Location of the next General Conferencegreenspun.com : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread
Does anyone know of the location of the next General Conference. Someone said its in Missouri. Is that fact or fiction?
-- Anonymous, July 08, 2004
the next general conferences are: 2008 - St. Louis, 2012 - Nashville, 2016 - Philadelphia
-- Anonymous, July 08, 2004
I understand Philly hosting the Gen Con in 2016 (Bicentennial of the legal founding of the AMEC) but I don't understand the rationale for St. Louis in 2008 & Nashville in 2012. Why is the 13th District the host District in 2012 when Louisville hosted the 1996 Gen Con? When is the last time the 7th District (SC), which has more AME churches than any state in the US, hosted Gen Con? It would appear to me that geographic fairness would involve moving the Gen Con away from the current midwest corridor of Cincinnati (2000), Indianapolis (2004) and now St. Louis (2008). QED
-- Anonymous, July 09, 2004
The external reason for the centrality of the conference was to maximize access for the delegates. Since the maority had been for years based in the US, this implied a move toward the middle. To wit:
With the acknowledgement of African leadership we have seen in this General Conference, perhaps one day when we address the number of delegates the Church will be able to take the conference to Africa.
- 1968 - Philadelphia
- 1972 - Dallas
- 1976 - Atlanta
- 1980 - New Orleans
- 1984 - Kansas City
- 1988 - Fort Worth
- 1992 - Orlando
- 1996 - Louisville
- 2000 - Cincinnati
- 2004 - Indianapolis
-- Anonymous, July 09, 2004
I am sure that cost is a major factor in selecting the location. It was very expensive in Indianapolis. Hotel accommodations ranged from $85 per night -$125. Soft drinks,coffee and bottled water were going for $2.50 each. Our district meetings were held nightly at the Omni and they charged extra money for using the microphone. I can only imagine what this event cost the church. All of the businesses and taxi driver's hated to see us leave. They said that no one ever holds a meeting this large for nine days.
-- Anonymous, July 15, 2004
Thanks for the data on past Gen Con host sites. Now from inspection of the cities I find it interesting that neither the 2nd, 7th, 9th & 12th Districts have hosted a Gen Con since 1968. I understand the importance of geographic centrality as a cost saving but an even bigger issue arises about representational fairness. Oklahoma City (12th District) is perhaps one of the most central locations in the US yet this fine city has been neglected from consideration. An HBCU is located nearby as well, Langston University. What's wrong with the Sooner State? The HQ of the 2nd Epsicopal District is Washington, DC. I firmly believe that any organization which considers itself national or international in scope must convene at least one major meeting in Wash DC simply because DC is the epicenter of global politics. South Carolina has more AME churches than any state in the country. An AME-supported HBCU, Allen University, is located right in the heart of Columbia, SC. I'm sure less than 25% of our AME membership has never stepped foot on the campus of Allen (I Have). The same could be said about Birmingham, AL (9th District), best kept secret in the entire South, and its attendant AME significance, i.e. Payne Seminary. Travel costs are indeed important but the cost to fly in the US is independent of distance. Unless a Gen Con is held in CA delgates from LA & SF will have to fly to any Gen Con. I just believe that at some point every Episcopal District should host the Gen Con. Is that asking for too much? QED
-- Anonymous, July 16, 2004
There are many factions in deciding the location of any conference. Accomodations and international travel are major issues. Having worked on the outskirts of the tourism business you would be surprised to learn that there are few locations that could accomodate a convention of that magnitude. One issue is a convention facility that can withstand the magnitude of 30 thousand people and technology that will provide access to those individuals. How many hotels surround that facility. what is the hotel capacity? there are cities across the country that are rapidly working on building hotels to accomodate large crowds. In 1996 the city of Louisville had a hotel capacity of 12000 rooms, to continue the business of the FFA and other conventions, that capacity is now 17000 hotel rooms all within 15 minutes of downtown convention services and the international airport. There is not a city in south carolina that can accomodate.
-- Anonymous, July 20, 2004
Are you familiar with the Spoleto Festival held annually in Charleston, S.C.? This international cultural event is held over a longer period and attracts 5 times more out-of-state visitors than an AME Gen Con. Spoleto visitors don't appear to have difficulty booking international flights in to Charleston. Columbia is the capitol of S.C. When the University of S.C. play their home football games the sold-out crowd is 85,000. The airport and hotels accomodate these crowds every day. What makes the AME Gen Con so special since it is considerably smaller than Gamecock football games or when the SC Legislative Session is during their important business? Again, I pose the question, why not SC as a future Gen Con host site. The Palmetto's State rich histor for African Americans and the AME Church in particular make this venue a no-brainer, at least for me. The irony is I'm a native of North Carolina not South Carolina. My wife's family however are SC natives so I guess I do have a small vested interest :-) QED
-- Anonymous, July 24, 2004