Still here

St. Joseph C.M.E. Church

St. Joseph C.M.E. Church, located at 510 W. Rosemary in Chapel Hill, was founded in 1898. Its mother church was Hamlet Chapel CME Church, Pittsboro, NC and it started as Cotton Chapel C.M.E Church (named for the late Mr. Henry Cotton, a church founder). Pastor Troy Harrison at St. Joseph helped found the Marian Cheek Jackson Center and the church is the sponsor of the Heavenly Groceries food ministry.

Below you can find a timeline of the church categorized by the pastor. Click on the name of the pastor to find church materials from their time of service. Don't see anything? Click the respond button to contribute materials you have.

Rev. Joseph S. Miller (May 1932 - November 1938)
Rev. J.H. Tucker (November 1938 - November 1939)
Rev. G.F. Judd (November 1939 - December 1940)
Rev. J.H. Lightsey (January 7, 1940 - November 1942)
Rev. J.C. Clark (November 1942 - October 1945)
Rev. R.F. Fullwood (October 1945 - October 1946)
Rev. H.C. Walker (October 1946 - October 1947)
Rev. David W. Roston (October 9, 1947 - August 1953)
Rev. Wylie E. Wilson (September 1953 - 1955)
Rev. Warren R. Foushee (September 1955 - August 1964)
Rev. Alex A. Chambers (August 1964 - August 6, 1967)
Rev. Thomas L. Hoyt, Jr. (August 6, 1967 - August 16, 1970)
Rev. Charles L. Helton (August 16, 1970 - July 28, 1974)
Rev. Wylie E. Wilson (July 28, 1974 - July 1977)
Dr. L. Kenneth Bennett (July 1977 - July 1979)
Rev. Floyd R. Gilbert (July 15, 1979 - June 5, 1983)
Rev. Roosevelt Wilkerson, Jr. (July 17, 1983 - July 14, 1989)
Rev. James N. Howard (August 6, 1989 - July 7, 1996)
Rev. Irene W. Clodfelter (July 14, 1996 - July 1999)
Rev. Dale P. Sneed (July 1999 - July 7, 2001)
Rev. Troy F. Harrison, Sr. (July 8, 2001 - July 22, 2010)
Rev. Lavisha S. Williams (July 23, 2010 - August 2016)
Rev. Kevin A. Brown, II (August 2016 - July 23, 2017)
Rev. John A. Cradle, Sr. (July 29, 2017 - Current)

St. Joseph C.M.E. Church

Tags: , ,

Citation: “St. Joseph C.M.E. Church,” From the Rock Wall, accessed September 22, 2023,

To learn more...

"Academic Center To Be Named For Dr. Chambers"

Dr. Alex A. Chambers served as pastor at St. Joseph CME Church from 1964-1967. This newspaper article from The Metro Forum in Lafayette, Tennessee discusses a proposal to rename the academic center at Lane College after Dr. Chambers. Dr. Chambers served as the eighth president of the college. Photo…

"Lane to discuss new leader; Chambers 'vision, zeal' cited"

Dr. Alex A. Chambers served as pastor at St. Joseph CME Church from 1964-1967. This article from The Jackson Sun in Jackson, Tennessee details Dr. Chambers funeral services. Photo courtesy of Patricia "Pat" Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church.

"President of Lane dies"

Dr. Alex A. Chambers served as pastor at St. Joseph CME Church from 1964-1967. This newspaper article announcing his passing lists his accomplishments while serving as President of Lane College. Photo courtesy of Patricia "Pat" Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church.

"Putting the Past in Focus" - The "Gray Ladies" of N.C. Memorial Hospital

This newspaper article from The Chapel Hill Herald discusses Chapel Hill's "Gray Ladies," who volunteered their caregiving services in hospitals. Photo courtesy of Patricia "Pat" Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church.

A.D. Clark Pool

A.D. Clark Pool opened at the Roberson Street Center (now Hargraves Center) in June 1961. Prior to the opening of the pool, young people in the Black community swam in local creeks (including one by the railroad trestle near the public works building) and swimming holes like the 88 and the Catfish…

Abundant Life Faith Ministry

Abundant Life Faith Ministry is located on Farrington Point Road in Chapel Hill, NC.

 Albert Washington - On his business, church, and growing up in Northside

This interview is part of the Marian Cheek Jackson Center’s Oral History Trust. Albert (Bruce) Washington, III grew up in Chatham County with his mother and in Northside with his father and extended family. He was an only child, but grew up in the context of many cousins, aunts, and uncles who cared…

Barbee's Chapel Harvest Word Church

Barbee's Chapel Harvest Word Church is located at 5916 Barbee's Chapel Road.

