Rev. Dr. Anthony Witherspoon, President

Reverend Dr. Anthony Witherspoon has served as the Pastor of Washington Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in St. Louis Missouri since 2000. In 2017, he was elected to serve as the President of the A.M.E. Zion Church’s International Ministers and Lay Association for the 2017-2021 quadrennial.

Dr. Witherspoon is very active in his community having served by appointment from the Honorable Governor Matt Blunt as a Commission on the Emancipation Day Commission for the State of Missouri and currently serves as a Commissioner on the 21st Judicial Circuit Commission by appointment of the Honorable Governor Jeremiah Nixon. He has served on the Doorways Assisted Living Board, the Executive Board of the Monsanto YMCA, Interfaith Partnership Board (Cabinet member and First Vice Chair) and Churches United in Christ Board. He is currently serving on the Faith Communities United Board of St. Louis and Executive Committee of the Clergy Coalition of Metropolitan St. Louis. Dr. Witherspoon is also an active member of his local NAACP; the Strategic Planning Committee for the A.M.E. Zion Church; Restructuring Commission for the A.M.E. Zion Church; Program Co-Chair for Evangelism Assembly/Leadership Training Institute for The Midwest Episcopal District of the A.M.E. Zion Church; Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Missouri Annual Conference, and is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Dr. Witherspoon earned a Master’s of Divinity Degree from Duke Divinity School, Durham North Carolina and a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Eden Theological Seminary, Webster Groves, Missouri. He is the son of Ms. Elfreida Witherspoon and was married to the late Sherry Renee Pharr. He has two daughters, Brittany and Anquanette, and one grandson, Anthony Noland Ingram.

Lula Howard, First Vice President

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As a long-time member of The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Lula Howard has been active at her home church Stoner Memorial A.M.E. Zion where she has taught Sunday school, sung with various choirs, and been Trustee Board Chairperson.  Currently, she is a Deaconess, the Coordinator for Children’s Church, and the local Lay Council President. As a member of the Missionary Society at Stoner, she has also been active in the ecumenical group Church Women United of Louisville where she has served as President and been honored with the Valiant Woman award.   In addition, she has served in the Madisonville District as Director of Children and District Secretary. She has been Secretary of the Kentucky Conference and is the immediate past president of the Kentucky Conference Lay Council.

Lula Howard became active on the Connectional Lay Council serving as Education Chair, First Vice President, and seventh General President. She is currently serving on the Restructuring Commission and has been a member of the following committees or commissions: General Conference Secretariat, Commission on Discipline Codification, Publishing House Board, Resolution and Revisions.  Lula has been active with the International Ministers and Lay Association for a number of years.  She presented “The Changing Face of the Laity” in one of the annual sessions.  In 2009 she was elected to serve as the Financial Secretary of the association, and in February 2017 was elected its First Vice President.

Rev. Dr. Myrtle Bowen, Second Vice President

Rev. Dr. Myrtle Bowen is the Presiding Elder for the Harrisburg District in the Philadelphia and Baltimore Conference of the Mid Atlantic Episcopal Area. As a servant leader, she empowers others to fulfill their purpose and destiny across the Harrisburg District, Pennsylvania.

In May 1985, Dr. Bowen graduated from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, North Carolina earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Architectural Engineering.  To date, she has successfully served as an Architectural - Civil Engineer for the Federal Government.

Dr Bowen began her ministry on February 14, 1992, at John Wesley A.M.E. Zion Church in Washington, D.C.  In May of 1995, Rev. Bowen graduated from Howard University School of Divinity with a Masters of Divinity Degree.  In May of 1997, she received her Doctorate Degree after completing her dissertation entitled "Developing A Biblical Theology of Healing from Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence".

Dr. Bowen has distinguished herself in many areas as a pioneer. She was the first woman Pastor of Contee A.M.E. Zion Church and Galbraith A.M.E. Zion Church (Washington, DC); Clinton A.M.E. Zion Church (Rockville, MD).  She also is the former Pastor of Gibson Grove A.M.E. Zion Church (Bethesda, MD) and Unity A.M.E. Zion Church, Severn, MD.

Lieutenant Colonel Bowen is a Chaplain in the United States Air Force, where she serves as the first African American Woman Wing Chaplain, assigned to the District of Columbia Air National Guard, for 1,200 Airmen - aka Capital Guardians. Dr. Bowen is also the first African American Woman Chaplain to serve at Arlington National Cemetery.

