LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- They are known for going door-to-door but for Jehovah’s Witnesses, COVID-19 has completely changed the way they reach out to their neighbors.
It has now been a full year without knocking on doors for Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world and the 13,000 who call Southern Nevada home.
“I’ve been in the door-to-door ministry since I was 14,” said Bryana Fultz who lives on the eastside of Las Vegas. Fultz has been knocking on doors half of her life, up until the pandemic shutdown. Fultz loves meeting new people and sharing her faith with them.
“You get their energy you can feed off of it, so I think every Jehovah’s Witness absolutely misses that,” Fultz said. Ten days into pandemic shutdown, she also missed out on a ministry trip to India.
Fultz quickly became part of the paradigm shift from in-person ministry to virtual.
“I have been able to conduct bible studies on Zoom. I haven’t missed a meeting in the full year,” Fultz said. “Jehovah’s Witnesses are probably the most public religion on the face of the earth."
We knock on doors, we hold public meetings, public conventions, thousands of them every year and we invite our neighbors to be with us in all of these occasions,” said Robert Hendriks, spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Hendriks explained Jehovah’s Witnesses have remained proactive reaching out to their neighbors despite the pandemic. Efforts never stopped, they just shifted.
“Millions of letters have gone out to neighbors and public officials... and also phone calls,” Hendriks said.
That message has been received. In the past year, nearly a quarter of a million people were baptized.
For many people, having a community to lean on during the pandemic has their invigorated their ministry.
“It has helped some people increase their faith, increase their ministry, and increase their joy because they are all still meeting together,” Fultz said.
Fultz has been vaccinated but is not ready just yet to return to the door-to-door ministry. No timeline has been given by Jehovah’s Witness Leadership for return of door to door ministry but it is something they hope to do in the future.