Saint Alphonsus school.


This photograph of a classroom at Saint Alphonsus School, which was affiliated with the all-black (except for the priest) Saint Alphonsus Catholic Church, probably dates from the early 1940s. According to a history of the school, in 1948 the church purchased a surplus Army PX and transformed into a school building with classrooms, offices and an assembly hall. The school faced Carroll Street (and the rear of the church) between Faison and Academy Streets. With nuns of the Oblate Sisters of Providence teaching, Saint Alphonsus School remained open until it merged with Saint Therese School in the late 1960s. The building was then rented to Concerned Parents of Wilson, Inc., a non-profit organization that founded and funded Kiddie Kollege of Knowledge to provide quality private kindergarten education for African-American children.

[Personal note: I attended Kiddie Kollege of Knowledge 1968-70. The photo below was taken at my graduation in the school’s assembly hall; I’m on the right, holding my Bachelor of Rhymes “degree.” — LYH]


Photograph of Saint Alphonsus reprinted from Wilson Daily Times, 29 April 1999; kindergarten photo in private collection of B.A. Henderson.


  1. I attended St. Alphonsus k-8 as well as my other siblings, the Hoskins Family. Children of Clarence and Nebraska,nine of us attending except the youngest of the ten of us due to the closing and merger with St. Teresa. We were the true scense of combination classes before they were officially called combination. We even had reading classes in the “coat room” due to spacing issues. We without a doubt received the best education possible in Wilson County! I would love to have a reunion of students.We started at the school with the first one of us in 1949 I believe.

    1. I, Michael Barnes, attended St. Alphonsus with Kathleen Hoskins. My older sister, Queen and brother Jesse attended before me. I agree. It was a great education, rigorous studies and homework! I recall Mother Theophane (probably misspelled) and the convent on Green St. A reunion would be great!

  2. Thanks for this History lesson Lisa. This post provoked so many childhood memories. I lived with my aunt on Academy Street(at the intersection of Carol St) for a time and Kidde Kollege of Knowledge, the Rectory and the church are etched in my memory as they were the sites I’d see most often while climbing the big birch tree in her yard. I never knew the priest’s name but, he was always so kind to me. Whenever he saw me, he always had a treat for me. I would be in the yard playing and he would call my teenaged cousin over to get the treat for me. I attended class at St Alphonsus for one day. I don’t know if the priest(whose name I never knew) was influential and securing my last minute enrollment, but one day was one day too many. I refused to go back.

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