Armed with shovels, rakes, and trash bags, attendees of the 105th Holy Convocation of the Church of God in Christ stepped out of the convention center and into the streets today. The outreach is part of a new initiative called COGIC Cares, which was co-created by Ward 4 Alderman and COGIC elder Samuel Moore. Moore wants individuals to see past the praise and worship façade of the Church, and demonstrate their commitment to bettering the community.
“We’re showing that we’re not just what people call ‘holy rollers,’ and we have the holy ghost…We’re out helping the community that needs help," Moore said. "And this community needs help."
The attendees picked up trash and did some minor landscaping near the corner of Annie Malone and Cote Brilliante streets in The Ville Neighborhood of St. Louis. The area is what Moore defines as a "hotspot."
“We have over 200 hotspots in the area where people dump and illicit crime…and there’s a lot of just trash – little trash,” Moore said. “And you know, cleanliness is next to godliness, and we want to be able to…get it cleaned up a little bit.”
COGIC Headquarters employee Theresa Field came ready to rake, though she didn’t have time to change out of her business clothes before stepping into the muddy alleyway.
“I have to get back to the office and generate some reports,” the Memphis native said. “Couldn’t put on the pants like I wanted to because I have to get back to it, but I definitely wanted to come out and give the community some love.”
The Church was founded in 1907 and has over 12,000 churches across America. This year’s meeting is headquartered at the America’s Center Convention Complex, and will continue through Monday.
Follow Erin Williams on Twitter: @STLPR_Erin