were Jehovah's witnesses. In her words, the light-skinned one amongst the three was her ex.

Can a non Jehovah Witness attend a Jehovah Witness funeral? ›

If you are not a Jehovah's Witness but wish to attend the funeral this is fine, they are regarded as open to the public. If you've been to other funerals you'll no doubt see many similarities.

What businesses do Jehovah Witnesses own? ›

Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. is a corporation used by Jehovah's Witnesses which is responsible for administrative matters, such as real estate, especially within the United States.

Is Jehovah witnesses the fastest growing religion? ›

No surprises there: Catholics, followed by Southern Baptists, followed by United Methodists, followed by Mormons. Jehovah's Witnesses are the fastest-growing church body in the U.S. and Canada, now with more than 1 million members, according to new figures that track church membership in the U.S. and Canada.

What is Watchtower in the Bible? ›

Watch-tower (צָפַית, Isa 21:5; מַּצפֶּה, 2Ch 20:24; Isa 21:8), a structure over or by the side of city gates in the East, in which a watchman was stationed to observe what was going on at a distance, especially in times of danger (2Sa 18:25).

What is the JW org controversy? ›

Jehovah's Witnesses have also been criticized because they reject blood transfusions, even in life-threatening medical situations, and for failing to report cases of sexual abuse to the authorities. Many of the claims are denied by Jehovah's Witnesses and some have also been disputed by courts and religious scholars.

When did Michael Jackson leave Jehovah Witness? ›

Michael Jackson

He disassociated himself from the Jehovah's Witnesses, in response to their disapproval of the Thriller video in 1987, when he was 29.


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