Rev. Dr. Chaplain, Lt Col Myrtle Bowen is a renowned preacher and teacher both nationally and internationally.  Dr. Bowen is much sought after for her lectures and motivational speeches. She also represents the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, while serving in local and civic organizations which includes: The Social Justice Board of the National Council of Churches, secretary for the Board of Codification, member of the Board of Christian Education and a Life Member of the International Ministers and Lay Association.  Dr. Bowen brings a sense of dedication and zeal to this position.

Reverend Dr. Eleazar Merriweather, Executive Director


Reverend Dr. Eleazar Merriweather was born in Demopolis, Alabama and was educated at John Essex High School. He is a graduate of Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering, Johnson Bible College, Knoxville, TN where he received a Masters of Arts in New Testament Studies and Preaching Exposition; and a Doctor of Ministry from Livingstone College in Salisbury North Carolina.

Reverend Merriweather is very active on all levels of the A.M.E Zion Church Connection, local community, and city of Detroit.  He served as Administrative Assistant to the Presiding Bishop, and Dean of the Rochester-Brown School of Ministry for the Central Africa and Mozambique Annual Conferences; Assistant Dean for the Mid-West Episcopal District Leadership Training Institute, Conference Secretary of the Michigan Conference, Assistant Secretary of the International Ministers and Lay Association. On the Advisory Board of the Southeast Regional Advisory Board for Hospice of Michigan, and the International Director of Discipleship Formation.

Reverend Merriweather served as Pastor of the Lomax Temple A.M.E. Zion Church, Knoxville, TN, where he led the congregation in building a new Church, St. Luke A.M.E. Zion Church, Grand Rapids, MI, and currently St. Paul A.M.E. Zion Church, Detroit, MI. He served as Presiding Elder of the Western Michigan District and currently serves as Presiding Elder of the Trinidad District, Trinidad & Tobago Conference. 

Reverend Merriweather is married to the former Wanda Waiters, has two daughters, Laquitta and Alesia, and has three grandchildren.

Denise Niles, Secretary 

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Denise is a native New Yorker – born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She was educated in private elementary and secondary schools and matriculated at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York with major concentrations in Sociology and Urban Studies. 

For 32 years, she was employed as an Executive Assistant to the Pastor and Church Administrator at the historic Varick Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Brooklyn, New York, under the pastorate of The Rev. Dr. Calvin B. Marshall, III (now retired). For the past 8 years she has been an active member of Mother African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Harlem, NY and serves as Financial Secretary of the Board of Trustees, member of the Deaconess Board, Missionary Society, Lay Council and member of the Music Ministry. On the District Level, Denise has served as Financial Secretary of the New York City District for the past 16 years and also serves on the Finance Committee of the New York Annual Conference. She has served as an Alternate Delegate to 2 General Conferences and volunteers on the staff of the Convention Manager, The Rev. George McKain, II. 

In July of 2007 she decided to begin a second career in Real Estate and joined forces with Crossings Realty in Queens, NY and has established herself as a competent sales agent and property manager. Denise became active in the International Ministers and Lay Association in the mid 90’s and worked closely with the Membership Committee under Ms. Joyce Zimmerman. In 2009 she was elected 2nd Vice President and served in that position for two terms. In 2017 she was elected Secretary of the Association and looks forward to working with our new Leadership Team to lift the Association to higher heights.

Carlous Tyrance, Assistant Secretary

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Carlous Elaine Tyrance was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina to Mr. Dewey Henry and Mrs. Christer Belle Pollard Tyrance.  She was educated in the Onslow County, North Carolina School system, graduating from Georgetown High School in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Upon graduation, Ms. Tyrance enlisted into the United States Army, receiving her basic training from Fort McClellan, Alabama and Advanced Individual Training in Communications at Fort Gordon, Georgia.  

 While in active duty Ms. Tyrance, was recognized and awarded for many distinguished achievements that include the Bronze Star, the Military Service Medal, six Army Achievement Awards, seven Good Conduct Medals and a Gold Recruiting Badge.  Additional military and civilian education opportunities included Mobile Subscriber Equipment School; Technical Community Course in Bad Tolz, Germany; and an Advanced Non-Commission Officer’s Course at Fort Gordon, Georgia.  Ms. Tyrance retired from active duty on December 31, 1994.   

Since completing her honorable service, Ms. Tyrance has called Charlotte, North Carolina her home.  She is an active member of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, with membership at Marvin AME Zion Church in Waxhaw, NC.  In addition, she serves the AME Zion Church as a member of the Board of Directors of the Dorothy Walls Conference and Retreat Center, member of the West Central North Carolina Conference Finance Committee, the Piedmont Episcopal District’s Finance Committee, Secretary, Department of Supply of the Women’s Home & Overseas Missionary Society, member of the National Council of Negro Women and the NAACP.  She is also an “official hugger” for the Special Olympics.

