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Jehovah's Witness convention held in Duluth

Staff Photo: John Bohn Wendell Dallas, his wife Ruth and children Whitney, Brianna and Oliver attend a District Convention of Jehova's Witnesses at The Arena at Gwinnett Center. Over 8,000 people attended the event, with nearly 70 persons being baptised on Saturday.

Staff Photo: John Bohn Wendell Dallas, his wife Ruth and children Whitney, Brianna and Oliver attend a District Convention of Jehova's Witnesses at The Arena at Gwinnett Center. Over 8,000 people attended the event, with nearly 70 persons being baptised on Saturday.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Tiffany Bryant of Monroe, is undergoes a full immersion baptisim by Scotty Smith during a District Convention of Jehova's Witnesses at The Arena at Gwinnett Center Saturday. Over 8,000 people attended the event, with nearly 70 persons being baptised.

DULUTH -- First, Tiffany Bryant was cleansed by the water, giggling as she emerged from the baptismal.

Then her husband Michael took a dip, affirming the family's faith as two of more than 50 Jehovah's Witnesses baptised during an annual convention in Duluth Saturday.

"It just felt right," Tiffany Bryant said, shivering after leaving the warm pool of water behind.

She described a childhood in the faith, but said it took studying the Bible with her mother before she passed away for her to make the commitment Saturday.

Knowing the pair's two young children would grow up in the faith, she said, made the family baptism even more satisfying.

"It's very special," Bryant said, holding her husband's wet hand. "It's nice to know we are devoting our hearts, souls and minds together."

About 8,000 witnesses from throughout North Georgia converged on the Arena at Gwinnett Center this weekend, taking part in the first of four weekends devoted to annual conventions for the local congregations.

Designed for the entire family, the weekend is devoted to spiritual teachings and is one of only two opportunities a year for congregants to be baptised.

"This helps us to be effective in the ministry," Wendell Dallas said of the event.

Dallas and his family have devoted themselves to telling people in the community about their faith, even learning the Hindi language, which is spoken in India, to reach a growing population in Gwinnett.

"We can speak to people in their native tongue, to speak to their hearts," said 18-year-old Whitney, who spurred the family's pursuit of the language, along with her sister Brianna, 15.

The Dallases plan to attend a Hindi convention in New York next month but said the local event serves to help them learn in their first language before learning to teach in their second one.

"Being a teenager in this world right now, there's a lot more drinking in school. There's a lot more drugs in school," Whitney said. "(The lessons) show how applying God's values to our lives benefits, instead of falling victim to mainstream values."

Leaders estimate a total of 32,000 witnesses will take part in one of the four weekends. Events are scheduled for July 20-22, Aug. 17-19 and Aug. 24-26.

Comments

DavidBrown 2 years, 5 months ago

Jehovah's Witnesses are sweet folks who live moral lives. The big problem, though, is that they are false prophets. They have incorrectly prophesied the end of the world a number of times, beginning with 1914. I would urge everyone to not visit their conferences here in Gwinnett.

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Say_that_again 2 years, 5 months ago

Thanks for the laugh. Maybe you can explain how your religion is different? That ought to be good for another laugh. Seriously though, How can you condemn the religion of others without condemning the very idea of religion?

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Karl 2 years, 5 months ago

I imagine his response would be something like, "Bbbbutttt, my myths and superstitions are more believable than your myths and superstitions. My unicorn worship is more believable than your leprechaun worship."

What else could one say in defense of their make-believe?

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FordGalaxy 2 years, 5 months ago

David, I, too, disagree with the beliefs of the Jehovah's Witnesses, but I choose a more Biblical approach.


Romans 16:17 says to mark those that bring a doctrine different from yours and avoid them. You don't have to call them out publically, just use your personal judgment to avoid their teachings.


2 Timothy 4:3 teaches that, as time goes on, people will turn from sound doctrine and heap unto themselves their own doctrine, desiring to hear things that make them feel good, rather than hear the truth of God.


Again, these are my beliefs. If you want to say that I worship a unicorn, fine. That's your opinion. If you feel the need to lambast anyone who chooses a religion because you yourself have chosen not to believe, then fine, you've made your choice. I don't ridicule people for choosing to be atheists, or Jehvoah's Witnesses, or Muslim, or Hindu, etc. Sadly, though, the people most often seen a representative of Christians are the ones who least represent what most Christians believe and practice.

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kevinbp 2 years, 5 months ago

The Jehovah's Witnesses Conventions are a great thing for our community to host. We in the hospitality industry love having this group of wonderful people here! Oh, and take a look at 1 Corinthians, Chapter 3. Applicable to the ugly discussion above. Especially David Brown.

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A_Gwinnett_Atheist 2 years, 5 months ago

Congratulations, you have identified the major purpose of religion. I agree that the convention is a great money maker for Gwinnett. Now the question of ethics. Is it ethical to utilize someones gullibility to make money?

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