Billboard Campaign: COGIC Loves Memphis Memphis Loves COGIC
(Memphis) Inside the Front Street Deli in downtown Memphis, owner Lee Busby prepares a hoagie that he calls a little slice of heaven.
For Busby, business heaven would include the return of the Church of God in Christ Holy Convocation to Memphis, “It’s a big void in November now, especially that first part of it. Yeah, I’ve missed them.”
After holding their convocation in Memphis since 1907, church leaders moved the city’s largest convention to St. Louis two years ago, leaving a void for many businesses.
Busby said, “Anytime you bring that many people into an area, they’re staying in hotel rooms, or eating out and spending money here, it can’t be anything, but good for the town.”
Memphis is trying to bring the convention back to the city.
One step is with a billboard campaign that reads COGIC loves Memphis and Memphis loves COGIC.
It features Memphis Mayor A C Wharton and Bishop Brandon Porter of Greater Community Temple Church of God in Christ.
Porter said, “Well, those billboards are something I wanted to do, to encourage the city of Memphis and the Church of God in Christ about the unique fit that we have. For over 100 years COGIC has been here in Memphis.”
Porter says Memphis may have lost out to St. Louis because no one from the city now sits on the church’s general board, which he hopes to change.
Porter said, “If I’m in the room on the general board, as one of the key leaders of the church, I will certainly not it leave the table without discussion. I believe it’s a great possibility for the convention to come back to Memphis.”
It’s a billboard campaign that’s a letter of love of sorts that may help pave the way to bring the convocation and Memphis back together.
Paul Morris is president of the Downtown Memphis Commission, “I know that Mayor Wharton and Kevin Kane with the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau are working very hard to try to recruit COGIC’s convention to come back to Memphis because having that big of a convention in Memphis has an economic impact, positive impact on hotels, restaurants and otherwise.”
It’s estimated Memphis lost almost $40 million in annual revenue when COGIC moved its holy convocation to St. Louis.