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Local tourism industry gets religion: Denominational gatherings are manna to hotels, restaurants (access required)

By Caitlin Coakley It’s not quite a religious pilgrimage, but thousands of believers from across the country will be on the road to Charlotte for religious conventions this summer, starting next week with the National Baptist Congress’s annual convention. “We’ve been in numerous cities, from Dallas to Fort Lauderdale to Miami to Nashville, you name it,” said Dr. T. B. Boyd III, president and CEO of the RH Boyd Publishing Corp., which sponsors the National Baptist Congress’s gathering each year. “And our clientele enjoyed meeting in Charlotte, and people in Charlotte enjoyed having us. ... It’s just a mutual type of positive feelings that this event produced very positive results in the city.” The National Baptist Congress was last in Charlotte in 2005. Boyd is not the only organizer who has experienced a positive reception from the city. Right now, there are four religious conventions coming to Charlotte this summer. Less than a week after the National Baptist Congress leaves on June 18, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s 20th annual General Assembly will be in town.

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