After nearly three years, Jehovah’s Witnesses in Nigeria are set to resume their larger gatherings with the 2023 “Exercise Patience!” Regional Convention series.
“Jehovah’s Witnesses are extremely happy with the opportunity to once again meet at their larger facilities,” Olusegun Eroyemi, the national spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Nigeria, said in a statement announcing the imminent commencement of the 2023 regional convention series.
He noted that these large assemblies have been held virtually since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Although Jehovah’s Witnesses in Nigeria resumed meetings at their Kingdom Halls in April 2022, their larger assembly facilities remained under lock,” Eroyemi said.
He assured that arrangements have been put in place to ensure that the recommended safety protocols are implemented in all 23 Assembly Halls across the country.
On his part, Afolabi Odeyemi, a Regional spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses, disclosed that Ota in Ogun State, Ilesa in Osun State, amongst others, are set to host the first set of “Exercise Patience!” conventions in Nigeria.
He said: “Prior to 2019, dry seasons in these cities were marked by Jehovah’s Witnesses filling hotels and restaurants as they attended their annual conventions at the various Assembly Halls across Nigeria. In 2020, the pandemic interrupted that tradition, when the Witnesses cancelled their in-person events throughout the world and held their convention programs as virtual events in more than 500 languages.
“Beginning first week in August, 2023, the Witnesses will bring that tradition back to Ota.”
“As much as we loved the convenience and quality of our virtual conventions, nothing can replace being together in a large group setting. While our online conventions reached millions around the world and kept our communities safe, we long to get back to our joyful fellowship at these large gatherings,” Odeyemi added.
He noted that some 6,000 conventions would be held worldwide as part of the 2023 “Exercise Patience!” Convention series that started outside Nigeria from January 7, 2023.
“In the Nigeria alone, more than 320 conventions will be held in 39 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 pre-recorded drama will be featured in two parts during the Saturday and Sunday afternoon sessions,” Odeyemi said.
He stressed that the convention is open to the public and no collection is taken, adding: “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.”