The annual COGIC convocation is back in Memphis this week for the first time in over a decade, and leaders are expecting more than 20,000 people in town.

Its been 11 years since the convention was last in Memphis, and its expected to boost businesses in the area.

There are over 4,500 hotel rooms available downtown and 178 restaurants to choose from, according to the Downtown Memphis Commission.

Bishop David Hall, pastor of the Temple Church of God in Christ on South Lauderdale, said it will be the economic boost that the city needs.

We are part of this city. Theres a collaborative between us. Weve grown with Memphis. Memphis has grown with the church, Hall said.

Hall said Memphis is the headquarters for COGIC, and the city has made progress by getting more hotel rooms and central convention space in the last decade.

Bishop Brandon Porter, COGIC general board member, said, The saints will be gathering back in Memphis after some 11 years of being away. To come back to our mecca.

The convention previously left Memphis due in part to basically outgrowing the space and accommodations downtown.

For nine of those 11 years, the convention was held in St. Louis, where space wasnt an issue.

Porter said people attending the convocation arent only staying in Memphis, but also in Mississippi and Arkansas. Some are staying as far away as Jackson, Tenn.

COGIC brings so much money to Memphis, were talking $30 to $40 million dollars in one week, Porter said.

He also said hes prayerful for this week to be very successful, and for Memphis to continue the push for more accommodations to keep the Holy Convocation in its birthplace for years to come.

We want to keep coming, its not determined that we will be here forever, Porter said. So we are locked in for a couple of years. So we need COGIC to have a good experience while they are here this week.

The convention kicks off Tuesdays, Nov. 8, and runs through Nov. 14.

Stay with FOX13 for the latest convention news and live updates throughout the week.

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