“Divine Victory” Assembly Begins
DETROIT, Michigan’s Tiger Stadium was the scene of the opening of the “Divine Victory” International Assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses, June 20-24. The early attendance estimate of 45,000 was topped by the second day of the assembly; Sunday afternoon 52,349 persons heard the public lecture.
The Detroit gathering is the first of over 60 assemblies scheduled. These will run through August in the continental United States, Canada, Europe and Asia; South Pacific, African, Middle and South American assemblies take up thereafter and continue into January of next year. However, the Detroit assembly itself was international. Delegates came from thirty-one nations. Forty-three missionaries were in attendance representing seventeen lands. Conventioners from forty-nine states were also on hand.
All five assembly days were packed with spiritual information, in the form of Bible lectures and various symposiums. Conventioners were thrilled with the announcement and description of a ‘special work’; some described it as soon to make “world news.” A major television studio filmed for later showing a seven-minute portion of one of the four dramas presented.
Watchtower Society President N. H. Knorr delivered the public lecture “Divine Victory—Its Meaning for Distressed Humanity.” Concerning the impending destruction of all wickedness by God, Brother Knorr asked: “On whose side of the battlefield of Har–Magedon is each one of us?” He referred to the “great crowd” of earthly survivors of the “tribulation” who will cry out: “Victory to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”—Rev. 7:9-15, “New English Bible.”
A total of 982 persons were baptized at the assembly, thereby setting themselves on the side of those proclaiming “divine victory.” Among them were persons of all ages and backgrounds. Some had been marijuana and tobacco users, alcoholics and immoral persons. All proved themselves victorious over such problems in order to be baptized. Their lives now harmonize with high Biblical standards.
Those same high principles favorably impressed the city of Detroit. The local “News” referred to the assembly as “one of the largest, best organized, cleanest, and quietest conventions in Detroit.” Numerous officials and businessmen voiced sincere praise for the Witnesses. The vice-president of a motel chain said: “Yours was one of the finest groups of people we have ever had stay here.” Observed an official at Wayne State University, where the baptism was held: “I have been around this university for 18 years and many years previously I was with Madison Square Garden in New York City, but I have never seen a more orderly, quiet group of people.”
The “Divine Victory” assembly starting in Detroit gives evidence that God’s people are living up to their commission to preach internationally the “good news” about God’s coming victory. Even now their message is having lasting favorable effects on people’s lives, “bearing fruit and increasing in all the world.”—Matt. 24:14; Col. 1:6, 23.