ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — For the fourth year in a row Rockford is hosting one of the country’s largest Jehovah’s Witness conventions.
The convention began this past weekend with people coming in from all over the Midwest. Over 20,000 people are expected to attend, which is estimated to bring in $800,000 in local revenue
Jonathan Gomas is the local spokesperson for Jehovah’s Witnesses, he explained why they love having the convention in Rockford.
“We love having the convention here in Rockford, the local chamber of commerce, the facility management, even Friday morning have local law enforcement on the street to keep our delegates safe and keep traffic safe as well,” Gomas said. “We love the hospitality here and look forward to coming here every year to Rockford.”
This year’s focus was on how love never fails. With so much going on in the world the message they want to spread is of peace, love and unity.
“From things we see happening around us in the world today and regardless of our backgrounds or beliefs, a lot of us are affected by the same type of problems,” Gomas said.
Kenzi Brown is entering her sophomore year at Rockford North High School, and she attended the conference with her family.
“It’s important to me to maintain my faith because it helps me to keep a close relationship with God,” Brown said.
She said that seeing other young people at the convention is like family coming together.
“People my age might not recognize their spiritual need but there are a lot of young ones that are here and I enjoy the relationship I have with each one of them.”