In this blog I will be reporting on my attendance at the 2007 District Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Since the story is a bit longer than I initially intended, I will break it up into more readable pieces over the next few days. I have never attended one of their conventions so I guess I had more to write about than I originally thought.
Every year the Jehovah’s Witness have District Conventions all over the globe. The JWs locally meet at the Bell County Expo Center in Belton, Texas. Weeks before the actual event, JWs will canvass neighborhoods and pass out invitations to this three day event. Last year Becky attended the convention for a few hours one day. This year we decided it was my turn.
I attended last Friday, July 13th and was able to stay the whole day. I wanted to attend the convention without bringing any attention to myself or cause any kind of trouble. When I arrived, I parked on the North side of the building and wanted to figure out the traffic flow. I didn’t want to get caught on the wrong side of the building and forced to go in a direction that I did not want to go. I decided to walk over to one of the parking attendants on the other side of the building and ask about the traffic flow.
As I was there talking to him, someone came up behind us in a golf cart. I turned around to see what was going on and the passenger in the cart said, “Hey, Keith! How are you doing?” I could not believe my eyes. What are the chances that I would get spotted by someone who knows me and I haven’t even been inside the building yet? The passenger was a JW I studied with a number of years ago. S.R. knows about our ministry and drops by the house from time to time to see how we are doing. He is a very like-able guy and were it not for the fact that the Watchtower discourages JWs from making friends of Christians who critique the organization, I think we could be very good friends.
He was genuinely happy to see me and probably a bit puzzled as well. He made sure I was OK and that I got my questions answered and then asked if I was “still doing [my] thing,” referring to our ministry. I said I was and he asked if I had any questions for him about their beliefs;
S.R. You know I’ve always got lots of questions.
That is true, you always come up with some pretty
good ones! So is there anything in particular you would like to
I was hesitant to get into anything right in the parking lot because I really wanted to just observe the convention and didn’t want to take any chance of getting kicked out. Not that I think S.R. would do that, but I have no doubt that someone with more authority and who does not know me would not think twice about asking me to leave. To his credit, S.R. recognized my hesitancy and said that he would stop by my house and we could talk then. I agreed to that and then started to make my way to the building.
As I was walking to the building, S.R. invited me to sit with his family and then jumped out of the golf cart to escort me to where they were sitting. This really was not turning out the way I had planned. I was hoping to be able to come and go unnoticed, take a few pictures and just observe the convention. Now, all of a sudden, I am going to be sitting next to someone who is very familiar with our ministry- an elder and his family. I politely accepted his offer and followed him into the center.