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THE JACKSONVILLE (FLORIDA) CONVENTION
VERY enjoyable and profitable to all who were present—about one hundred—was the first Convention of the year. The attendance from outside points was not very large. Florida was specially represented; Georgia next. There was a fair sprinkling from a number of the Northern States, including Indiana, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts and Ohio. Commencing February 12th and closing the 16th the time was well occupied. Pilgrim Brothers Hall, Wise, Sullivan, Bundy, and Brother Moffatt and Brother Russell delivered public addresses, besides which a number of brethren took part in the symposium on Love on the last day. We have not a memoranda of all the names; hence think it preferable not to give any of them. The number who embraced the opportunity for symbolizing their consecration by water baptism was quite large for the attendance—twenty-one brethren and seventeen sisters.
The Sunday afternoon meeting in the Opera House, of course, was the most largely attended, so far as the public were concerned, the house being crowded and some standing. The attendance was estimated at twelve hundred.
All seemed agreed that while there is a certain amount of enthusiasm engendered at such Conventions as that of Put-in-Bay last summer, nevertheless the smaller Conventions in other respects have their advantages. We heard numerous expressions to the effect that this was the very best of all the Conventions; that none had ever been more enjoyable, etc.
On the closing day of the Convention Brother Russell was ushered to the platform on a pretext and then informed that the Convention, aware of the fact that the day was the anniversary of his birth, desired to express their love in some substantial manner and, concluding that Brother Russell would most enjoy a birthday token which he could enjoy with the Bible House family, they had shipped to him at Allegheny a box of grape fruit, a crate of pineapples and two boxes of sweet Florida oranges. He was handed the receipted bill and express receipt, accompanied by some very comforting words by the Chairman of the meeting in the name of the entire Convention. He spoke with a great deal of feeling, in which the moist eyes of quite a number of the audience showed deep sympathy. Brother Russell replied in a few words, thanking the dear friends and assuring them of his appreciation of their gift, but telling them that, most of all, he appreciated the love that prompted it and wished them to know that next to the Lord’s love and esteem he prized the love of the brethren.
The love feast in the evening was a very inspiring occasion. Quite a number of the dear friends were moved to tears in connection with the adieus that were then given and received amidst expressions of love and sympathy and hopes of a future meeting, if not on this side of the veil, then in the Kingdom. This closed the Convention proper, although a Colporteur meeting was arranged for the evening of the 16th, which, no doubt, proved both interesting and profitable.
— February 15, 1909 —
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