Jim Norick Arena to Host the First Large Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses Since 2019
After a three-year pandemic pause, one of the largest convention organizations in the world has once again chosen Oklahoma City to host its global three-day event, the 2023 “Exercise Patience”! Convention.
Prior to 2019, summers in Oklahoma City were marked by Jehovah’s Witnesses filling hotels and restaurants as they attended their annual conventions at the Jim Norick Arena. In 2020, the pandemic interrupted that tradition in Oklahoma City when the Witnesses canceled their in-person events throughout the world and held their convention programs as virtual events in more than 500 languages. Beginning May 26, 2023, the Witnesses will bring that tradition back to Oklahoma City.
“We are excited to once again be holding our large, in-person conventions here in Oklahoma City,” said Mike Turner, spokesman for Jehovah's Witnesses. “During the pandemic we
transitioned to a virtual platform to ensure everyone's safety and still enjoyed excellent, high-quality programs. Throughout that time, however, we couldn't wait to resume our large gatherings. There is nothing like being in the company of one another and seeing all those beautiful, smiling faces.”
Some 6,000 conventions will be held worldwide as part of the 2023 “Exercise Patience”! Convention series. In the United States alone, more than 700 conventions will be held in 144 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 prerecorded drama will be featured in two parts during the Saturday and Sunday afternoon sessions.
“Every day we face challenges that test our patience,” said Turner. “Our timely convention program will examine Bible principles that will help us maintain patience despite those challenges, while also demonstrating how exercising patience can lead to a much happier life. It will be three days well spent.” Jehovah’s Witnesses have been holding public conventions in stadiums, arenas, convention centers, and theaters around the world for more than 100 years. After resuming smaller in-person meetings and their public ministry during 2022, the summer of 2023 marks the first time they will gather at much larger regional events around the world since the lifting of pandemic restrictions.
The convention is open to the public and no collection is taken. 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.