From March 1 to March 3, 2010, a historic religious event took place in Columbia, South Carolina. For the first time in more than 45 years, the three major Methodist denominations within the African American community met collectively at one location. Over that three-day period, congregations from the African Methodist Episcopal (AME), African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AME Zion) and Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Churches convened to discuss and address some of the major issues currently plaguing the African American Community.
The “Great Gathering” in Columbia attracted more than 10,000 attendees and sought to combine the congregational, social, political and spiritual strengths of these three African American Methodist denominations. A Walls Communications team coordinated every advance and on-site communications aspect of this event, including the design and implementation of a “Great Gathering” website; production of video scenarios; management of all press relations activities; creation and utilization of all social media elements; development of a “Male Investment Plan”; and outreach to generate support from such entities as the White House, the NAACP and National Urban League.
With regard to total media coverage, the “Great Gathering” garnered almost 365 million media impressions through mainstream, multicultural and religious media outlets. This coverage had an advertising equivalent of more than one million dollars.