Jehovah’s Witnesses kick off the first of two three-day events in Columbia Friday, with the program theme, “Keep Seeking First God’s Kingdom!”
The event will highlight the connection between family values and the teachings of Jesus Christ during the three-day convention at Colonial Life Arena downtown. Events all three days start at 9:20 a.m. and are free and open to the public.
Twenty-seven Midlands congregations are distributing invitations to residents through August for the two conventions this summer. About 25,000 will be at the Colonial Life Arena for both events, part of a series of conventions being held in 71 U.S. cities.
“A core belief of Jehovah’s Witnesses, based on Biblical and historical evidence, is that Jesus Christ began to rule as the King of God’s Kingdom in 1914. The convention program marks this year as the centennial of that event,” convention spokesman Bill Sims Jr. said in a statement.
Witnesses, who meet at Kingdom Halls, are distinctive for their door-to-door evangelism and distribution of their publications. They avoid blood transfusions and are opposed to military service, seeking conscientious objector status. While Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, they do not adhere to mainstream Christianity’s belief in the Trinity. They baptize by immersion. Jehovah’s Witnesses tend to remove themselves from politics and abstain from pursuits of wealth and pleasure.
Witnesses number more than 7.9 million worldwide in over 113,000 congregations.