Jehovah’s Witness convention returning to Alexandria

Special to the Leesville Leader

After a three-year pandemic pause, one of the largest convention organizations in the world has once again chosen Alexandria to host its global three-day event, the 2023 “Exercise Patience” Convention.

Prior to 2019, summers in Lake Charles were marked by Jehovah’s Witnesses filling hotels and restaurants as they attended their annual conventions at the Lake Charles Civic Center or Burton Coliseum. In 2020, the pandemic interrupted that tradition in Alexandria when the Witnesses canceled their in-person events throughout the world and held their convention programs as virtual events in more than 500 languages. Beginning June 16, the Witnesses will bring that tradition back to Alexandria.

“As much as we loved the convenience and quality of our virtual conventions, nothing can replace being together in a large group setting,” said David Taylor, spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses. “Jehovah’s Witnesses have had a presence in the city of Alexandria since the early 1950s. However, this will be our first time in over 40 years to meet as a large group for our Regional Convention in this city. It was our desire to attend this event at the Rapides Parish Coliseum before the pandemic began in 2020, but we had to ‘exercise patience’ until circumstances allowed us to attend our in-person meetings safely. While our online conventions reached millions around the world and kept our communities safe, we longed to get back to our joyful fellowship at these large gatherings.”

Some 6,000 conventions will be held worldwide as part of the 2023 “Exercise Patience” Convention series. In the United States alone, more than 700 conventions will be held in 144 host cities.

From Friday through Sunday, six convention sessions will explore the quality of patience, highlighting its modern-day relevance through Scriptural examples. A live baptism will be performed following the Saturday morning session and a prerecorded drama will be featured in two parts during the Saturday and Sunday afternoon sessions.

The convention is open to the public and no collection is taken. For more information on the program or to find other convention locations and dates, please go to jw.org and navigate to the “About Us” tab.

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