Starting Friday, the largest convention to ever come to Killeen will fill the Killeen Civic and Conference Center with more than 1,000 attendees, 70 vendors and the goal of a clear direction for Episcopalian churches across Texas.
The Episcopal Church Diocesan Conference annually brings together delegates from across the state to discuss problems that arise during the year, find solutions to those problems and consider ways to implement those solutions.
The group alternates the location of the conference between its "headquarters" in Houston and other cities. St. Christopher's Episcopal Church of Killeen is hosting the event this year.
The first-time hosts have worked for about two years to bring the conference to Killeen, said Connie Kuehl, director of the Killeen Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"The way conventions normally work is that you're actually preparing two as far as eight years out," she said. "The best one is like this one where we had a bunch of local folks who are proud of the conference center and want to show it off to their peers."
Kuehl said the group has "maxed out" the center for this weekend's event.
The first evening of the event begins with a worship service that brings together all participants, with dinner afterward.
Saturday is filled with workshops and meetings "to basically determine the direction of the church and take care of the business of the church," said Don Christian, former assistant city manager, who was one of the most active in bringing the conference to the center.