PORTLAND — Thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses from across the Northeast will converge on the city Friday for the first of two consecutive three-day weekend conventions.

The event, to be held at the Cumberland County Civic Center, will focus on the theme of remaining close to God and includes baptism ceremonies for new ministers and sessions on enhancing family communication through a relationship with God.

Doug Edson, a spokesman for the church, said about 5,300 people from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts are expected to attend the gathering. A similar number is anticipated for a convention with the same theme June 4-6.


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