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I Was Raised a Jehovah's Witness Paperback – March 6, 1997

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joe Hewitt grew up in Arkansas and Kansas during the Depression. Since 1953 he has served as a church planter and pastor. He is certified by the Home Mission Boards of the Southern Baptist Convention as an associate specializing in the Jehovah's Witness cult. He's a popular seminar speaker in the U.S., Mexico, Brazil, and the United Kingdom and helped numerous cult members and their families successfully leave the Jehovah's Witnesses.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications; Rev Upd Su edition (March 6, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825428769
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825428760
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,429,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joe B. Hewitt, Background Information

Author Joe B. Hewitt started writing as a newspaper reporter for the Lima, Ohio, News. He covered the police beat, courthouse beat, and was an investigative reporter. He went under cover for three months and published an expose of vice and crime. He served as national and international news editor and "slot" man on the city desk.

He owned and published the following Texas weekly newspapers, Throckmorton Tribune, and Springtown Review, and was a stockholder, editor and publisher of the Richardson Digest.

His newspaper career ended when he was called into the ministry. While still a seminary student he started the Richardson East Baptist Church, Richardson, Texas. By the time he graduated from seminary his new church had bought land on Main Street and built a building. During the first several years at that church he worked as public relations director for a church-supported temperance organization. In that capacity he wrote teacher in-service training manuals on drug abuse, designed catalogs, edited a monthly magazine, wrote and voiced public service radio announcements, and appeared on television interview shows regarding drug abuse education, and spoke at high school assemblies and churches. He enlisted others to voice public service announcements including Steve Allen and Dale Evans. He turned down an offer to become associate executive director of the organization and pastored the church full time.
During that time he ghost-wrote a book on Bible prophecy for a famous radio preacher. He served the Richardson church 13 years.

He resigned that pastorate to go into vocational evangelism. However, during those four years he was called by Christian leaders in many communities to lead special election campaigns. Of 13 major campaigns, he won 11. He turned down an offer to manage a US Congressman's re-election campaign.

Feeling a need to get back into the pastorate and following a desire to move to Rockwall County, Texas, he accepted a call to Pastor First Baptist Church of Fate, Texas, where he served 13 years.

He built a home on 7.5 acres in rural Rockwall County where he has lived since 1985.
He then became founding pastor of Princeton Park Baptist Church, Rowlett, Texas, where he served 9 years and retired in 2001.

During those years in the pastorate he wrote a nonfiction book on personal experience that has sold 45,000 copies. He wrote curriculum for Bible study teachers and teachers commentaries for LifeWay, the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention as well as the youth devotional guide, and Open Windows the 1.1 million-circulation adult devotional guide. For 10 years wrote columns for the Rockwall Success, and Rowlett Lakeshore Times, local newspapers. His magazine articles were published in Mature Living, The Baptist Standard, and Leadership magazine (published by the Baptist General Convention of Texas), Faith for the Family, Reproduction Methods, and the Christian Crusader. Photographs have been published by Associated Press, United Press International, Popular Mechanics, and several detective magazines (from the days when he was police reporter.).

His travel articles and pictures have been published in The Dallas Morning News, and the Houston Chronicle's Sunday Magazine. Guest editorials have been published in The Dallas Morning News and Spirit of 76, publication of Fort Worth, Texas, Mensa.

Hewitt was certified by North American Mission Board, Southern Baptist Convention, as expert on Cults. He conducted seminars and workshops on Cults, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormonism. Islam, Marriage Enrichment, Conflict Resolution, and Parenting.

Hewitt served as a temporary missionary in Mexico, Brazil, Russia, Oregon, Idaho, New York, and pastored a church in England for a month in an exchange with the pastor of the English church. He served as volunteer chaplain and coordinator of jail ministries for the Rockwall County Sheriff's Department for 10 years. I also served two days a month as volunteer chaplain at Lake Pointe Medical Center in Rowlett for 10 years.

On one of his three trips to Russia, Hewitt preached in Muravlenko, Siberia, a city of 40,000, built on 600 feet deep permafrost located 1650 miles east-northeast of Moscow. The nearest airport was 100 miles south at Nyabresk where the Aeroflot plane broke down and Hewitt and his wife were stranded two days.

In addition to the mission trips, Hewitt visited Cypress, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Greece, Italy, France, Spain, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, and many Caribbean islands. Hewitt has traveled extensively throughout all 50 of the United States, Mexico and Canada.

After retiring from the Pastorate in 2001, Hewitt began training as a mediator and has served Dallas and area courts as a court-appointed mediator to settle lawsuits.

He is a member of First Baptist Church, Rockwall, Texas, State Bar of Texas, ADR Section, Texas Association of Mediators, and Mensa, the high IQ society. He is rated by the Texas Mediators Credentialing Association as a Distinguished Credentialed Mediator.

