Some feel COGIC too big for Memphis - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Some feel COGIC too big for Memphis

The Church of God in Christ wrapped up its 98th annual Holy Convocation Monday, and now church and city leaders are talking about the convention's future in Memphis.

COGIC leaders say this was one of the best convocations ever, in part, because of attendance.

More than 50,000 COGIC saints showed up, great numbers for the church, but numbers that also have some wondering if the convention is now too big for the Bluff City?

The growing pains were evident Sunday morning. Hundreds of COGIC saints, locked out of the FedEx forum when the arena reached its 18,000 person capacity.

"We've outgrown memphis as a whole. A city like Atlanta would be more accommodating you know cause they have the Georgia Dome," said Detroit delegate Natasha Anderson.

Some COGIC leaders agree.

"Memphis for a longtime may have not been large enough," says Bishop Jerry Maynard.

COGIC is contracted to keep the convocation in Memphis through 2007, and Bishop Maynard says changes need to be made for the convention to stay here.

"I believe that some of the cost factors that we have can be assumed by the convention the bureau, I believe that the city itself could involve itself in some of the expenses that we have," Bishop Maynard says.

Kevin Kane with the Memphis Visitors and Convention Bureau says the city already does a lot.

"We do more for the Church of God in Christ, we provide more services and more financial support than any group that has ever been to this city probably any group that will ever come to this city," Kane says.

Bishop Maynard believes COGIC does a lot for the city too and doesn't want to be taken for granted.

"We're just like a couple, we don't want to do all the loving and not get any love in return," Maynard says.

Kane says he hopes to keep the relationship going.

"Clearly if there's anything that we need to improve we constantly work tirelessly to make it as wonderful as possible for the saints that come here," Kane says.

In the next several weeks COGIC plans to do a complete review of this year's convention and share their concerns with the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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