Jehovah’s Witnesses Grow as Virtual Meetings and Conventions Keep Worshipers Active and Safe | Local News

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For devotees like Yates, the virtual pivot has meant trading in his school bag for a landline phone, laptop, iPad and smartphone and his walking shoes for slippers. Its tools have changed, but its message is the same. She regularly shares scriptures with dozens of community members and hosts free Bible lessons by phone and Zoom with more than 20 people a month.

Last year, the international organization reported unprecedented spikes in the number of people participating in their volunteer preaching work, an increase in attendance at Zoom meetings and more than 171,000 newly baptized believers. Over the past two years, more than 400,000 people have been baptized worldwide, according to the press release.

Some whose ministry or attendance at church services had slowed due to age and poor health said they felt invigorated by the convenience of virtual meetings and home ministry.

“I had the opportunity to work with older people on Zoom that I had never worked with before because they weren’t able to hang out,” Tracy Hutchinson said. “There’s such a connection that if we didn’t have that, I think it would definitely be harder to stay positive like we have been.”

The Hutchinsons use Zoom to worship twice a week with their congregation in Franklin, North Carolina, and regularly join online ministry groups to comfort neighbors and family through phone calls, letters, texts and emails. -mails.

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