BONNE TERRE – Rudy Gonzalez, professor of New Testament at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, is the featured speaker at an upcoming conference focusing on the beliefs and practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Sonrise Baptist Church in Bonne Terre is hosting “Witnesses Now for Jesus – Midwest,” a regional apologetics conference that features sound Bible teaching and testimonies from former Jehovah’s Witnesses, July 26-28. The event is open to all, and admission is free.
Gonzalez was introduced to the religion as a youth, as his mother attended a Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall. But a friend led him to faith in Christ, and a year later Gonzalez answered God’s call to ministry. He pastored his first church in Hobbs, N.M., and then earned a B.A. degree from Criswell College, an M.Div. degree from Southwestern Seminary, an M.Th. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in New Testament from Baylor University.
He has traveled and taught extensively in the U.S. and abroad, and is published in both English and Spanish.
Other speakers include Kay L. Meyer, founder and president of Family Shield Ministries, St. Louis; Martin Winslow, pastor of children and families at Canaan Baptist Church, St. Louis; Don Veinot, a former atheist who now serves as president of Midwest Christian Outreach; and Daniel Weyand, pastor of Sonrise Baptist Church.
In addition to these and other speakers are former Jehovah’s Witnesses and spouses of Jehovah’s Witnesses, who share their testimonies and their insights into witnessing to members of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society.
Speakers also plan to provide practical advice to pastors seeking to help former JWs make the transition from counterfeit to orthodox Christianity.
Gonzalez is scheduled to speak on: “The New World Translation Under the Lens of Biblical Greek” and “Sharing the Gospel with Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
Other topics include:
• “So You Say You Believe in Jesus” by Charles Smith
• “The Jesus of the Bible and the Jesus of the Watchtower” by Charles Kelley
• “The Need for Humor in our Recovery” by Julie McAllen
• “Physical or Spiritual Resurrection?” by Bob Gray
• Catching the Wise in Their Cunning” by Jesus Tovar
• “Why?” by Ed Havaich
“This important event gives participants an opportunity to hear from former Jehovah’s Witnesses, pick up practical advice for engaging Jehovah’s Witnesses in meaningful conversations, and ground themselves more deeply in the Word of God,” according to event organizer Charles Smith, a former Jehovah’s Witness who now serves in the Missouri Baptist Apologetics Network.
Admission is free. However, pre-registration is requested by contacting Smith at 314-277-3866 or firstname.lastname@example.org.