In 1984 members of the clergy and the Honorable Archie Spigner, former New York City Councilman from Queens, formed a committee to support the presidential candidacy of the Reverend Jessie Jackson.
After the election, the group formed the not-for-profit Southeast Queens Clergy for Community Empowerment, Inc. (SQCCE). Reverend Walton James was the first elected president. Several community leaders have served as president, including the Reverends Edward Bufford, James C. Kelly, Henry T. Simmons.
As SQCCE, the organization met in local churches for monthly evening services and in Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church for board meetings. The organization was located for a time at a store front on Merrick Blvd, and in 1995 we moved to the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce Building, on the 10th Floor.
This thriving organization has more than quadrupled since 1995. SQCCE was recently renamed Clergy United for Community Empowerment, Inc. (CUCE) to better reflect our city-wide and international efforts. We offer direct services, education and community empowerment through sixteen program areas (link to WHAT WE DO). CUCE services are available for all people regardless of race, religion, gender, age, national origin, or sexual preference.
In 2004, CUCE assisted in the formation of Tanzania Churches for the Needy, an ecumenical council of twenty-six clergypersons representing over seven thousand parishioners in Tanzania, now an official affiliate.
We have been and continue to be truly blessed as we "come of age."