An estimated 5,000 people packing the Mitchell Center on the University of South Alabama Campus in what was a morning session of the Jehovah's Witness District Convention. Folks coming anywhere from North Florida to Louisiana.
"A chance to get together with friends from all over this part of the country, enjoy Bible-based talks," says Jeff Brewer who attended the conference.
"To delve into the scriptures and to learn ways to apply it in our everyday life and deal with circumstances, in view of things that are happening in the world today," says Brewer's wife, Justina.
The motto this year—"God's word is Truth".
"We believe the Bible is the inspired word of God, and so this convention is taking us through various scriptural passages that emphasize that," says Traveling Overseer Cleon White.
In total, 7,000 people are expected to attend the conference this weekend, and then another 7,000 for the second half next weekend. All bringing a major boost to the local economy.
"Like to get together afterwards and go out to eat, so last night we went to a nice little restaurant and had dinner, in the morning of course, we're stopping through Starbucks," says Brewer.
"Cause we do go to the restaurants and the hotels. Some even come a day before and stay a day after and enjoy other activities," says White.
This is a much needed boost to a cash-strapped city—many will be staying in hotels near the University and exploring our downtown if weather permits. The convention runs through Sunday and again next Friday through Sunday in the Mitchell Center. All sessions are open to the public.