Bethel Family Resources Center

Chicago Heights

Brief History

Bethel Family Resource Center was envisioned 45 years ago by Reverend John H. Rice, former Pastor of St. Bethel Baptist Church. After years of watching the area, he grew up in deteriorate, he decided that a local community center was needed to serve as a headquarter for community restoration. Bethel Community Facility was created out of this initiative. The organization’s name was later changed to Bethel Family Resource Center. It is now under the leadership of Pastor Lawrence J. Blackful and still serving the community.

Mission Statement and/or Core Values

The motto is “We Believe: Prayers, Plans, Patience, and Perseverance Produce Results”

Student Demographics

  • 90% African American
  • 10% Latino
  • Low Income


Participants have entered into the solar panel installation field; some participants have been accepted into the carpenter’s apprenticeship, and many have career-based employment.

Programs Offered

  • YouthBuild
  • Performing Arts & Camp
  • Shelter for the Homeless
  • Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act Program
  • Construction
  • CNA/Nursing
  • Arts

Career Pathways

  • Construction 
  • Certified Nursing Assistant 
  • Nursing 
  • Arts 
  • Trade 

Success Story

Amari McKay completed the program in 2019. She applied and received employment to a solar company. After working in the industry for several years, she is now a lead installer for a solar installation company in Des Moines, Iowa. She earns $32 per hour.


  • CEO: Lawrence J. Blackful
  • Grant Manager & Director of Programs: Tonii Harris