Ms. Gertrude Green, an Afican-American social worker at the Department of Family and Children Services, founded Wesley Community Centers in 1949. Ms. Green, who recognized the need for day care for children of Negro working mothers, began meeting in 1948 with others in the community, including Rev. Arthur Curtwright, Rev George Clary, and Dr. William K. Payne, to plan for a child care center. They were joined by the Methodist Church and the Methodist Women Missionaries, whose interest was already in the area of serving the needs of children and families through Bethlehem Centers. With funding from the Women's Society of Christian Services, Savannah's Bethlehem Center first open its doors in 1949 and served twenty-five children in a borrowed facility. In 1972 Bethlehem Center merged with Inner City Community Center and took its current name, Wesley Community Centers of Savannah, Inc. Wesley is a United Methodist Missions Institution and, since 1959, a member of the United Way. The agency is now owned by the Board of Directors and includes three buildings and the grounds where it operates. In 2000, Wesley opened an all-inclusive community Women's Center where women and families of all different races, nationalities, socio-economic standings, education, and abilities join together to learn, share, and work for personal and community social, economic, and spiritual justice.
During the Tenure of Rev. W. Hamp Watson, Jr. as District Superintendent of the Savannah District of the United Methodist Church 1979-1984, the property of the former Adventist Church at 1601 Drayton Street was purchased by Wesley Community Centers, Inc. This was made possible by a Financial Campaign headed up by the District Superintendent and Frank Wooten, aka Francis L. Wooten, Jr. Mr. Wooten, a long-time Faithful Member at Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church was President of Kaiser Agricultural Chemical Corporation. Mr. Wooten used his considerable influence in the Savannah Community to solicit Corporate Gifts and other gifts that resulted in enough money to purchase the property at 1601 Drayton Street. Wesley Community Centers moved into the new site that provided adequate space to continue its previous programs for the poor of the Savannah Community and to launch new programs under the direction of Reatha Stevens who was Executive Director of Wesley Community Centers at that time. Rev. W. Hamp Watson, Jr., District Superintendent, said, "Had it not been for the leadership of Frank Wooten, we would not have been able to occupy this wonderful new space to launch programs for the poor of Savannah."