 Betty Baldwin Geer - On her family, work experiences, and gentrification

"Thirteen years old and I gave my hand over to God. I've been in church ever since. Of course when you go off to college, you kind of drift away, but you always come back. I loved it. It was a good experience for me. It has always been a good experience for me." - Betty Baldwin Geer This interview…

Campus Y

Charlie Jones was the first person to bring a group of us high school students together and we met at the YMCA on campus...Charlie Jones had a daughter that was a junior at the same time, and he pulled together a group of black high school students and students from the white high school. We met on…

Carrboro Community Health Center

"What we believe is kind of the foundation of this work is relationships, so you go meet your neighbors, you talk to them, you talk to them again, you talk to them again..." - Brian Toomey Carrboro Community Health Center, part of Piedmont Health, was first known as Orange-Chatham Comprehensive…

Carrboro Elementary School

"I was in a Black school at Northside Elementary. [My mother] wanted me to go to the school which was the nearest to our home which was the white school...Carrboro Elementary....I can only guess that it was because, I mean, I don't think she set out to be a history maker or a trendsetter. I don't…

Cathedral of Hope Mission Church

Cathedral of Hope Mission Church is located at 100-A Hillview Street in Carrboro, NC.

Chapel Hill High School

"McDougle had been the principal since1949 through 1966 at Lincoln. All of a sudden, he goes to Chapel Hill High, and they take and make him an assistant. W.D. Peerman who had been one of the winningest football coaches of North Carolina, he was regulated to the JV team." - David Mason,…

 Charles Alston and Lewis Atwater

“But the main thing I wanted you to recognize was that, that was our haven. The Black haven - Graham Street, Merritt Mill Road, and Roberson Street - because why? That’s where a lot of us lived on Roberson Street.” “Right, right. That was the Black neighborhood.” - Charles Alston and Lewis…

 Cotton Chapel CME Church

Before the construction of St. Joseph CME Church, congregants worshipped at Cotton Chapel CME Church. Cotton Chapel CME Church was named after Mr. Henry Cotton, a devoted member and leader in forming the congregation. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Patricia Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church.

Culbreth Middle School

I knew who he was -- I knew Grey Culbreth. What did I think about the naming of the school? I didn't think anything about it. But I did think something about when they - I mean, I was very instrumental in the naming of MacDougal." - Betty King Grey Culbreth Middle School opened as Grey Culbreth…

Deed to St. Joseph CME Church

While the land that St. Joseph CME Church sits on was originally allocated for Lincoln High School, the town made the decision that the site was too small to serve all of the Black high school students in Orange County. Trustees of St. Joseph worked together, some even mortgaging their homes, to…

 Drawing of Dr. Alex Chambers

Dr. Alex A. Chambers served as pastor at St. Joseph CME Church from 1964-1967. Photo courtesy of Patricia "Pat" Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church.

Durham Technical Community College (aka Durham Tech)

"I got two brothers that went to college. I went to Durham Tech. I took a few classes at Central. But I got one brother that he's an engineer now. He started off as an X-ray technician and then he went on and became an engineer." - Raney Norwood Durham Industrial Education Center opened in 1961 and…

EMPOWERment, Inc.

EMPOWERment, Inc. is a Community Development Corporation with the mission of empowering individuals and communities to achieve their destiny through community organizing, affordable housing, and grassroots economic development.


Faith has always been a critical part of the life of Chapel Hill/Carrboro’s Black community. Prior to emancipation, enslaved people people worshiped in segregated sections of Chapel of the Cross, University Baptist Church, and other churches run by white residents. But Black church-goers quickly…

Faith Tabernacle Oasis of Love International Church

Faith Tabernacle Oasis of Love International Church is located on Rogers Road in Chapel Hill, NC.

First Baptist Church

First Baptist Church was organized in 1865 out of what is now University Baptist Church. It started in the Quaker school building on Franklin Street and eventually grew and expanded to its current site on Roberson Street in 1946. First Baptist has had six pastors in its long history, and its motto…

First Church of God Christian Fellowship

First Church of God Christian Fellowship is located at 102 Boyd Street in Carrboro, NC.

