The Johnston County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated received their charter on April 27, 2003 to serve the entire geographical area of Johnston County, NC. The chartering ceremony was held at the Smithfield-Selma Chamber of Commerce in Smithfield, North Carolina. Mary Bennett Sutton, the 13th South Atlantic Regional Director, performed the ceremony. The charter members were: Gloria Durham Lovett, Mary Spruill Windley, Georgianna Coles McLean, Bayetta Blackmore McNeill, Arlean Brooks, Shirley Oneal Cohen, Earlona S. Davis, Tamara Watson Barbour, Vertna Judkins DeVine, Vivian Hill Williams, and Mabel Y. Watson. Evelyn Lane Sanders, also a charter member, served as the first President of the newly formed chapter.
In the inaugural year, the Chapter was an active participant of the Smithfield-Selma Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee. The Chapter's first major program focus was recognizing Black Businesses in Johnston County in support of local black enterprises and self sufficiency. At the Annual Economic Development Banquet, the first Black Business of the Year was Jenkins and Jenkins Construction Company. Additionally, the Chapter provided Christmas gifts to the Homeless, awarded five (5) academic scholarships to gifted high school seniors, and served as proctors for the Selma Middle School end of grade test. The Chapter continues to develop groundbreaking programs such as Young Entrepreneurs and 5K Walk/Run Against Family Violence.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to provide assistance and support through established programs in local communities throughout the world. Founded on January 13, 1913, by twenty-two collegiate women at Howard University, the Sorority is currently a sisterhood of more than 200,000 predominately Black college-educated women. This includes 1,000 collegiate and alumnae chapters located in the United States, Canada, England, Japan (Tokyo and Okinawa), Germany, the Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and the Republic of Korea. The major programs of the Sorority are based upon the organization’s Five-Point Programmatic Thrust: Economic Development, Educational Development, International Awareness and Involvement, Physical and Mental Health, Political Awareness and Involvement.