Third District

Lay Organization

Greetings from the Third Episcopal District Lay Organization!

Building on the Legacy

Ametta Reaves

Building on the foundation of Dr. Willie C. Glover, Mr. Arthur D. Brown and Ms. Margaret Ann Fields, the laity of the Third Episcopal District elected Ametta Lorene Reaves as the eighth President of the Third District Lay Organization. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the laity of the Third District will implement and achieve the following goals during the first two years of the quadrennial. By August 2010, additional goals for the second half of the quadrennial will be developed.

Goal One
Promote the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Mission of the African Methodist Episcopal Church
Target Dates: August 2008 - June 2009

Objectives

  • Strengthen and enhance the growth and development of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in partnership with the ordained leadership.
  • Encourage and promote Christian stewardship and economic development.

Goal Two
Honor the memory of Bishop Richard Allen; foster a love and appreciation for our rich history and tradition.

Objectives

  • Provide innovative and thought provoking training on the 2008 Doctrine & Discipline of the AME church.
  • Implement the new connectional Lay Organization theme and goals for the biennial.
  • Continue to encourage Christian stewardship and Economic development.

History of the Third District Lay Organization

The Third District Lay Organization was organized in 1936 under the leadership of Reuben J. Gardner and he was selected as the first president. The growth of the Third District Lay Organization is comparable to the growth of the Connectional Organization.

There were several precursors who led various forms of the organizations but many credit Herbert L. Dudley as the first elected president under the present structure. He served from 1936 until he retired in 1959. Professor Gardner published the first Connectional pamphlet of the Lay movement in 1912; "History and Official Guide of the Lay Organization".

The Third District Lay Organization has the same precepts as the parent group. The objectives and purpose are outlined in the constitution. The main objectives are stated in brief as follows:

  • To create a love and appreciation of the History and Principles of African Methodism.
  • Keep the memory of Richard Allen alive.
  • Respect Constituted Authority.
  • Stimulate and Educate the Laity in the total Program of the Church
  • Study the Discipline and learn the laws of the Church and encourage accountability.
  • Encourage Financial Support of the Church's Program.
  • Teach and Practice Stewardship and work with the Youth to teach them Methodism.

"These objectives can best be met when one works to understand the program of the Church and relate the Church to the World around us. Become involved in Social Action such that the Church is then our Community - Our Job - Our Schools, and everywhere that man assembles he carries the Church with him, " stated Dr. Joseph McKinney.

Today, the organized lay movement in the African Methodist Episcopal Church operates as a vital force for good because it is free, independent and unmotivated by any desire, motive or purpose other than the general welfare of African Methodism.

The goal of the District Lay Organization is to have a functioning Lay Organization in each of the local churches.

The Connectional Theme is "Laity Sowing Seeds Beyond the Walls": An Agenda of Ministry and Service.

Third District Lay Organization Accomplishments

  • Contributed $2,000 to the victims of Katrina through the Episcopal Office.
  • Gave $500 to the recording secretary of the Connectional Lay, a victim of Katrina.
  • Donated $250 to the late Peggy Cross who was forced out of her home due to a fire.
  • Contributed $10,000 to the Episcopal Headquarters. This was the second time this amount was given.
  • Represented at the African Summit by President Glover. Six persons from the Third were in the delegation. This was the first Connectional meeting held in Africa.
  • Awarded over $5,000 in educational grants to high school or undergraduate students. Two awards were designated to students planning to or matriculating at Wilberforce University.
  • Workshops to educate laity and clergy were held in each Conference and on the District level at the Annual Leadership Retreat.