Jehovah’s Witness Convention Returning to the Central Valley

Mechanics Bank Arena to Host First Large Conventions 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 the Central Valley to host its global three-day event, the 2023 “Exercise Patience”! Convention.

Prior to 2020, summers in the Central Valley were marked by Jehovah’s Witnesses filling hotels and restaurants as they attended their annual conventions at the Mechanics Bank Arena in Bakersfield. In 2020, the pandemic interrupted that tradition when the Witnesses canceled their in-person events throughout the world and held their convention programs as virtual events in more than 500 languages. Earlier this month, the Witnesses brought the tradition back to the Central Valley. They will once again host the three-day weekend programs in English on 07/21/23 through 07/23/23, and in Spanish on 07/28/23 through 07/30/23. Times for both will be from 9:20 am through 4:50 pm daily.

“My family and I have been attending Conventions in Bakersfield for over 26 years,” said Jeff Gregory, a long-time resident of Tulare and local spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses. “We are so excited to see our friends and neighbors from Tulare, Visalia, and all of the Central Valley in-person after this pause.”

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.

“With the uncertainty of the world today, we could all use a refresher course in patience,” said Gregory. “We certainly have had to practice this quality as we waited years to go back to our roots of attending in-person. Virtual conventions were an amazing tool, but seeing warm smiles and having a hug from our friends just melts away stress.”

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 and navigate to the “About Us” tab.

2 thoughts on “Jehovah’s Witness Convention Returning to the Central Valley

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  1. It’s great that Jehovah’s Witnesses are learning to be more patient. They definitely need it as their leaders have been promising for over 100 years that Armageddon (where everyone in the world who is not a JW is doomed for eternal destruction) is right around the corner.

  2. Grew up as a JW, this is a high control group who shuns those who no longer believe, including immediate family members. Not to mention, they actively hide abuse from authorities. I recommend not attending these conventions. They actively look forward to the mass genocide 8 billion people who do not worship Jehovah. It’s all there in their doctrine and literature. In certain countries they are no longer recognized as a religion due to their practices.

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