In 1998, the late Pastor Emeritus, Robert Johnson Smith shared his vision of a Family Life Center with the Salem congregation. His vision was to increase outreach efforts by addressing the spiritual, education and social needs of not only Salem members, but of surrounding communities. Through the effort of various planning committees and analysis of church survey results, it was determined that a board of directors should be established to form a non-profit corporation to assist the residents of Montgomery and Philadelphia counties to fulfill the vision of not only Pastor Emeritus, but his late son, Pastor Robert Johnson Smith, II.
In June, 2010, the Board of Directors of the Robert Johnson Smith Family Life Center was formed. Officers were elected and the board began its initial tasks to form a 501c3 non-profit corporation. Board members included: Ernie Brown, Greg Lyles (Treasurer), Dorothy Rush, Barbara Cottman Jackson (Secretary), Blanche Lewis, Craig Washington, Virgil Walker, Gary Earland (Assistant Treasurer), Derrick Green, Esq (Special Counsel), Alonzo Kittrels (Vice President) and Myra Laws (President). Over a fifteen month period the board created and adopted by-laws, obtained an EIN from the IRS, developed Articles of Incorporation which were approved by the State of Pennsylvania and obtained its 501c3 non-profit status from the IRS in September, 2011.
The work of the board over the initial 15 months has not been limited to completing necessary paperwork for becoming a non-profit. The board has also initiated and/or fostered the following for the Robert Johnson Smith Family Life Center:
The Salem Upscale Thrift Shop was initiated and has become an overwhelming success after one year of existence.
Renting space in the Family Life Center to other organizations to provide outreach and services to the communities was initiated.These include: Phi Beta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc. for their Twenty Pearls and Emerging Young Leaders programs.
Montgomery County of Cheyney University Alumni Association
Working with Community Marketing Concepts to provide PECO Smarts seminars to Adult Citizens and Salem members. Ordering computers for the technology lab and establishing computer classes for Salem’s adult citizens. Established partnership with the Princeton Review to offer SAT Practice Tests, SAT Score Back Sessions and SAT Prep Courses in the FLC.
And, besides obtaining our 501c3 status in September, 2011, the Board welcomed Deacon Carole Davis as a new member replacing Deacon Craig Washington on the Board.