Word is out! Barna’s annual list of America’s most Bible-minded cities was released in January, and Chattanooga, Tennessee, is back on top. After dropping behind its Alabama neighbors of Birmingham/Anniston/Tuscaloosa in 2015, the home of the famous Choo Choo has reclaimed its No. 1 spot on the list for 2016.

“[The title] really enhances Chattanooga’s image as a destination for faith-based meetings,” says Jennye Miller, who has spent the last two decades as director of religious accounts for Chattanooga CVB. “We’ve always been somewhat attractive to that market segment, but anytime you can add this to your resume, it really increases your exposure.”

Though the city is on the small side (population 173,000 in 2013), it’s long been popular with faith-based events thanks to large venues such as the convention center, McKenzie Arena, Tivoli Theatre, and Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium. In 2015, 15 percent of total meetings in Chattanooga were from the religious segment, generating a total of 10,368 room nights.

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Published by Connect Faith on January 28, 2016: Written by Kelsey Ogletree