Empowering the marginalized and building bridges in our community through advocacy, education, and service.
MAIC was originally organized as the Conference of Downtown Churches (CDC) following Hurricane Fredrick in 1978. The extraordinary demands for recovery made it necessary to work collaboratively to obtain maximum benefit from available resources. A group of central city churches made a commitment for remaining organized to address other needs and issues as they were identified. Included in this original group were Christ Episcopal Church, Government Street Presbyterian Church, First Baptist Church of Mobile, St. Francis Street United Methodist Church, Government Street United Methodist Church, The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, St. Joseph Catholic Church, Central Presbyterian Church and All Saints Episcopal Church.
By the end of 1978, a soup kitchen that evolved into Loaves and Fish was organized and operated by the Catholic Church with support by CDC churches. CDC worked collaboratively with the Catholic Church to organize a food bank for the Mobile area in 1980 that by 1985 became the Bay Area Food Bank. CDC was the convening organization in collaboration with the City of Mobile, the United Way of Southwest Alabama, the Mobile Housing Board and the Downtown Business and Property Owners Association for founding the homeless coalition in 1993 that became Housing First, Inc.
Throughout the 1980’s and 1990, CDC remained organized and served as a forum for churches and faith-based organizations to discuss emerging community needs and encourage collaborative action. The CDC membership became a major source for volunteer support of new organizations and initiatives that were getting underway. In 1998, CDC expanded its membership to include other churches and faith-based organizations and in the year 2000 became the Mobile Area Interfaith Conference serving Mobile and Baldwin Counties.
By 2002 the need for a permanent chaplaincy program at the Metro Jail had become a critical need. The families of the prisoners were frequently experiencing extreme hardships and prisoners were being discharged into homelessness. Previous efforts had all been voluntary and tended to become ineffective over time. MAIC employed a chaplain and made that individual available to the jail. With greater access by church groups and increased referrals to community resources, improvements for the prisoners and families resulted. MAIC decided to continue as the direct supporter for the chaplain program by accepting responsibility for ongoing funding support by its members. In 2009 a GED program was established in Metro Jail in response to an obvious community need for individuals being released from incarceration.
MAIC obtained IRS 501(c)(3) certification in 2008 as a strategy for generating the ongoing resources needed in support of the corporate mission of collaborative action by churches and faith-based organizations to better meet community needs. In 2013, The Quest, Inc., an organization dedicated to advocacy, public awareness of social concerns and needs, merged with MAIC.