About 3,000 Marion residents to attend Friday’s Jehovah’s Witnesses District Convention
OCALA – Jesse Myers’ search for the right church was a long journey. Myers said he attended another Christian church for 41 years, but never joined because he was searching for a church he felt was doing things the right way.
“I would attend church and watch people and their conduct,” said the 65-year-old Myers. “I was looking for people that practiced what they preached.”
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He found what he was looking for after he started studying the Bible with the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
“I didn’t know what was in the Bible, but I found them to be practicing what I was learning,” he said. “That really satisfied me from a personal standpoint.”
On Friday, Myers will be among 3,000 people from Marion County expected to attend the 2006 “Deliverance at Hand” District Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville.
Marion County has seven Kingdom Halls and 13 congregations, and Alachua County has five Kingdom Halls and eight congregations. From May through September, Jehovah’s Witnesses will hold 266 conventions in 73 cities throughout the United States.
Tony Fowler, the local convention’s news service coordinator, said the massive volunteer effort to invite people and the global effort to advertise this year is due to their belief that only God can deliver mankind from the effects of inherited sin and its consequences – and that God’s day of judgment, which will bring an end to all wickedness, crime and oppression, is fast approaching.
“These conventions are for any persons who want to follow the Bible, any person wanting to live life as a true Christian,” said Fowler, 35, a Jehovah’s Witness all his life. “These conventions will strengthen them to keep that mentality.”
The three-day event, expected to draw 10,000 to 12,000, including 8,000 delegates from Ocala, Gainesville, Jacksonville and parts of Georgia, is open to the public.
The program, sponsored by the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, includes workshops, skits, demonstrations and a baptism ceremony on Saturday. It concludes with a Bible-based drama presentation on Sunday.
“The theme ‘Deliverance at Hand’ is going to be focusing really on how God’s Kingdom is the solution. It’s what’s going to solve the problems that we see on Earth today,” Fowler said.
Fowler said that last year the convention was spiritually edifying for him and it reinforced and strengthened his determination to follow God’s direction, an unpopular course in today’s society. He said Jehovah’s Witnesses have a high standard that they live by.
“You can’t just live any way that you want to live and that’s acceptable to God,” Fowler said.
SOME BELIEFS OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
These members of a worldwide religion go from door to door to actively share with others their beliefs about God.
First-century Christianity is their model.
In addition to drawing one closer to God, living by Bible principles gives purpose to life, promotes strong family ties and develops productive and honest citizens.
“Jehovah” is the name of the only true God, the creator of all things.
Jesus is the Son of God but is not equal with God or part of a Trinity. He died on stake to save mankind, not on a cross, as most Christians believe.
The righteous will have everlasting life on an earthly paradise. The unrighteous will not be tormented in hell but will cease to exist.
Jehovah’s Witnesses have “no part of the world.” They do not take part in wars or politics or celebrate holidays that promote nationalism.
They refuse to accept blood transfusions.
True Christians do not celebrate Christmas, Easter or birthdays.
Jehovah’s Witnesses view marriage as a serious, lifelong commitment and look to the Bible in resolving marital problems.
Source: www.jw-media.org and www.watchtower.org