Frank Porter Graham Elementary

"I was offered a job and I accepted. And I've been at Frank Porter Graham ever since... I was in the classroom for eighteen, nineteen years. Then I became assistant principal. I was assistant principal for ten years. This is my year as a principal, interim principal." - Stella Nickerson Frank Porter…

 Front cover from Rev. Warren R. Foushee's Homegoing Service

Rev. Warren R. Foushee served as the pastor for St. Joseph CME Church from 1955-1964. Members of St. Joseph's congregation traveled to Columbia, South Carolina for Rev. Foushee's homegoing service in 1991, bringing back the cover from the order of service. Photo courtesy of Patricia "Pat" Jackson…

 Gracie Webb - On her family, growing up in Northside, and changes in Northside

“On Sundays everybody would come after church and come there and eat, the pastors and all [of them]. We weren’t the wealthiest, but we were always full.” - Gracie Webb Throughout Gracie Webb’s life she has seemingly always been in the Northside and Cedar Groves area of Chapel Hill-Carrboro.…


"This thing has taken up probably about six or seven either homes or grocery -- not commercial -- businesses, Black-owned businesses, where this mass of a building now stands....I don't think they went about it the right way, getting the community involved." - Willis Farrington The Greenbridge…

Guy B. Phillips Junior High

"I was never so angry, the first day that I went to Phillips. That's where I went to teach, Phillips. And I could not believe, when they had the lunch time, these kids ran, I mean, it was just like a zoo or something. Nobody, none of the teachers, corrected them. And I was just appalled by it..and…

Hamlet Chapel CME Church

Hamlet Chapel CME Church is located in Pittsboro, NC.

Hampton University

"One of the things about Hampton -- Hampton trained all its graduates with two goals, objectives in mind. Number one, to give back to the university so therefore it could continue. It was a private school, so alumni always gave money back to the school. The second thing was that anybody that…

Hargraves Community Center

Community-built and community-led, Hargraves is the heart of Northside. In 1939, with fiscal support from the Works Progress Administration (WPA), resident brick masons and carpenters began construction on the “Negro Community Center.” In the midst of World War II, UNC would host the Navy’s…

Haw River Baptist Church

Haw River Baptist Church is located on Mt. Gilead Church Road in Pittsboro, NC.

Hickory Grove Missionary Baptist Church

Hickory Grove Missionary Baptist Church is a historically traditional black church that is located in the rural area of Chapel Hill. It has a rich history that began with just a few people in a one-room log cabin, with one window, no floor, yet our ancestors were honored to call that building...…

History of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

This article is a brief history of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church from the CME Church calendar. Photos courtesy of Mrs. Patricia "Pat" Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church.

Johnson C. Smith University

"I vowed that when I left [Chapel Hill High School], I was going to a historically Black institution. And I did. I went to Johnson C. Smith up in Charlotte. And that was the best decision I ever made. I felt such a sense of acceptance. I made lifelong friends at Smith. I was actively involved. I…

 Katherine Council - On education, changes in the community, and racial discrimination

“I really think with children, it didn’t matter. It was the adults that were having problems.” (In reference to integration) - Katherine "Mama Kat" Council Ms. Council, fondly known as Mama Kat, grew up on a farm in Chapel Hill down Jones Ferry Road and has lived in various places in the area her…

 Kay Gattis - On her life as a caregiver and her faith

And that’s my life, it's all about Ms. Kay, and I’m still going to help until the day I die. If they need help, I’m going to do it. - Kay Gattis Ms. Kay Gattis describes her upbringing in Chapel Hill, with her parents and eight siblings. She described how she took on the role of the caregiver after…

Kennon Cheek/Rebecca Clark Building

The Kennon Cheek/Rebecca Clark building was built in the 1920s to house the university laundry. It was renamed in 1998 to honor Kennon Cheek, a former janitor in Venable Hall and first president of the university janitor's association, and Rebecca Clark, who worked as a housekeeper at the Carolina…

Knotts Funeral Home

"My uncle ran a funeral home here. Bynum Weaver Funeral Home (Chapel Hill Funeral Home), which is now on Graham Street. Actually, the original funeral home is still on Graham Street but is Knotts Funeral Home now. But that was my uncle’s funeral home." - Kathy Atwater Located at 113 N. Graham…

Lenoir Dining Hall

"I’ll never forget, down at the university when I worked in the food service, they were picketing in Lenoir Dining Hall, Chase Cafeteria, and the Student Union. We all had to group together because they didn’t want to pay us minimum wage, and the hours were so long. So, a guy came in from Georgia…

Lincoln Center

Located at 750 S. Merritt Mill Road, Lincoln Center is an administrative building of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. From 1951-1966, the building was home to Lincoln High School, the school serving Black students in the school system. The campus currently houses an alternative high school…

