Jehovah’s Witnesses begin 3-day conference in Charleston

3-day conference in Charleston

Jehovah’s Witnesses begin
3-day conference in Charleston

Friday June 09, 2006
More than 5,300 Jehovah’s Witnesses from four states are meeting at the Charleston Civic Center for a three-day annual conference.

They were to have three days of Bible instruction from 9:40 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. today and Saturday and from 9:40 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. They will take a 90-minute break at noon for a light meal and fellowship, said John Roncaglione, who has worked the last year to put together the event.

Roncaglione said 71 congregations in West Virginia and parts of Maryland, southeastern Ohio and eastern Kentucky are taking part.

Roncaglione, 53, lives in St. Albans, where he is presiding overseer — and unpaid minister — of the St. Albans congregation. “We have 75 publishers. Publishers are people who go out and preach the good news in our witnessing campaign,” he said.

Most of the visitors arrived Thursday evening for a three-day hotel stay, filling all available rooms in seven downtown hotels and overflowing into other area hotels, said Judy Ward of the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau.

A convention of this size brings about $2.3 million in business to the Charleston area, Ward said.

According to the religion’s official Web site, www.watchtower.org, there are 6.6 million Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide and more than 1 million in the United States.

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