30,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses to convene at Nutter Center
This week you may notice groups of people walking around Dayton wearing badges that say “Guided by God’s Spirit.”
The saying is the theme of the 2008 District Convention of the Jehovah’s Witness taking place Friday, July 11, through Sunday, July 13, at the Ervin J. Nutter Center, 3640 Col. Glenn Highway.
This weekend marks the third of four Jehovah’s Witness conventions scheduled for Dayton this year. The event not only provides a spiritual boost for members and non-members of the faith but it also stimulates the local economy as well.
Approximately 30,000 delegates from the tri-state will converge in the Miami Valley for the three-day confab. Convention-goers will spend more than $1.6 million for food, lodging and gas in the Greater Dayton area. This is the 13th consecutive year of Jehovah’s Witness conventions in the Gem City. The previous 12 have generated more than $20 million locally.
“A lot of people are traveling in from Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Kentucky,” said Jehovah’s Witness spokesperson Ken Harmer. “Some will even stay around and visit places in Dayton and make a vacation of it.”
The convention begins at 9:20 a.m. each day. The Friday opening ceremony answers the question “Why Be Guided by God’s Spirit?” Saturdayfeatures a baptism ceremony for new members and on Sunday there will be a full-costumed drama set in the early days of Christianity. Attendance is free, open to the public and no collections will be taken.
“The thrust of the programs are to help people understand the Bible better,” Harmer said. “The convention is not just one person getting up and talking for an hour or two. There are interviews and demonstrations. It’s an interesting program, a Bible-based discourse focused on the spiritual aspects of God’s guidance.”