Mama Dip's Kitchen

Mama Dip's Kitchen is a full service restaurant serving traditional southern food since 1976. The restaurant was founded my Mildred "Mama Dip" Council who had previously cooked at Bill's Bar-B-Que, which was owned by her husband's family. She trained all of her children in all aspects of operating…

 Marian Cheek Jackson - On community history, family history. and the University of North Carolina

"You have to keep going." - Marian Cheek Jackson Mrs. Marian Cheek Jackson begins with a description of prominent Black businesses that used to exist in the African American community, (including Mason's grocery store); St. Joseph's Christian Methodist Episcopal Church's role in civil rights…

Marian Cheek Jackson Center for Saving and Making History

McDougle Elementary School

McDougle Elementary opened in 1996. The school is named after Charles and Lucille McDougle, who educated students in Chapel Hill for over 40 years. It shares a campus with McDougle Middle School.

McDougle Middle School

"I know at McDougle Middle School where I worked part-time for the past six years, I made many a phone call encouraging Blacks to come to PTA meetings and to let them know that it was very important to be involved. I did encourage becoming leaders within the PTA." - Hilliard Caldwell McDougle Middle…

Memorial Hospital

"And that was 1952, when the hospital was opened. That's when jobs really became available. And then, if you got a job at the university hospital, twenty-five dollars a week, a hundred dollars a month. That was a long way from paying seven dollars a week." - Rebecca Clark "My grandmother didn't do…

Midway Barber Shop

Stephen Edwards opened the Midway Barber Shop in 1952.

Midway Business District

"I’ve heard stories from people that were around when there were Black owned businesses and most people that owned those businesses were family members or they knew the kid’s parents. It was really easy for them to come in and just hang around and don’t have to worry about safety or…

Morgan State University

"I went to Morgan State University in Baltimore...I felt like I was returning to my roots. I felt like integration had been forced upon me and now that I was able to choose what school I could go to I was going to choose to return back to my community where I knew that academics would be stressed in…

Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church

Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Churches located in Chatham County, NC.

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

"I went to North Carolina, I played football at North Carolina A&T, where I received a BS degree, and as a matter of fact, I was instrumental in the boycott in '62-'63, where we desegregated the Woolworths." - Fred Battle North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (North Carolina…

North Carolina Central University

North Carolina Central University (NCCU) is a public, historically-Black university in Durham, North Carolina. Founded by Dr. James E. Shepard in 1909, the university was made part of the state system in 1923.

North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company

"During World War II, [my mom] sold insurance for North Carolina Mutual Insurance Company." - Doug Clark, Sr. North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, founded in Durham, North Carolina in 1898 by John C. Merrick, is one of the oldest and largest Black-owned businesses in the United States.

Northside Elementary

"I went to school at Northside. My parents wouldn't allow me to walk to school the first two years ...I was kind of ticked because I wanted to walk...They allowed me to walk to school in third grade. So that was cool, like a half hour walk from my house...all these roads here then were dirt roads. …

NOW Church

NOW Church is located on Barbee Chapel Road in Chapel Hill, NC.

O'Bryant Chapel AME Zion Church

O'Bryant Chapel AME Zion Church is located on Chapel Street in Chapel Hill, NC.

Order of Service from Rev. Alex A. Chamber's Service of Memory

Dr. Alex A. Chambers served as pastor at St. Joseph CME Church from 1964-1967. His Service of Memory took place at Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee on March 23, 1992. This pamphlet includes his obituary and information on the service. Photo courtesy of Patricia "Pat" Jackson and St. Joseph CME…

Pamphlet from The 1995 Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture/Preaching Series

Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt, Jr. was one of the featured speakers for the 1995 Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture/Preaching Series. The series was presented by the Duke University Divinity School The Office of Black Church Affairs and the Black Seminarians Union. Photo courtesy of Patricia "Pat" Jackson and…

 Patricia "Pat" Jackson - On St. Joseph CME Church from 1947-1955

 Patricia "Pat" Jackson - On St. Joseph CME Church from 1955-1967

 Patricia "Pat" Jackson - On St. Joseph CME Church from 1967-1970

Poem on Northside by Jasmine (Juice) Farmer

I never truly understood the meaning of community until I witnessed The Northside.I knew the power of a village and the power of prayer,But I had never been a part of a community more powerful, more stronger, & a place that seeped resilience more than the northside.I only got to experience the…

 Postcard of St. Joseph CME Church

R.D. and Euzelle P. Smith Middle School

"They were saying, 'We want Black history courses in this school. We feel like everybody ought to have a knowledge for what the Blacks have contributed to this society.' And yet the textbooks don't even a carry a thing about it...I don't intend for that to happen at R.D. Smith and Euzelle B. Smith's…

