COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) - About 4,900 Jehovah's Witnesses from west Georgia, east Alabama and north Florida are meeting in Columbus this weekend.
The three-day convention at the Columbus Civic Center started Friday. The opening message by convention chairman William Adams was for Witnesses to be ready for Jesus' return.
A second convention is scheduled next weekend. The gatherings are among 81 conventions taking place in 81 U.S. cities through September.
Jerry Bylsma of Columbus, an elder in a Cataula Kingdom Hall and volunteer in the sect's news service, says this year's theme is "Keep on the Watch."
Elders are teachers in the congregations, but there are no clergy or paid staff among Jehovah's Witnesses, headquartered in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Information from: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, http://www.ledger-enquirer.com
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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