In addition to feeding the soul, members of St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church (STJ AMEC) strive to assist individuals and families with everyday necessities, education and social action.

STJ is in Progress Village, a low-income community of Tampa Bay.  In partnership with Project Focus, STJ also serves residents in need in the greater Tampa Bay and contributed to world outreach ministries since 1961.

Some of the more notable accomplishments below are as follow:

Boys and Girls Scouts

  • STJ is the meeting location to Boys & Girls Scout troops which attract at risk youth from diverse and low-income families.
  • Sponsor of Boy Scout Troop 138; in addition to camping and earning badges, troopers celebrated its 2nd youth achieving Eagle Scout in 2015
  • Girl Scout Troop 669 has over 25 members; in addition to camping and earning badges, for the past several years, they have adopted Progress Village Blvd to clean as part of Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful clean up initiative

Black Heritage Weekend – Youth & Teen Education & Talent Showcase

  • The only 3-day AMEC event where youth from across the State of Florida and Bahamas converge in Jacksonville, Florida to display their skills and talents essay writing, oratorical delivery, vocal and musical mastery, dance expression, chess, brain bowl knowledge and sporting competitions.  Over 2,000 youth and adults fellowship, make new friends and attend an uplifting youth-led and spirit-filled service and concert. STJ has supported40 youth annually to the experience arranging transportation, hotels, chaperons and snacks.

Youth Leadership & Scholarship Support

  • 2003-2009 – Project Focus After-School Tutoring Program supported by a 5-year USF grant and hosted at STJ; this program engaged professional teachers to provide year-around tutoring services to at risk youth; summer time was slated for enrichment programming; participants also served dinner; attendance was approximately 375 students were served throughout the program
  • 2009 – RESPECT Etiquette Training Class for middle to high school female and male youth
  • 2013 – Helped a youth who was selected to attend the Jr. National Leadership Youth Council week and half long leadership program in Washington, D.C.
  • 2013 & 2014 Summer Food Program provided healthy nutrition option for children in the community including breakfast, lunch and two snacks; provided through Hillsborough County Summer Lunch Program
  • 2014 – Helped a youth attend week-long an Alvin Ailey Dance Camp for youth.
  • 2010-2015 – Distributed over $4,000 in scholarships to recognize its graduating high school seniors and reward them with a modest contribution in addition to giving Bibles and blessings to pursue higher pursuits.
  • 2015 – Supported “Save Our Youth Explosion” where approximately 75 pre-teens and teens participated in an all-day forum on personal growth in ministry, avoiding drugs & gun violence, facts on court system and youth, de-escalating strategies when engaging law enforcement.

Youth Leadership & Scholarship Support

  • 2003-2009 – Project Focus After-School Tutoring Program supported by a 5-year USF grant and hosted at STJ; this program engaged professional teachers to provide year-around tutoring services to at risk youth; summer time was slated for enrichment programming; participants also served dinner; attendance was approximately 375 students were served throughout the program
  • 2009 – RESPECT Etiquette Training Class for middle to high school female and male youth
  • 2013 – Helped a youth who was selected to attend the Jr. National Leadership Youth Council week and half long leadership program in Washington, D.C.
  • 2013 & 2014 Summer Food Program provided healthy nutrition option for children in the community including breakfast, lunch and two snacks; provided through Hillsborough County Summer Lunch Program
  • 2014 – Helped a youth attend week-long an Alvin Ailey Dance Camp for youth.
  • 2010-2015 – Distributed over $4,000 in scholarships to recognize its graduating high school seniors and reward them with a modest contribution in addition to giving Bibles and blessings to pursue higher pursuits.
  • 2015 – Supported “Save Our Youth Explosion” where approximately 75 pre-teens and teens participated in an all-day forum on personal growth in ministry, avoiding drugs & gun violence, facts on court system and youth, de-escalating strategies when engaging law enforcement.

Back to School Bash

  • 2013-2017 – STJ members provide leadership and have use the church’s annex as a base of operation to organize this event which is hosted at the Progress Village Middle Magnet School of The Arts.  Volunteers arrange to get backpacks for pre, elementary, middle and high school students; get donations of food and water; secure vendor booths of government departments, social services and local businesses to distribute free services; arrange entertainment to include a DJ, bounce house, performers, horseback riding and games; etc.

Benevolence Contribution

  • Over the years, STJ has contributed tens of thousands of dollars to help those in need.  Funding has helped members and non-members with rent and mortgage assistance, utility bill payments, car repairs, emergency travel, food purchases, etc.

Vacation Bible School (VBS)

  • For 5 decades, STJ has opened its sanctuary to the community to participate in a free, spirit-filled and educational enrichment during the summer featuring creative approaches to learning about the Bible, fun and refreshments for youth as well as adults.

Hillsborough Organization for Progress and Equality (HOPE)

  • As AME churches have always been the foundation of social improvement in the United States, STJ is an active member of HOPE which has made a positive difference to address social injustices and work with elected officials to addressing inequalities and unfair practices related to housing, education, and employment.

Keep Warm for the Homeless

  • STJ instituted an inaugural drive in 2014 to help the homeless during the winter months.  Over 100 blankets, socks and gloves were collected and distributed to homeless individuals in downtown Tampa.

Men and Boys Fellowship

  • As part of the mission of the Sons of Allen, the AME’s men’s group, a men and boys fellowship was established wherein monthly sessions have focused on spiritual, generational, social and currently critical topics important to black male survival.

Community Emergency Outreach

  • STJ has been at the center of helping local homeowners whose homes were damaged in 2011 by the hurricanes and tornados.  Partnering with Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay (RTTB), a nonprofit that “brings volunteers and communities together to improve the lives of low-income homeowners in Tampa Bay,” STJ members and RTTB volunteers went throughout the neighborhood of Progress Village cutting down tree branches, removing roof-top debris, passing out bottles of water and bringing comfort to distressed neighbors.  STJ avails itself to helping the community.