Garner Road Community Center Objectives


  1. To provide opportunities through programs for youth, families and adults to develop character and leadership
  2. To provide opportunities for its members to grow in spirit, mind and body through participation in social, cultural, educational and sports activities.


Our History


Garner Road Community Center

2235 Garner Road Raleigh NC 27610 919-856-2356

Saving Kids, Serving Families and Supporting Communities


Historical Overview


The main objective of the Garner Road Community Center is to aid in the development of Christian Standards. In the attainment of this goal, the Garner Road Community Center seeks to promote the physical, mental and spiritual uplifting of our constituency and to emphasize reverence for God, responsibility for common goals, respect for personality and the application of the Golden Rule in human relationships. The Garner Road Community Center was one of the last minority owned, independently operated YMCAs in the United States and became a Community Center in October 2010. The Garner Road Community Center serves hundreds of families in Southeast Raleigh and in Wake County.


From its incorporation over 65 years ago, the Garner Road Community Center has served as a strong pillar promoting youth and family events throughout the community. The Garner Road Community center was originally known as the Bloodworth Street YMCA when its doors opened in 1946. Many of Raleigh’s African American leaders understood the need to offer African Americans in the community a location where they could socialize, receive childcare, athletic leadership programs for the youth and families of Raleigh. This motivated the creation of a Board of Directors to secure the location and facility that would accommodate the needs of the black Community.


A Board of Management was created that served as the Board of Directors. They were: C.A. Haywood, Chairman, R.H. Toole, Secretary, D.H. Keck, Treasurer, M.W. Akins, Br. O.S. Bullock, F.J. Carnage, Esq., J.W. Eaton, C.R. Fraizer, Dr. J.T. Hamlin, J.R.High, Rev. P.H. Johnson, Rev. C. Andre Kearns, Dr. L.E. McCauley, E. H. McClenny, D.W.B. Pettiford, D.F. Newell, D. H. Reid, Dr. Maurice Watts and Dr. Nelson H. Harris.


The First Board Director Chairperson was Mr. Ernest Raiford. He was blessed with the fortitude and persistence to work with Thad Eure Sr. to secure the Charter for the Board of Directors and secure the location on Bloodworth Street that would become known as the Bloodworth Street YMCA in 1946. In addition to the Chartering of the Board of Directors, Mr. Raiford was instrumental in motivating the Board of Directors to raise the capital to secure the sixteen acres of land where the Garner Road Community Center is currently located today.


It was in 1977, that the Board of Directors for the Bloodworth Street YMCA realized that as the needs of the community expanded, and the request for services continued to grow, that the current facility would need to get larger. Under the leadership of an outstanding board, the capital expansion grew to include the J.D. Lewis Multipurpose Center, located behind the Garner Road Community Center. This center was designed to host over 800 in a banquet style capacity, 2 additional basketball courts, prep kitchen, office and additional amenities in over 17,000 square feet of space. The Center was named after J.D. Lewis, a very special human being who influenced the lives of many Raleigh families during his career at WRAL. He was also instrumental in the creation of the teenage Frolic’s during the 1960’s where African American Teenagers were able to congregate and dance to the latest music in a safe, welcoming environment. In 2010, the Board of Directors named their first female CEO, Ms. Moszetta Johnson. Mo is a graduate of North Carolina State University and she earned her Master’s Degree from Concordia University. In order to preserve the historical site – partner and friend David West purchased and now owns the J.D. Lewis Center with director of operations Dwayne West.