In 1984, after a passionate discussion between Dr. William J. Harrison, a prominent educator, and Rev. C. Garnett Henning, pastor of St. Paul A.M.E. Church, about the need for a male mentoring program in the St. Louis area, Saint Paul Saturdays was established in the basement of St. Paul A.M.E. Church in St. Louis, Mo. St. Paul Saturdays was founded by Dr. William J. Harrison, an educator, historian, humanitarian, and active member of St. Paul A.M.E. Church and Rev. C. Garnett Henning. Dr. Harrison, who died in June, 1994, and Rev. C. Garnett Henning strongly believed that young black men ,need, desire, and deserve a chance in life.
St. Paul Saturdays is a supplement to the family, church, and community. Members are to learn that ultimately, each man is responsible for his own development. We provide a set of programs and activities to give specific training, experience, instruction and examples to achieve our purpose. Fundamentally, St. Paul Saturdays is a community program with no religious affiliation requirements for young men to participate.
From our humble beginnings of 12 charter members over 27 years ago we have grown to more than 50 young men (ages 6 to 17) each Saturday. Each young man knows he is expected to earn a college degree. We have partnered with Washington University and other local universities to provide tutoring to each young man every month, along with other meaningful support. The program has a 100% high graduation rate and 100% of our high school graduates attend college.
Since our founding in 1984, five St. Paul Saturday Men have graduated cum laude (“with honors”) from Morehosue College, Dr. Harrison’s alma mater. St. Paul Saturdays is currently headquartered at St. Paul A.M.E. Church where Rev. James Arthur Rumph is the pastor.