The first of an anticipated 11,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses from North Georgia, parts of Tennessee and South Carolina will begin slipping into seats this morning at the Arena at Gwinnett Center, looking for some answers and inspiration.
They’ll be there for the three-day “Deliverance at Hand!” convention, presented by the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, which ends Sunday. It is the first of four scheduled this summer at the arena.
Admission to the convention is free, and no collections will be taken.
This weekend’s gathering will be conducted in English. The next convention, June 30-July 2, will be in Spanish. Jehovah’s Witnesses plan additional conventions at the arena July 7-9 and Aug. 4-6.
The meetings are part of a worldwide series of conventions taking place this year. Jehovah’s Witnesses officials estimate that 1.5 million people will attend conventions in the United States. The organization also is hosting another convention in Macon this summer.
In Gwinnett, “it’ll be a full house,” said Mike Funston of Alpharetta, a volunteer spokesman for the local convention.
The “Deliverance” session will focus on Scripture — Romans 5:12, for example, which explains sin’s entry into the world. Another focus will be Romans 6:23, which underscores humanity’s need to be delivered from inherited sin.
“The convention will stress both the urgency of the times and the marvelous provision God has made to end all suffering,” according to a news release.
Morning sessions begin at
9:30 a.m. today and Saturday; afternoon sessions begin at 2 p.m. On Sunday, the afternoon session will begin at 1:40 p.m.
The organization has scheduled baptisms at 11:50 a.m. Saturday.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses will have featured speakers from its New York headquarters, plus testimony from people across the region, Funston said.
On Sunday, the convention will feature a “To Whose Authority Do You Submit?” a costumed drama in which a story from the Bible is applied to modern life, Funston said.