RALEIGH – Thousands of worshippers are in Raleigh this weekend for a Jehovah's Witness Convention.
This is the first of two conventions at the RBC Center.
"We're here to take in a day of spritual food," Sharon Foster, of Durham, said as she and her daughter Camryn made their way into the arena early Sunday morning.
"People are struggling to really make it. So these conventions are a provision from Jehovah to help us," she said.
Foster said other witnesses are a supportive network. At conventions, she and her daughter love seeing their fellow friends in the faith.
"If you're down, they'll help you turn that frown upside down," said 8-year-old Camryn.
More than 20,000 Jehovah's Witnesses came together in Raleigh for conventions over two weekends. But they're just from central and eastern North Carolina. Around the nation, 1.5 million worshippers will attend conventions by September.
The theme of this year's convention is "Keep on the Watch."
"'Keep on the watch' is based on helping us know what to do. We feel this is a time for the end of this old system, no man knows the day nor the hour, but the season is here. We're trying to strengthen our families," said Jehovah's Witness Elder Gene Clifton, of Wilmington.
Family is what it's all about for the Fosters. They're coming together as mother and daughter, to grow in their faith.
"It's very fulfilling spiritually," Foster said.
The next session begins Aug. 7 and goes through Aug. 9 at the RBC Center in Raleigh.
All Jehovah's Witness conventions are free and open to the public.