About Us

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About Us


St. John A.M.E. Zion Church was founded in 1868, organized to serve the faith and social requirements of the African American community of Wilson, North Carolina. In 1998, the Pastor and members of the congregation filed documents and received approval for a separate 501 C 3 organization, named St. John Community Development Corporation (St. John CDC). Its overall mission is to provide economic and social support to residents of the targeted communities and the City of Wilson as a whole. The purposes and intent of the activities of St. John CDC are to acquire and develop real estate, which when developed, will increase economic development opportunities for low and moderate income individuals and households, and provide for the commercial redevelopment and revitalization of the East Wilson community so that human, financial, and other resources create positive change and improve the lives of community residents.  This in turn, will beautify the community and improve public safety for residents of East Wilson. 

St. John CDC established the S.A.Y. – Save a Youth Program in 2005. Over the past 9 years SJCDC has provided an after-school program and summer camp for youth in grades K-8, serving more than 1300 children. In August 2010, the CDC was awarded the 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) grant by the NC DPI and again in August 2014, a four year grant focused on providing quality after-school programs and family resource centers. The S.A.Y. after-school program serves more than 250 students in 2 sites in Wilson County through the after-school program. The S.A.Y. summer camp also serves more than 100 students. The S.A.Y. programs focus on academic achievement, character development, life skills and vocational skill building. S.A.Y. incorporates the gang prevention program into all of the youth programs. The S. A. Y. Vocational Program serves Wilson County Youth ages 14-17 that are court-involved, identified as at-risk of gang involvement or are at risk of academic failure or delinquency.The program provides more than 30 youth with vocational skills training, apprenticeship opportunities, social skill building, life skills and academic support. SJCDC continues to provide the S.A.Y. Vocational Program with support from The Governor’s Crime Commission of North Carolina and the local Juvenile Crime Prevention Council. The St. John CDC is currently providing 24 jobs (both full and part-time) through its youth programs and the CDC office.

Board of Directors

SJCDC has a diverse board of directors recruited from the business community, parents, the church and other community organizations.  Read the full comprehensive plan HERE.

Recognizing that all people are different, we treat everyone with dignity
and serve our diverse population with professionalism, respect, integrity and excellent service.