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Upcoming A.M.E. Church Conference Shows What Churches Can and Can’t Learn from Madison Avenue

St. Louis, MO (PRWEB) March 25, 2004

Today, The Heofon Group announced that it has been chosen as the marketing and public relations agency for the 150th Session of the Missouri A.M.E. Church Conference. The conference, taking place in St. Louis on November 1-7, 2004, will be a time of reflection and revitalization for the over 2,000 pastors and church leaders in the African Methodist Episcopal Church’s 5th District, which spans from Missouri to California and includes Alaska.

With a worldwide congregation of over 3 million, many African Methodist Episcopal church “leaders are in the midst of working out ways to rejuvenate and redefine African Methodist Episcopalianism as the church moves into the 21st century. Many ministers are currently concerned with the potential for members to dissociate themselves from their congregations as American society enters a period of ‘post-denominationalism'” (Washington Post). “The main courses of action decided upon thus far have been to dedicate much attention to the clarification of church doctrines and practices, and to actively seek to preserve the church’s rich history and traditions.” (University of Virginia Library).

Duane Hodge, founder of The Heofon Group, explains: “The A.M.E. Church’s legacy of love and tradition of transformation continue to impact the hearts and minds of our community. My firm will be responsible for developing the Conference’s marketing strategy from its marketing collateral to advertising. In addition, we will also handle the design of the event’s official souvenir magazine, as well as ad sales. We are extremely honored to have been asked to participate in such a spiritual and historic event.”

The Heofon Group has found that a common pitfall when marketing a ministry is using an advertising avenue that is already saturated with over-the-top advertisements for church conferences, books, tapes, plays, cruises and the like. Additionally, churches risk having their message cheapened by the use of dubious branding tactics. Respecting the difference between branding and identity development is fundamental in any faith-based marketing or outreach campaign. In fact, as reported on CNN’s “In The Money” in March 2004, current research shows that, on average, the word “church” conjures up negative feelings. Subsequently, many churches have begun mainstream advertising campaigns to recruit those who have been hurt or felt unwelcomed by churches in the past. The Heofon Group will use its expertise in faith-based marketing and public relations to make the message of the AME Church and this historic conference unique.

The Heofon Group is a strategic marketing and public relations firm for the faith-based and non-profit community. With offices in Houston, TX and New York it serves an increasing roster of domestic and international clients.

To find out more about The 150th Session of the Missouri Annual Conference or The Heofon Group, please contact Duane Hodge, Managing Director, at 713-983-8260 or You may also visit

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