Church faithful celebrate 150 years

St. John marks major milestone Sunday


This weekend marks 150 years of serving God and making a difference in the community for St. John African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.

The church has grown exponentially from its humble beginnings on Suggs Street in 1868 and has become a driving force in many areas including education and community outreach to the most vulnerable. Parishioners say the church has also been a leader in youth programs and a champion for economic development.

“With the feeding ministries and various other ministries which have been implemented in the church, we want the community to know that St. John has been and continues to be a spiritual force in the Wilson community for 150 years,” said the Rev. Charlrean B. Mapson, who was appointed last October and is the first female pastor in the church’s history.

On Sunday, church members, community leaders and state and local dignitaries will gather in praise and worship to celebrate not only St. John’s history, but its future and love for Christ and the Wilson community. The anniversary worship service will begin at 10 a.m. The public is invited.

“The 150-year mark in any congregation is significant and a cause for celebration,” Mapson said.


St. John is the only church 93-year-old Inez D. Bell has ever known. And she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“My church family is a vital part of my life,” said Bell, who was christened there as a baby. “I love my St. John family, who stand by my side continually.”

Bell has seen the church change and grow throughout the years.

“I have persevered and enjoy working in the ministries of the church and the community,” she said.

Excerpt, see more at The Wilson Times