bible_web_copy.jpgST. LOUIS (AP) _ The Church of God in Christ is holding its first convention outside of its hometown of Memphis in more than 100 years.

St. Louis is hosting the convention at downtown America's Center now through Nov. 15, and it's the city's largest such gathering this year. An estimated 40,000 people are attending.

The Church of God in Christ is the nation's biggest black Pentecostal denomination, with about 6.5 million members.

The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission offered $1 million more than Memphis in incentives to secure the event for the next three years, expecting it to benefit area businesses.

The commission figures the church's delegates will occupy 25,000 hotel rooms and bring some $30 million to the city.