Jehovah's Witnesses gather at annual convention in Tennessee

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) -- Thousands of Jehovah's Witnesses met this weekend for a time of fellowship and spiritual guidance at their annual convention.

The loss of five local ministers during a plane crash last year was deeply felt by the 9,000 members from Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky.

Gerald Booth, Craig Clark, Victor James Osborne, Leon Rosko and Randall Walp, all of East Tennessee, all died in September when the plane they were in crashed in a remote area of the Cherokee National Forest.

Ken Ross, a convention representative from Jonesborough, told the Johnson City Press on Saturday the ministers were a very intimate part of the group and are missed deeply. Thousands of Jehovah's Witnesses attended their memorial service last September.

But members of the convention said the ministers' work carries on. The "Guided by God's Spirit" convention is split between two successive weekends.


Information from: Johnson City Press,

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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