Under the leadership of the late Bishop William J. Walls, the first Connectional Laymen’s Organization was established by the action of the General Conference of the A. M. E. Zion Church in 1916. The organization lay dormant until its rebirth in 1948. It was in 1948, at the thirty-third Quadrennial Session of the General Conference of the A. M. E. Zion Church at Louisville, Kentucky, that the Connectional Laymen’s Council was reborn.
The General Conference of the A. M. E. Zion Church (Paragraph 547, 2008 Discipline) directs that there shall be a Laymen’s Council for the purpose of deepening the spiritual life of the Laymen of the Church, to assist the ministers in promoting the interest of the church, to disseminate information and cultivate denominational loyalty, to expand the denomination through education and evangelism and to promote any other interest of the Kingdom of God. The Laymen’s Council shall be under the control of the Board of Lay Activities, which Board shall be appointed by the Board of Bishops.
The mission of the Connectional Lay Council (CLC) of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church is to prepare and equip laity for life discipleship in the Kingdom of God by maintaining effective ministries that evangelize, encourage and edify laity.
Our motto “Come with us to Christ” is the impetus for implementing ministries that are positive in transforming people’s lives spiritually, socially and economically; in promoting fellowship with God and other believers, as well as those who are not saved. We affirm our belief that no one is too old, too young, too rich, too poor, too saved or even too lost to benefit from the ministries offered by the Lay Council.
The contemporary focus of the CLC is to engage and excite young adults, youth and children regarding their responsibility to defend the traditions, policies and doctrines of the A. M. E. Zion Church.