COGIC under fire after leader uses gay slur during convocation

Cogic leader uses gay slur at convocation

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The Memphis COGIC denomination is making headlines after a video was posted showing a female spiritual leader using a gay slur at this year’s convocation.

This comes days after COGIC announced it would bring its annual convocation back to its home in the Bluff City,

We reached out to COGIC multiple times Thursday about the video but have yet to hear back.

However, the denomination's director of public relations told the Commercial Appeal on Wednesday it does show Mother Frances Kelley and was taken in St Louis at their Holy Convocation earlier this month.

“God can’t use no men trying to be women, we call ‘em f-----s,” Kelley can be heard saying in the clip.

The clip shows Kelley of Memphis' Pentecostal Temple COGIC using anti-gay rhetoric while instructing a man in a moment of prayer.

“God wants to salt you some more, come out from among them sissified men that's been hanging around you,” Kelley said. “I don't play with God stay out from around them sissies.”

The clip’s been viewed roughly 10,000 times and has been met with outrage online. This person commenting said...

"The whole COGIC church isn't like this lady,” said one person. “My church accepts everyone as is,.period."

"Didn't know folks used this kind of language in church," said another person.

WMC5 did reach Kelley by phone, who referred us to COGIC’s public relations office.

She said she had no comment and “if you saw it, what you saw is what I said.”

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said on Thursday he hadn’t seen the clip, and when told of its contents he said that he doesn’t agree with the language used.

“I have not seen the video,” Strickland said. “Really have not heard about it. But I wouldn’t hold one individual member of COGIC against the entire congregation. It’s an important institution in the history of Memphis.”

Earlier this week, COGIC announced it would bring its Holy Convocation back to Memphis in 2021.

The denomination, which is headquartered in the Bluff City, took its convocation from Memphis to St. Louis in 2010.

City and tourism leaders say the recent move back came – after months of talks and negotiations.

The convocation brings 35,000 to 45,000 people and an economic impact of $30 million annually.

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