Hewitt received a BD degree from Bible Baptist Seminary, and an MA degree in Biblical Studies from Dallas Baptist University.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Dragonlord on August 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
I just wanted to respond to "A Reader from California," who smugly inquires if those who have left the Watchtower Society are happier or have better marriages. The answer is a resounding "YES!" Freedom from mind control, coercion and spiritual blackmail results in happiness on many levels, including marriage. I applaud Mr. Hewitt's courage in writing a book that exposes Jehovah's Witnesses for what they are - a cult of brainwashers and brainwashees, no different from any other group that professes to be "the only true religion" - because leaving the cult no doubt cost him dearly in lost friendships, relationships and even family. Perhaps more people will come to realize that you don't need anyone to tell you what God thinks. God is inside each and every one of us, and he doesn't need a middle man to touch our lives.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Tonya on October 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
I, too was raised a Jehovah's Witness. I could really relate to his story, although mine is slightly different. He was pretty much on the money. Anyone that is in the same situation really needs to read this book, as it can help you find answers to dispute your old beliefs. I have sought answers to a lot of questions for a long time and he answered most of them for me.
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32 of 39 people found the following review helpful By R. Scott on February 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
now that I have left the "truth".

To the reader who thinks all who leave or are disfellowshipped from "God's organization", please explain to me why, after being disfellowshipped from God's loving people, I'm no longer suicidal, my alleged bi-polar and dissociative identity disorders have disappeared, and I'm happy, thriving and content.

I am no longer consumed with paralyzingly low self-esteem, I am gaining confidence, poise and grace. I smile now. I laugh. I don't spend every waking moment wondering if Jehovah will kill me at Armegeddon for some (egregious) transgression of Watchtower Society rules.

Coincidence? I think not.
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30 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
I was too raised as a Jehovah's Witness and I decided to leave when I was 15. I was extremely unhappy and really felt that God wasn't in this religion that there was something more that I couldn't understand. I didn't stay despite the intimidating elders meeting to make me feel guilty to stay. Fear always haunted me and I knew that there was no future in this to do anything but what they want. My story is different than Hewitt's, because fortunately I wasn't baptized so I wasn't disfellowhipped, which really is unbiblical in the first place. When I left I wasn't disowned which can happen in many J.W. homes because it has been pushed not by all but some J.W.s. so I am thankful for my family for that. I knew something was wrong with this and wanted answers but was very content to be independent from the organization. It wasn't the friends that I left but it was the organization. I had a best friend whom I dearly cared for but was never permitted to see her again nor did she let me. Her parents would remind me of the pain that she had. I am sorry for that but it didn't have to be that way at all especially if you are "friends" in the true sense. But I realized that like all of them and for myself for the time being they were brainwashed. To be honest with you I don't remember any kind of real teaching from the Bible itself in the meetings. We only read the magazines and they were repetitive and very very narrowminded about other religions. Where do they get their research from, for example their brochure on the Trinity? It is ridiculous, just because other pagan gods had three headed statues doesn't mean that it refers to the "Trinity" of the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit.Read more ›
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
...This book as well as many others has finally set many people free and given them free thought instead of just going along with the rest of the lemmings. Many people have been released from their feelings of guilt and fear and now are able to lead normal lives instead of living their lives for a man-made organisation that is "ruled" by imperfect men who change their minds and prophecies to suit their own interpretation...
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By LUV BELLA on January 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
I also was once a Jehovah's Witness. I was disfellowshipped at the age of 21. I felt like my world was over. I had noone, except my family who are also witnesses. They didn't listen to the rules of the religion and turn away from me. My sister was also once a witness but kicked out for being gay. They said that you're allowed to be gay, but you need to act straight, get married have children etc. Then you will be "fixed" in the paradise. I had to start all over again, or go back to a religion that I felt treated people like a herd of cattle. I mean, how do you just turn away from and ignore someone that's been in your life for so many years, and been a friend? They disgust me. And the really scary part is that they feel that they are doing the right thing. That this is the only way of handling things. I was kicked out for smoking cigarettes. I was 21 years old!! What did you think I was going to do, knock on people's doors 24/7, and hand them watchtowers? I was so secluded from the world growing up that I wasn't even allowed to be in afterschool activities. The reason? Because then you will spending voluntary time with non-jehovah's witnesses. You're not supposed to associate "the wordly people". School was one thing, but staying on your own free will for things that are not mandatory is prohibited. Well I'll tell ya, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. The aftermath was absolute hell, but I pulled through, and I'm still pulling. It's been 4 years now, and the only possible way that I can view this "religion", is one word CULT!
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