He has had doors slammed in his face and has been on the receiving end of profanity-laced verbal attacks.
Don Stenson said it is all part of being a Jehovah's Witness.
The 69-year-old Columbus man says going door to door in neighborhoods to deliver God's message is a large part of his faith and not everybody he approaches wants to listen.
He finds the times he is welcomed into a home very rewarding. Sometimes, the resident is someone who is sick or elderly and needs help from a social service of which he or another Jehovah's Witness has knowledge. Sometimes, the resident is lonely and just wants somebody with whom to talk.
"In Matthew 24:14, it says the good news of God's kingdom must be preached throughout the whole world. Jesus went to the people. We are imitating Jesus," Stenson said.
"Imitate Jesus" is the theme of the Jehovah's Witnesses Convention that will be held at the Columbus Civic Center over two weekends in July. Approximately 9,400 Jehovah's Witnesses from the northern Florida Panhandle, southwest Georgia and east Alabama are expected to attend the regional convention.
The Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates the event will have a $1.3 million impact on the local economy.
The first event will be July 3-5 and the second July 10-12. The sessions will start at 9:20 a.m. each day. They will finish at 4:55 p.m. except on Sunday when the session will end an hour earlier.
Stenson serves as the convention manager. He said one does not have to be a Jehovah's Witness to attend the free event and that anyone interested in learning more about the Bible can come.
Local Jehovah's Witnesses have sent invitations to people in the area in which they live.
"Jesus, the founder of Christianity, is widely considered as one of the most influential and significant men who ever lived," said convention spokesman William Goodman of Albany, Ga. "As Christians, a core belief of Jehovah's Witnesses is that Jesus lived his life as a model for us to follow. The Imitate Jesus convention will examine Jesus' life as outlined in the Bible and emphasize how all, regardless of their background, lifestyle or religion, can benefit in practical ways from his example and teachings."
Goodman said a highlight of the program will be the keynote address Friday morning called, "Concealed in Him are All the Treasures of Wisdom."
There will also be videos of theatrical productions.
"We used to do the plays live but this way we don't have to be concerned with costumes and props," Stenson said.
He said while there will be a lunch break, no food will be served.
"Many people bring a meal," Stenson said.
Worldwide, there are more than eight million members of the denomination. Stenson said there are about 1,800 in the Columbus-Phenix City area. He said there are 18 congregations. Several congregations may meet in one Kingdom Hall. There are six in the area.
"We keep the congregations small that people receive more personal attention," he said. "We are in the people business."
The congregations are financed by voluntary donations. No collections are taken at meetings and members are not require to tithe. There are contribution boxes in the hall, one for donations for the church's worldwide efforts such as bringing relief to victims of natural disasters and constructing houses of worship in developing countries, and another for funds to be used locally.
"We have no paid clergy and nobody gets any money for going to houses," Stenson said.
A body of elders leads each congregation and rotate leading services and delivering lectures.
Stenson is an elder in his congregation.
Asked what is the biggest misconception about Jehovah's Witnesses, Stenson replied it is that their faith is not Christian.
"We believe the only hope for man kind is through the sacrifice of Jesus," Stenson said. "We believe Jesus is the key to salvation."
The key difference between Jehovah's Witnesses and other Christian denominations is Jehovah's Witnesses recognize Jesus as the son of God but don't believe God and Jesus to be the same.
The denomination's literature says Jehovah's Witnesses take Jesus at his word in John 14:28, "The Father is greater than I."
Jehovah's Witnesses do not celebrate Christmas or Easter but in the spring have a day called the Memorial, which commemorates the death of Jesus rather than his birth or resurrection.