Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake
MEMPHIS - The Church of God in Christ is calling its 103rd Holy Convocation a huge success for the city of St. Louis and the organization, bringing 35 million dollars to the region's economy. The following is a statement issued by the organization:
"St. Louis welcomed an estimated 35,000 attendees for the Church of God in Christ's 103rd Holy Convocation in November and our community was thrilled to have a chance to host such a prestigious group," says Brian Hall, St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission Chief Marketing Officer. "The gathering resulted in direct spending of around $35 million and St. Louis is looking forward to welcoming COGIC back to St. Louis in 2011 and 2012."
Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake says, "The St. Louis convocation experience met every one of our expectations. By the grace of God, we believe an impact was made on the greater metropolitan area, if not the entire Midwest region. By all accounts, the economic, social, and spiritual dimensions of our presence seemed to permeate deep into the neighborhoods and reverberate through the corridors of downtown. We look forward to returning next year with an even greater impact. God willing the same! Thank you St. Louis for a wholesome reception to your community. "
Courtesy car driver Jennifer Turner says she "loved driving the saints around and hearing how great a time they were having while in St. Louis."
The Convocation sponsored various events, including Christmas in November, which helped more than 1500 families with food, toys and clothing. Eastern Missouri and Western Illinois prelate Bishop Lawrence M. Wooten says the event "touched the needs of people naturally and spiritually as we witnessed people shedding tears of joy as we fed them, gave them boxes of groceries, toys for the children and prayed with them. During Christmas in November, more than 300 people accepted Jesus Christ as their savior."
The largest convention to come to St. Louis this year was also the site of one of the largest health fairs. The health fair, sponsored by COGIC Global Health and Wellness and the St. Louis County Health Department, gave participants the opportunity to have their blood pressure, body mass index, cholesterol and blood glucose checked. Delores Gunn, M.D., director of the St. Louis County Department of Health says, "This is the seventh one we've done this year, and the largest one we've done, and we are honored the Church of God in Christ asked us to sponsor a health fair."
The Church of God in Christ is the fourth-largest Protestant religious denomination in the United States, with churches in 60 countries worldwide and a membership of nearly 6.5 million members.