• Seventh Kingdom Hall attack doesn't stop Jehovah's Witness convention

    By: Shelby MIller

    Updated:

    Music echoed through Assembly Hall in Puyallup Friday, as hundreds of Jehovah's Witnesses joined in song and worship just feet from this week's arson attempt. 

    Spokesperson Erik Larson said Tuesday's fire was the seventh attack on a South Sound Kingdom Hall in a year and a half. 

    "While we aren't surprised by it, we are saddened. It is disturbing, disconcerting to say the least, but we're not going to let it come between us and our worship of God," said Larson.

    The arsons began in March of 2018. Since then, two Olympia Kingdom Halls burned to the ground.

    "It's hard to understand how a person could have so much animosity towards peace-loving people, such as Jehovah's Witnesses," said David Bronson. 

    Bronson's felt the impact twice. 

    He attended the Cain Road Kingdom Hall that burned down in July 2018. Five months later, the Carpenter Road location his congregation moved to was also destroyed.

    "I wouldn't say it was like a recurring nightmare, but maybe close to that," said Bronson.

    Last year, investigators released surveillance video of a suspect dressed in all black, lighting a fire that quickly spread. 

    "It's arson, but it's an act of violence and I think when we start connecting violence to what's going on around the world, it's kind of scary," said Audrey Travis, Aurora Village congregation member.

    Rather than seek revenge, the community wants to spread love.

    The title of this weekend's convention is "Love Never Fails."

    "In a world that's filled with hatred and violence, having some reminders of how to be more loving in our daily lives," said Larson. "Especially in the face of this week's events, having those reminders is really critical for us."

    Larson hopes the person or people committing the crimes hears their message and has a change of heart. 

    © 2019 Cox Media Group.

    See below KIRO 7's previous coverage on the Kingdom Hall attacks in the South Sound.

    >> Seventh Kingdom Hall attack doesn't stop Jehovah's Witness convention

    >> ATF releases profile of persons of interest behind arsons at Jehovah's Witnesses halls

    >>  Arson destroys Jehovah's Witnesses hall in Lacey

    >> Once again, Thurston County Jehovah's Witnesses hall targeted in attack

    >> Reward offered in arsons at Jehovah's Witnesses halls

    >> Shots fired into Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses

     


     

    Next Up: