Wharton asks COGIC leaders to return events to Memphis

(WMC-TV) - A team headed by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton and Convention and Visitor's Bureau President Kevin Kane asked Church of God in Christ leaders to consider bringing their annual convocation back to Memphis Friday.

At Pentecostal Temple and other COGIC churches in Memphis, there was a longing for the church's annual convocation to return to the Bluff City.

"We've got our prayers and our hands going up and we're expecting to get them back," said COGIC member Terrence Whiting.

Wharton and Kane traveled with a team to St. Louis to meet with COGIC leaders and ask them to come back.

"We had a great meeting, great dialogue," said Kane.  "A real positive spirit of cooperation."

Kane said in their meetings with COGIC leaders, they talked about a new relationship and some new incentives regarding hotels and other accommodations.

"We did talk about some things that we would do in the event they would reconsider Memphis in the future," he said.

However, Kane said because of already established contracts that COGIC has with St. Louis and Memphis has for the November dates when the convocation is usually held, it may be a few years before the event returns.

"The earliest we're talking about would be at least three years from now, 2014 would be the very earliest," said Kane.

Local COGIC members said the convocation is worth the wait.

"There's nothing like home, and this is COGIC's home here in Memphis, Tennessee," said Whiting.

Kane said in talks with COGIC leaders, they also discussed the possibility of the group's women's conventions and several other large events being held in Memphis.

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