Jehovah's Witnesses cancel annual convention in Missoula

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Terry Strickland, his wife Jackie and daughter Yolanda, from right, listen during one of the symposiums at the Jehovah’s Witnesses convention in 2017 in Missoula.

Tom Bauer David Erickson

For the second year in a row, the religious organization Jehovah’s Witnesses of the United States of America have canceled their annual convention in Missoula.

Since 2012, the event has drawn about 3,500 extremely well-dressed people to the Adams Center on the University of Montana campus for a multi-day gathering in the summer.

The pandemic halted those plans in 2020 and organizers decided to hold a virtual event this year.

“Jehovah’s Witnesses have held conventions in Montana for over 40 years,” explained Charles Ersland, a Bozeman-based media representative for the organization. “I would say there’s a little bit of disappointment. Being together is what you miss. It’s pretty incredible.”

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Ersland estimated that there are probably 300 Jehovah’s Witnesses in Missoula, so the vast majority of conference attendees

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