Lay Preaching in the AME Church : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

The growth of the AME Church, at least in Southern Africa, has not been so much because of preach and teaching clergy but some dedicated lay members of the church. For a long time, we have called them either "local preachers" or "preachers." It was in recent times that we were shocked when we learned that they are officially called "lay speaker or readers."

The Book of Doctrine and Discipline of the AME Church only defines them in two, if not three, sentences.

The reason I am posting this on the board is that would share with us how lay speakers/readers contribute in the growth of the church in the US. Do you really have them? If yes, do they undergo any special skilling process for the tasks entailed in helping the clergy?

-- Anonymous, June 25, 2003


Rev. Klaas,

We do have local preachers, however, we also have what is called lay ministers. These lay ministers who are simular to class leaders but receive additional training to minister to the congregation. This assists the pastor to make sure that all members are touched and allows members to connect with other members of the church. The lay ministers also preach.

-- Anonymous, June 27, 2003

For some reason the concept "lay minister" or "lay preacher" sounds like an oxymoron. QED

-- Anonymous, June 27, 2003

As I pointed out in a different post historically Methodism in its beginning used Lay Preachers. For example both Richard Allen and Absalom Jones were Lay Preachers in 1787 when they left Saint George's Church to found the A.M.E. Church. Although they were preaching the Gospel several years before, they were not among the ordained clergy but members of the Lay.

Absolom Jones was ordained Deacon in 1796 and Richard Allen was ordained Deacon in 1799. In America we seem to have missed or simply decided to ignore this fact. Thus, we fail to use a most vital resource in the ministry of our church.

-- Anonymous, June 27, 2003

There are many in the organized Lay Organization who speak at churches on Lay Days or other times during the year for special occasions. In keeping with the Layman's theme for that particular year, these speakers encourage others who are and who are not in the organized Lay to keep working towards kingdom building, to assist the church in bringing souls to Christ through good works, to continue to learn about and stay involved in the AME church and to work on their soul's salvation so that we can be a light in what is often a very dark world.

I have had the opportunity to speak at a few churches and found it to be a wonderful experience. I'd like to believe that those who took the time to listen to what I had to say found their experience to be uplifting. There are many of us on the speakers' circut from local, conference, district and connectional officers, to those laypersons who are asked to speak because they have an unique and powerful message. We may not be preachers, but I think that all of us who are Christians have a testimony of good news that we too can share in the Church.

-- Anonymous, June 30, 2003

What a revelation! Robert thank you very much for that historal piece. I agree with you. Just as Methodism grew out of lay people providing spiritual leadership, I believe, the same continues in the rural areas of many African countries where the ordained go by visitation.

-- Anonymous, June 30, 2003

I would love to be licensed as an Exhorter. I love to teach, share, and learn.

Does anynoe know of any Licensed "Exhorters" in their church or in their district?

B Blessed PHIL419


-- Anonymous, July 05, 2003

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