MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - A Memphis bishop in the Church of God in Christ wants the COGIC convention to come back home. COGIC started in Memphis more than 100 years ago. Now, Bishop Brandon Porter wants to move the massive annual convention back to the Bluff City.
You might have seen the billboards in various areas of Memphis: "COGIC loves Memphis, and Memphis loves COGIC." The billboard campaign is the idea of Bishop Porter. He wants to get things moving for their Holy Convocation to come back to Memphis.
COGIC will be holding their Holy Convocation in St. Louis for at least the next two years. Then, Porter hopes, maybe they'll come home to Memphis. First, he wants to get elected to the church board.
"For over 100 years we've always had someone from Memphis on our executive member board for the church. And after the passing of GE Patterson, now we're without that representation," Porter said.
Memphis representation on the church board is important, Bishop Porter says. This is where the church began. This is still the home of COGIC.
"Memphis is headquarters for COGIC, so we need someone who is sensitive to Memphis, who's aware of the various things that are going on in our city and government."
City officials, including Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, have been talking with church officials about trying to bring the November convocation back to Memphis from St. Louis.
A lot of money comes into this city on the wings of the COGIC angels. Memphis has had a devil of a time trying to get any type of convention into this city that packed the punch of COGIC.
"Memphis is our Mecca and we would certainly like to have that convention back," Porter said. "There's something else I'm doing, until we can get that to happen, is to encourage other conferences that we have to come to the city of Memphis."
COGIC officials have said in the past there aren't enough good hotel rooms in Memphis. Finding enough space might be another problem.
On the last day of the Holy Convocation in St. Louis, they meet at the city's domed football stadium. More than 40,000 people attended the event. FedExForum seats about 20,000.
Porter said, "I'm sure the city wants some kind of commitment from the church. And the church wants a commitment from the city as well."