Witnesses reach out to promote convention - Champion Newspapers: News

Witnesses reach out to promote convention

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Posted: Saturday, August 11, 2018 8:00 am

Smartly dressed men and women holding shoulder bags and pamphlets streamed out of the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Chino Monday morning to invite the community to their annual convention.

They were animated as they headed to Chino Valley neighborhoods to knock on doors as witnesses of their beliefs.

The final two of five conventions at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario will be held the weekends of Aug. 17 to 19 and Aug. 24 to 26. Thousands of conventions are being held globally.

The free event will feature topics such as despair versus hope, complaint versus thanksgiving, and bad versus good associations.

The Kingdom Hall on Walnut Avenue is a low-profile structure without windows, built in the mid-1960s.

It is home to four congregations composed primarily of residents in Chino Hills and Chino. One of the congregations is Spanish-speaking.

Elder has history here

Longtime Chino resident Jim Kirton, an elder and a member of the convention committee was baptized in 1971 at the age of 18 and has been an elder for 37 years.

He said he was raised Catholic but happened to be at his girlfriend’s house when a Jehovah’s Witness was calling on her mother.

He warned her to be careful, but after asking questions and reading the literature, he became one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

He later met his wife Carolyn at a Kingdom Hall and the couple married in 1973.

They moved to Chino in 1978 and celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary in May.

The Kirtons’ two children attended Don Lugo High School. He retired three years ago after owning a landscape business for 30 years.

Mr. Kirton said he was introverted and dreaded going door-to-door at first but later he began looking forward to it.

He said he is proud to go door-to-door with his wife to discuss marriage and how it takes courage to work through marital issues.

No secrets

Howard L. Martinez, an elder in Nogales La Puente congregation who handles media outreach for the conventions, said some believe the Jehovah’s Witnesses have secret beliefs but that is not the case.

“Each time we knock on doors we share our beliefs,” he said. “There is no secret.”

He said a website called JW.org contains all the information people would like to know about the church.

Some of the beliefs unique to the Jehovah’s Witnesses are that 144,000 witnesses will rule with Christ in heaven.

The familiar Awake! and Watchtower publications often show beautiful drawings of “paradise on earth” with green grass, fruit trees, and people living at peace with animals.

They believe that everlasting life will take place on earth in peaceful park-like conditions.

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