Vice President Pence to visit Memphis for MLK holiday weekend

Updated: Jan. 17, 2020 at 9:56 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Vice President Mike Pence is set to visit the Bluff City Sunday in honor of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

The White House confirmed Friday that the Vice President will arrive on Air Force Two at the Memphis International Airport Sunday morning, which could cause delays.

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued flight restrictions at the airport from 9:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., which they say is customary for “VIP Visits.”

Pence will tour the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel and will later attend service at Holy City Church of God in Christ where he is set to make remarks.

Roads near the area will be shut down from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Churches in the Raleigh area have been told that Sunday services could be impacted.

WMC Action News 5 Political Analyst Mike Nelson says it’s not out of the ordinary for political figures to visit the Civil RIghts Museum -- especially on such an important day.

“Memphis was not the place where Martin Luther King lived, it’s the place where he died and yet somehow over the years, Memphis has become the main site for Martin Luther King Day," said Nelson.

Nelson says he doesn’t expect the visit at church to be a political one.

“I’d really be surprised if he gave a political speech. I’d be surprised if the election came up at all. He knows this is a national holiday. He knows this is a solemn occasion. He knows this is an important city when that occasion is marked," said Nelson.

Bishop Brandon B. Porter, Senior Pastor of Greater Community Temple Church of God In Christ and General Board Member of COGIC released the following statement on the Vice President’s Visit:

“The White House Representatives asked to come to my church first, but I suggested Mason Temple. However since they could not fit Mason Temple into their schedule, I said No to the visit to my church ... I did not want it about me but MLK!!

The Church of God In Christ (COGIC) does not control who a pastor allows in his pulpit, but we as a National Church Organization are not supporters or endorsers of President Donald Trump or any other party.

COGIC does however support Pro Life interest ... and Marriage God’s way between a man and a woman. We are also in favor of Gun control as well as strong initiatives to reduce police brutality and unfair treatment against young black men and women. We are actively apposed to racism and the mistreatment of any race of people.

COGIC is Bi Partisan ....

And we don’t dictate to our parishioners or local churches as to whom to support politically ... but we do up hold Biblical Principles and share meaningful information to help them make wise decisions concerning political posturing.”

WMC Action News 5 will stream the Vice President’s visit and let you know of any traffic updates as we get them Sunday.

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