RENA Community Center

The Rogers-Eubanks Neighborhood Association (RENA) Community Center is located at 101 Edgar St. in Chapel Hill, NC. The Rogers-Eubanks neighborhood his a historically Black community from Homestead to Eubanks Roads north of Chapel Hill and Carrboro. The community dates back to the 1700s and until…

 Rev. Warren R. Foushee

This photo shows Rev. Warren R. Foushee, who served as the pastor of St. Joseph CME Church from September 1955 to August 1964. Rev. Foushee was born and grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Photo courtesy of Patricia Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church

Roster of Ministers at St. Joseph CME Church

St. Joseph CME Church has maintained a roster of their ministers from 1932 to the present. Photos courtesy of Mrs. Patricia Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church

Scarborough & Hargett Celebration of Life Center, Inc.

"Scarborough owned Scarborough Funeral Home in Durham. And they used to have a funeral home in Chapel Hill, too, before they moved to Durham. They had them in both places." - Doug Clark, Sr. Scarborough & Hargett Celebration of Life Center, Inc. began in Kinston, NC in 1871 when grocer J.C.…

Second Baptist Church

Second Baptist Church is located at 114 S. Graham Street in Chapel Hill, NC.

 Shirley Pendergraph Davis - On the African American freedom struggle and Civil Rights Movement in Chapel Hill (Interview Two)

“Well I would say that [Black women] stood by the men and we also stood up for our rights. We knew a change had to come.” - Shirley Pendergraph Davis Civil rights activist, Shirley Pendergraph Davis, comments on the role of Black women in the Civil Rights Movement in the early 1960s. Ms. Davis…

Staunton Memorial CME Church

Staunton Memorial CME Church is located at 230 Credle Street in Pittsboro, NC.

Sutton's Drug Store

"Most of the news that came out of that was the kind of word of mouth. You know, we're going to march in front of Sutton's today and the word would just kind of come, and after it was over-. I marched in some of these places." - Stanley Vickers Sutton's Drug Store opened in the Strowd Building at…

Terrell’s Creek Missionary Baptist Church

Terrell’s Creek Missionary Baptist Church is located on Old Greensboro Road in Chapel Hill, NC.

The Christian Index - Volume 120, No. 5

The Christian Index is the official publication of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. This edition from March 1, 1987 includes the inaugural address of Dr. Alex A. Chambers, the new president of Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee. Dr. Chambers served as pastor at St. Joseph CME Church from…

Timeline of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

This timeline details the history of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. Photos courtesy of Mrs. Patricia "Pat" Jackson and St. Joseph CME Church.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"There would not be a University if there had not been the Blacks in this community to help build the University." - Kathy Atwater The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was chartered in 1789 and began enrolling students in 1795. Through the mid-19th century, enslaved Black people on lease…

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Initially established as a women's college, the State Normal and Industrial School opened in 1892. In 1919 it was renamed the North Carolina College for Women and in 1932 it was renamed the Woman's College of the University of North Carolina. Men were first admitted in 1963, when it became the…

Varsity Theatre

"My dad, when we was growing up he worked at the Varsity Theatre as a janitor, and that gave us the opportunity to go and see some of the movies. As you know, back in the early '50s and the '60s and maybe up into the '70s, you know, you were not, African Americans was not allowed to go to the…

Walt's Grill

The building that houses Ms. Molly's Gift Shop and Walt's Grill has been owned by the Riggsbee family since 1944. At various points in time, it has been home to the Church of God of Prophecy and Lizzy Mae's Southern Kitchen. In the late 1990s, the restaurant became Walt's Grill, run by Bobby…

White Rock United Holy Church

White Rock United Holy Church is located on White Rock Church Road in Chapel Hill, NC.

William E. Smith Masonry

"When you start, you’re always dealing with brick. But with bricks come long blocks, and then later on, then come rocks. You know, so I was not trained to be a rock mason. 1971 or 1972, I did my first rock repair on Pittsboro Street at the Carolina Inn. And we have just gone from there.... I knew…

Winston-Salem State University

Winston-Salem State University is a historically Black public university in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Founded as Slater Industrial Academy in 1892, it was renamed Winston-Salem Teachers College in 1925. The addition of a school of nursing in 1963 led it to be renamed Winston-Salem State College…
"We’re writing our own history, thank you!"

Ms. Esphur Foster

Want to add in?  Have a different view?  What do you think? Want to upload your own photos or documents?

History is not the past.  It’s the sense we make of the past now. Click below to RESPOND—and be part of making history today.