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COGIC meets with Mayor Lyda Krewson

Charles E. Blake Sr., the presiding bishop of Church of God in Christ, holds a press conference after discussing policing issues with Mayor Lyda Krewson on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. COGIC is holding its annual convention in St. Louis this week. Photo by Christian Gooden,

ST. LOUIS — Downtown streets filled with taxis and pedestrians on Wednesday, as the annual convention of the Church of God in Christ ramped up at America’s Center.

The 112th Holy Convocation opened Tuesday and runs through next Tuesday. Officials for the church, which bills itself as the largest Pentecostal denomination in the U.S., said it should attract more than 35,000 attendees.

This is the 10th year the group has held the convocation in St. Louis. It will meet here again in 2020, then return to its hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, the following year. The group said its impact on the region’s economy has now crested $143 million.

“We sincerely hope that our presence can financially elevate St. Louis in a positive, significant way,” said COGIC Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake Sr. “This would certainly be a fair exchange for the gracious and hospitable manner in which St. Louis city officials and St. Louisans as a whole have kindly welcomed our organization over the last 10 years.”

For a schedule of events, go to this link.

Activities include a “Christmas in November” from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday (Nov. 9) at Williams Temple Church of God In Christ, 1500 Union Boulevard.

Groceries, clothes, appliances, cosmetics, toys, hot lunches, haircuts and cellphones with minutes will be given away at the Christmas in November event to those who qualify. Children must be present to receive toys. Adults must have an ID. Registration is required at 314-583-0610.