Staff Reports – Some 1,800 attendees are expected to be on hand when the South Carolina Palmetto Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church convenes its 108th annual conference in North Charleston Aug. 29-Sept. 1. For the first time, the conference in South Carolina will be held outside the host church venue. The conference, hosted by Ebenezer AME Church, will be held at the North Charleston Convention Center.
Host Pastor Rev. Dr. William Swinton Jr. said three districts –Georgetown, Mt. Pleasant and Kingstree – encompassing more than 90 churches, will participate in the conference. The Embassy Suites Hotel will serve as the official residence for the conferees that include clergy, pastors, laity, missionaries, delegates and others.
The break from traditionally conducting conference activities at churches offers the convenience of residing close to the center of activities and access to restaurants, Swinton said. Some meals will be offered at the convention center and arrangements have been made to have some meals at Royal Missionary Baptist Church Life Center Cafeteria in the nearby Liberty Hill community. Several smaller meetings are planned at St. Peters AME Church in Liberty Hill as well.
During the four-day conference, participants will report on the previous year, plan and strategize for the upcoming year and hear from local elected officials, said Swinton, who noted the invaluable assistance that has been provided by North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey and the city’s staff. All sessions are open to the public. Some 400-500 participants are expected to attend the daily sessions. The largest crowds are expected for the ceremonial opening August 29 and closing session September 1 when appointments are made.