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lunes, 13 de junio de 2011

Annual convention will draw thousands of Jehovah's Witnesses to Evansville

By Max Roll
Posted June 3, 2011 at 3:07 p.m., updated June 3, 2011 at 3:07 p.m.

An estimated 11,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses from Southern Illinois, Western Kentucky and Southern Indiana are expected to come to Evansville over the weekends of June 10-12 and 17-19 for the ninth annual convention at Roberts Municipal Stadium. It is similar to 381 other conventions taking place in 98 cities across the United States.

The convention will cover a specialized program dealing with Jehovah’s Witnesses practice and serves as a reminder to the followers of the religion to apply the principles of the Bible in their everyday lives.

“Worship of God and religion is not something we feel is a once-a-week situation, where you go to church on Sunday morning and kind of forget about it next week,” said the Rev. Michael Bowman, minister of the Terre Haute South Congregation. “It’s 24-7.”

Bowman said information will be handed out throughout the two weekends to help family members apply Bible practices and cope with everyday problems. He said they will be making the Bible “live.”

“We’ll be going over scriptures and principles that most cases people have heard before,” said Bowman. “It’s a reminder of how to apply the principles every day.”

Jehovah’s Witnesses have other reasons for attending the convention aside from brushing up on scripture and applying religious practices, he said.

“Our primary purpose for coming into Evansville is for the convention and for the instruction, taking notes,” said Bowman. “But at the same time, we get to see people we haven’t seen for maybe a year or longer, and once the programs are over on Friday and Saturday we get with friends and go out and have dinner together.

Bowman said Evansville is a nice location, and everyone he talks to likes the city saying it’s easy to get around, has good restaurants and hotels, nice people working there and “it’s just a nice place to come to.”

Local restaurateur Doros Hadjisavva, who owns Acropolis Greek Restaurant, welcomes the Jehovah’s Witnesses every time they come to town for the convention.

“I have to tell you, they are very polite and they tip good,” Hadjisavva said.

He said his restaurant is packed from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. starting Thursday and running through Saturday while the convention is in town.

Organizers of the Jehovah’s Witnesses convention will decide the next location for the convention around the beginning of January. Bowman said he hopes the convention will continue to be in Evansville.

© 2011 Evansville Courier & Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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