Rev. Dr. David Miller, Treasurer

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Rev. Dr. David T. Miller was born and raised in Catawba County, NC. In 1995, while attending Clinton Junior College he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior and in 1998 he accepted his calling into the ministry at the age of twenty four. Pastor Miller graduated from Clinton Jr College, received his B.A. from Livingstone College, Master of Divinity Degree from Hood Theological Seminary and Doctorate of Ministry Degree from United Theological Seminary.  

Rev. Miller is happily married to Marie Miller (Rochester NY) and they have two sons Ellis and Emerson. Rev. Miller has been blessed to receive many spiritual gifts; service, humor, healing, listening, discernment, peacemaking, and negotiating. His ultimate desire for ministry is be where God has called him to be and use his gifts and talents to glorify God. His favorite passage of scripture is Genesis 18:14 “Is there anything too hard for the Lord?”

Rev. Dr. Maurice Harden, Financial Secretary

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The Rev. Dr. Maurice Alexander Harden is a highly sought-after preacher, presenter and lecturer.  He has ministered across the United States at various conferences, churches and schools. He has a passion for helping people understand and reach their divine purpose. It is this passion that drives his ministry.

Dr. Harden is a native of Windsor, Connecticut. He was born and raised in the A.M.E. Zion Church. He developed his Christian roots at the Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church, Hartford, CT. It was at Metropolitan where Dr. Harden was mentored by his father in the ministry Bishop Kenneth Monroe. In 2002, he accepted his call into the ministry.

To properly prepare and equip himself for the ministry he entered Livingstone College, Salisbury, NC where he graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science. He then went on to Hood Theological Seminary, Salisbury, NC where he received the Master of Divinity degree. At the age of 28 he received the Doctor of Ministry degree from Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, D.C. His project is entitled “Mentoring Ministers in The Local A.M.E. Zion Church.

While a student at Livingstone College Dr. Harden served as Youth Minister at Rush Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church, Raleigh, NC. After completion of his undergraduate degree, Bishop George W.C. Walker Sr assigned him to his first pastoral charge Cathey Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church, Charlotte, NC. From Cathey Memorial he went on to serve the following congregations: New Hope (East Spencer, NC); Marable Memorial (Kannapolis, NC); and New Mt. Olivet (Rock Hill, SC). He is now the proud pastor of the Rush Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church, Raleigh, NC.

Dr. Harden is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. where he has served as the Chaplain for the Association of North Carolina Alphamen, Deputy Area Director and Assistant Area Director.

Dr. Harden has served in various capacities in his community and in the A.M.E. Zion Church which includes: Representative to the Pan- Methodist Commission, Campus Minister for Clinton College, Founding President of My Brother’s Keeper-Rock Hill, member of the Discipline Codification Commission, Statistics and Records Board and a Regional Vice President for the International Ministers and Lay Association.

Dr. Harden is married to Sis. Tyesha Harden and they have four children. Trevarus, Tianna, Sean and Phylissa.

Rev. J. Martin Bouler, Sr., Chaplain


Rev J. Martin Bouler, Sr. was born in Fort Mill, SC and still is a resident of his hometown. He is a pastor in the Rock Hill District, South Carolina Conference which is part of the South Atlantic Episcopal District. He has served as pastor of China Grove in the Rock Hill District, South Carolina Conference; David Stand in the Lancaster District, Pee Dee Conference; and Pleasant View in the Spartanburg District, Palmetto Conference. Currently, he is the Pastor of the Red Oak AME Zion Church in Rock Hill District, South Carolina Conference. He earned an Associates Degree in Religious Studies at Clinton College and a Diploma in Christian Ministry from Hood Theological Seminary. He has worked on several conference and local boards in the AME Zion church. Rev. Bouler has served on Finance Committee, the Holy Orders Committee, and as the Home Missions board chair for the Pee Dee Conference. Additionally, he has served as the Budget & Finance chair for the Lancaster District of the Pee Dee Conference.  He has also worked on several civic advisory boards such as The Springs Close Foundation, First Citizen’s Bank, and School Improvement Councils. Rev. Bouler has been employed with Comporium Communications for 36 years. He is married to Chantay Forney-Bouler, who is the Recording Secretary for the WHOMS. They have been married for 38 years and have three children and one granddaughter.