The Henrietta Assembly Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses will return to full operation on March 11, 2023, as some 1,000 attend the first in-person religious conference held there in nearly three years, providing an economic boost to the community.
Tricia Kolb, director of sales and marketing at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Rochester, welcomes the reopening of the facility, especially after local economic setbacks due to COVID-19. “The DoubleTree Rochester believes business and community go hand in hand. When booking JW conventions, we know what to expect, from the ease of writing contracts to the blocks completely selling out two days after the booking goes live,” said Kolb. “We look forward to welcoming back families that have waited all year to attend the convention. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jehovah’s Witnesses for the years of continued loyalty. We look forward to hosting in 2023 and beyond.”
There are 39 events over 25 weekends planned for 2023 at the Henrietta Assembly Hall, according to Peter Schmidt, local spokesperson for Jehovah’s Witnesses. “In total, we anticipate upwards of 33,000 visitors who will attend these events ranging in length between one and three days,” said Schmidt.
“Making a proactive nationwide decision to close our houses of worship to in-person events protected both our congregants and our communities,” said Robert Hendriks, U.S. spokesperson for Jehovah’s Witnesses. “However, our in-person assemblies and conventions are a highlight of our annual calendar and an important part of our worship. We are excited to be back.”
Local Jehovah’s Witnesses are also eager to return to Henrietta. Terry Boshart, of Rome, New York, has been attending events at this assembly hall since it opened in 1988 and fondly remembers attending his first assembly there. “It was amazing,” he said.
As a general contractor, Boshart felt privileged to volunteer his skills to help build the facility. He has happy memories of working with friends from the foundation to the finishes.
Boshart said he looks forward to attending the in-person program in April. After nearly three years of virtual events, he is excited to be with friends he has not seen in a long time.
The Christian denomination now operates 45 assembly halls across the United States, including four in New York. Entry at all events is always free. You may find more details on the organization’s official website, jw.org.