football at a local Lawndale high school and eventually began a Bible study in his home for some
of the local high school athletes.101 This Bible study developed into a small church, and these
individuals—as residents of North Lawndale—were very cognizant of other needs in the
community.102 As a result, Coach Gordon and other members of the community founded the
Lawndale Christian Health Center (“LCHC”) in 1984,103 the Lawndale Christian Development
Corporation (“LCDC”) in 1987,104 Hope House in 1995,105 and the Lawndale Christian Legal
Center (“LCLC”) in 2010.106
Martin Luther King Jr. to visit the community in order to draw attention to the deplorable housing conditions and
other social problems in the area. Id. More race riots ensured after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in
1968. Id. By 1970, 75% of the businesses in the community relocated to other locations, and African American
residents were also moving to other neighborhoods. Id.
101 Rev. Dr. Wayne L. “Coach” Gordon: Biography, LAWNDALE CMTY. CHURCH,
http://www.lawndalechurch.org/documents/coach_bio_2011.pdf (last visited Nov. 19, 2012).
102 Id. To learn more about the history of Lawndale Community Church, read Coach Gordon’s book, WAYNE GORDON,
REAL HOPE IN CHICAGO (1995).
103 LCHC Origins, LAWNDALE CHRISTIAN HEALTH CTR., http://www.lawndale.org/about/our-history (last visited Mar.
13, 2016). After living in the community and listening to its residents, Mr. Gordon began planning and praying for a
health facility to meet the physical and emotional needs of the Lawndale community. Lawndale Community Church,
LAWNDALE CHRISTIAN DEVELOP. ASSOC., http://www.lcdc.net/lcc.html (last visited Nov. 19, 2012). The Health
Center now treats approximately 150,000 patients every year, providing affordable health care to community members
who would otherwise not be able to afford it. LCHC Origins. The main Health Center facility is located on Ogden
Avenue, but it has expanded to three additional satellite locations in the Lawndale Community. Id. “Services include
laboratory, radiology, and pharmacy, dentistry, optometry, behavioral health, and health support services for targeted
populations such as pregnant women, seniors, asthmatics, diabetics, and persons with HIV.” Id. Connected to the
health center is a fitness center, a café, conference center, women’s health center, and pediatric medical and dental
104 Milestones, LAWNDALE CHRISTIAN DEVELOP. ASS’N, http://www.lcdc.net/milestones3.html (last visited Nov. 19,
2012). After establishing the health center, members of LCC focused on the need for safe, affordable, and quality
housing. Lawndale Community Church, LAWNDALE CHRISTIAN DEVELOP. ASS’N, http://www.lcdc.net/lcc.html (last
visited Nov. 19, 2012). Today, the LCDA is responsible for $48 million in commercial and residential redevelopment.
Id. This initiative includes “65 single-family homes, condominiums and two-flats and 167 apartment units for low-income families and a $3.1 million childcare facility (Jubilee Family Resource Center) which serves 220 children and
employs 50 people.” Id. The LCDA’s greatest successes are seen in the lives of: “[t]he once apathetic resident who
now recognizes the power of uniting with other community members; the families experiencing the joy and financial
benefits of homeownership; and Lawndale children, adults and senior citizens who have begun to bridge the gap
caused by the ‘digital divide . . . .’” Id.
105 The Hope House & the Nehemiah Discipleship House Ministry, LAWNDALE CHURCH,
http://www.lawndalechurch.org/hope-house.html (last visited Nov. 8, 2012). Hope House is a ministry of Lawndale
Community church “designed to help equip and encourage men, striving to reenter society after prison and/or recovery
from substance abuse, to be productive Kingdom men.” Id. The program equips the men with a faith-oriented twelve-step support program, job skills, encouragement, and foundational Biblical teachings. Id. After participating in the
program for three months, the men have the opportunity to work with one of the Hope House’s partnering employers,
receive financial management counseling, and are encouraged to reconcile with loved ones. Id. After nine months in
the program, the men can either conclude their time in the program or move into the Nehemiah Discipleship House
where they will continue to receive counseling on planning and goal setting. Id. Since its inception in 1995, the
leadership at Hope House estimates the 2,500 men have participated in the program and about “90 percent of the men
have completely recreated lives, and are enjoying productive, drug/alcohol free lives.” Id.