The AME Church is divided into 20 Districts.  We now want to look at the 16th District. The 16th Episcopal District spans Guyana/Surname, Virgin Islands, European, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Windward Islands, Brazil, and Cuba. The 16th District is under the leadership of Bishop Marvin C. Zanders, II. The Episcopal Supervisor is Winifred H. Zanders.

Through the years, the leadership of the Connectional Lay Organization has responded to the catastrophic calamities that have impacted the citizens of these countries – especially Haiti. Under the leadership of Bishop Sarah Davis, the CLO contributed financially in response to the 1st volcanic eruption and again under the leadership of Bishop E. Anne Henning Byfield when the CLO gave the District $10,000 to purchase a house in Haiti. Contributions were also given under the CLO leadership of former president Dr. Willie C. Glover. In the early years of the lay organization, Dr. Joseph C. McKinney, lay consultant, other lay members, pastors, medical staff, and AME General Officers visited and financially supported various parts of the District through the AME-SADA (Service and Development Agency) to help those countries come through those natural disasters.

Persons, from the 16th District (clergy and lay), have supported the General Church by their participation and service on various boards and commission as well as the lay movement. Some of those persons included: Ms. Collee Liburd (youth) (VI), Mrs. Gloria Haron (England), Dr. Marjorie Jones (Guyana), Mr. A. M. Waterman (Guyana), Mrs. Ferryneisa A. Benjamin (VI) former 16th District Lay President, Mr. Fred Edwards (WI), and Ms. Shirlane Hendrickson Thomas the current District Lay President.

This is a narrow glimpse of the 16th Episcopal District. It demonstrates the people’s perseverance and belief in God and their ability to give back to help others.



At the at the 5th Biennial Session held in Oakland, CA in 1957, it was noted that the Lay consciousness had permeated the foreign arena to the extent that the laymen in Jamaica, British West Indies had organized. Attorney Dudley was the Connectional president during this major event.


A History of the Connectional Laymen’s Organization of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Raymond R. Davis, Historiographer

From the desk of the CLO Historiographer