#IMLA is celebrating 80 years in 2018 and your continued support is greatly appreciated!
The International Ministers and Lay Association of the A.M.E. Zion Church was organized in January 1938. After the Board of Bishops decided to hold closed sessions during its mid-winter session held January 13-15, 1937 at First A.M.E. Zion Church, Paterson, N.J., the ministers and laymen who customarily attended these meetings became imbued with an exhilaration for connectional causes. They therefore organized themselves into a body for the purpose of stimulating interest in general church affairs.
Meeting simultaneously with the mid-winter sessions of the Board of Bishops, the new group formed their organization January 12, 1938 at St. Peter's A.M.E. Zion Church, New Bern, N.C., and elected Rev. Hilliard R. Jackson of Brooklyn, N.Y. (serving as presiding elder of the Hartford District, New England Conference) its first president.
The organization began to chart its course with rudimentary procedure, and it developed tenaciously. Although not a constitutional organization of the church, it is one of the cooperative movements within the church which seeks to help in the execution of plans and purposes of the denomination, and to apply its forcefulness to the trends and needs of the times.