In 1995, several Church mission teams traveled to Chester, Pennsylvania to volunteer at the CityTeam Ministries Rescue Mission. It was there that these teams came to know Richard Williams, the Director of that facility. After some discussion and planning, it became apparent that CityTeam Ministries could play a vital role in the organization and development of a youth outreach center in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
In the summer of 1997, Richard Williams relocated to Jonesboro, Arkansas to begin the work of CityTeam Ministries-Jonesboro. United Way of Greater Jonesboro accepted CityTeam as a member agency. In 2000, we became a service project for Junior Auxiliary of Jonesboro.
In the summer of 2001, CityTeam Ministries’ headquarters announced the need to downsize the ministry. Headquarters extended the invitation to the Jonesboro Advisory Council to consider a ministry independent of CityTeam. On August 17, 2001, CityYouth Ministries, Inc. was established. On Thursday, November 29, 2001, CityTeam Ministries officially gave the keys of our ministry to the board of Directors of CityYouth Ministries. There were 19 charter Board members. CityYouth’s administrative staff consists of an Executive Director, an Operations Manager, two Youth Workers, three Social Work interns (Community Connections Coordinators), an Administrative Assistant and a host of volunteers.
On January 9, 2002, the IRS approved our 501(c)3 status with the advance ruling period beginning August 17, 2001. Since 2004, CityYouth has provided on average 700-800 summer meals a day through a grant from the Department of Agriculture that is State and Federally approved.
The mission of CityYouth is to develop Christ followers while building strength, wisdom and character in young people. This mission is integrated into all activities within the organization to fulfill the vision of improving family engagement, enhancing community responsibility, advancing academic achievement to improve college and career access and success, and building positive social support systems for at-risk youth.