Religious Convention pumps millions into local economy - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Religious Convention pumps millions into local economy

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Hotels booked and restaurants filled, the 2013 Jehovah's Witnesses district convention kicked off Friday, July 12.

Columbus officials say the annual event has a huge impact on the Chattahoochee Valley's economy.

According to a Gallup survey conducted this year, most Americans say religion is losing influence in the United States. However, 75 percent say American society would be better off if more Americans were religious.

"It's helped me in my marriage significantly. When you have two people pulling towards the same goal, it makes the marriage much better," organizer Steve Webb said. "In our relationships with people, [we like to] follow the principles of the Bible about being kind, mild, and not selfish; as we apply those things from the bible then our lives improve accordingly."

"As you can see, thousands of people come from different states, Florida, Georgia, and Alabama to learn about the Bible and to be encouraged," Webb said.

According to officials, nearly 10,000 people will pack in the Columbus Civic Center.

"Jesus said in Mathew 24:14 'This good news will be preached in the entire inhabited earth.' Jehovah's Witnesses is a world wide organization. We feel that's an important work and it's following the example of Jesus. This is taken from the Bible accounts when the Israelites long ago attended annual conventions. That was part of the law that was given to them by the Jehovah God."

The massive drove of participants were estimated to pump more than $1,000,000 into our local economy over the course of the weekend. 

Organizers explained the annual events are not only for practicing Jehovah's Witnesses but for anyone who is curious about their religious beliefs. The convention is free to the public, and will continue through the weekend, ending Sunday, July 14, at 4 p.m. 

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