BELTON — Andrea Williams has attended Jehovah’s Witnesses conventions ever since her parents were baptized into the faith when she was 4 years old. Now 44 years old, Williams, of Copperas Cove, thinks back to her childhood and said the faith provided her with a stable family life growing up.
“(My parents) passed on good morals and hard work so it was a good environment to grow up in,” Williams said Friday during the 2013 District Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses at the Bell County Expo Center. “(The religion gives us) a strong family and congregation.”
The theme for this year’s three-day convention, which kicked off Friday, is: “God’s Word is Truth.” It’s hosted by the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses and is free and open to the public.
More than 4,000 people are
expected to attend each day of the conference, said David W. Murray, assistant news service overseer for the convention. Jehovah’s Witnesses base their beliefs solely on the Bible and worship Jehovah, which is the personal name of God as found in the Bible, as the creator and ruler of the universe.
Williams met her husband, Greg, in 1983 at one of the many conventions she’s attended annually.
Greg said he was born into the faith by parents who are Jehovah’s Witnesses.
“When you try to live by good morals, it makes you a little different from other people,” Greg said. “But I appreciate it now that I’m older. I look back and appreciate my upbringing very much and am grateful for my parents.”
Solomon Powell and his wife, Carole, of Copperas Cove, have attended the annual convention for nearly 20 years.
“It’s a friendly atmosphere. It’s the highlight of the year for us,” said Solomon Powell, who became a Jehovah’s Witness in 1994. “Not only do we come to listen to the information ... we also get to see brothers and sisters that we don’t get to see on a daily basis so we get to renew those friendships.”
Powell said he was drawn to the religion because whenever he had questions about faith, the Bible had answers.
“That was the key that drew me to it,” Powell said. “And when you go to a convention, if you’ve never been there before, people act like you’ve been there your whole life.”
The convention continues throughout the weekend and includes numerous lectures, songs, baptisms and drama, entitled “Prepare Your Heart for the Trials Ahead.”
Michael Black, director of the drama, said the cast of 26 volunteers will perform a play based on the book or Esther.
“We’ve been working on it since April. It’s always a highlight for us,” Black said.
“It strengthens confidence and faith in God’s word. It’s a fantastic way to convey the message in the Bible. It’s an effective way to reach the heart of the audience, something they always enjoy and remember.”