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United Methodist Neighborhood Centers, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Economic Development, Education, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Human Services, Literacy, Neighborhood Centers, Urban & Community Economic Development, Youth Development - Religious Leadership

Mission: We are God's people, empowering inner-city youth and families to lead responsible lives by providing discipleship, education and leadership development. Vision: The Bethlehem Center's vision is to transform the Alton Park community and beyond into literate, spiritually enriched and economically self-sufficient neighborhoods, that are safe and enjoyable for all residents to live, work and play.

Programs: The Beth's program strategy focuses on four, key areas: Spiritual Growth, Education / Literacy, Leadership Development & Economic Empowerment. Everything the Bethlehem Center does includes Spiritual Growth and normally one or both of the other two focus areas. But why these three areas of focus?- Spiritual growth is essential to the inner transformation of hearts and people. - Education replaces the hopelessness and fear embodied in ignorance with the empowering hope and courage arising from knowledge. - Economic empowerment transforms people and families from a state of dependency and consumption to a state of self-sufficiency and production.

Community Stories

45 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Gloria D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love the work the Bethlehem Center is doing in the community. I recently started volunteering with them and have been fortunate to witness first hand the work that they are doing in the community, but also the outreach it is inspiring in others. Recently they have been interviewing talented high schoolers from all backgrounds to serve their community this summer. It was uplifting to see these kids strive to help their community but also actively think about the gifts they have that would help. They want to do more, and that's not something I see on a daily basis. I think the Bethlehem Center has helped them realize however that there is a forum to do more, and by encouraging these kids to go to college, they show them that helping is not just confided to that building. I look forward to seeing the Bethlehem Center grow in support and resources to continue to help raise these bright, future leaders.

Lori62

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Bethlehem Center serves as a safe haven for the children and the community of Chattanooga. Our children in the community needs a place that is filled with people who will encourage them, believe in them and show them that there is always a better way and the Bethlehem Center provides all of that. Chattanooga is so fortunate to have such a center that will help children become stronger students, future leaders and carriers of the message of Christ that they have learned at the Beth. The Beth is filled with people who know how to lift these children up and show them what can be accomplished through hard work and determination. Chattanooga is privileged to have such a place as the Bethlehem Center in our community and I am so grateful for all that they do on a daily basis!

April J.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The BETH is a shining example in Chattanooga of Christ's love and care for all. I know what a difference the tutoring makes in the lives of children served. I personally love my visits to the thrift store and the diner! Keep up the great work!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Over the past five years, it has been my privilege to serve on the Bethlehem Center Board. The Beth is a light for the inter-city youth and adults of Chattanooga, TN. Each summer there is a literacy academy to help the students in grades K-8 to improve in the areas of math, reading, the arts, physical and spiritual development. This summer the academy is called "Read to Lead." The goal is that the students will gain the skills needed to become leaders in the community. Gang prevention is another goal. The Beth provides Christian opportunities for youth. The excellent leadership at the Beth makes this all possible.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Bethlehem Center is a rare, gleaming star that shines bright in our struggling world. It offers more than just a place for kids to hangout, but it keeps the young boys and girls in the Chattanooga community off of the streets which could lead them down a slippery slope. Instead of getting caught up in activity that could be detrimental for the remainder of their lives, the young people at The Beth work very hard to not be another statitistical number. From the conversations I have had with the young people here, there is nothing but goals and inspiration to be the best they can be. Like previously stated before, it is not just a place for these kids to hang out but a place for them to learn and to enhance their skills. The boys and girls at The Beth are constantly in classes to further their reading and math skills as well as learning about qualities that make a good human being. This all starts from the people leading the way at The Beth, from Coach Jennings to the people who work at the Beth Bistro, they are all inspiring individuals whose goal is to better the lives of the young people they lead. For alot of the kids who attend The Beth, it is a home away from home with leaders who represent family to so many youngsters. After spending a little time here, you will figure out how important the Bethlehem Center is to so many people in the Chattanooga community.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I Like This Program It Helps Me Stay In To Something In Not Out On The Streets . The Beth Program Is An Amazing Program For Students All Ages . I Did One Summer Here An I Would Love To Come Next Year .

Client Served

Rating: 5

I enjoy my time at the Beth they tought me new thing ! I now believe in my heart that I can and i will be somebody. They have help my reading skill improving so much . They have guide me in the right path . I have learned so much now I can help other that goin through the thing i have being through.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I find it interesting that the city leaders need to finance expensive studies to determine if there is a gang problem and how to address it. The Bethlehem Center has been giving some of the kids what they need for years; love, faith, hope and the knowledge of a different life. Its too bad that is not available for every child.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Bethlehem Center shines a bright light of hope throughout the Chattanooga area. Their mission to love and support children through spiritual development, educational programs and leadership development, is one of the most comprehensive non-profit programs in the country. Each day they impact children to make a choice to change their community through literacy and love. I am blessed to have a part to serve this wonderful organization.

Larry13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the privilege of assisting in implementing a urban gardening program with Lurone Jennings and The Bethlehem staff. this center is accomplishing great things for the residents of the Alton Park district. Their vision and purpose reflects the desires of the staff to see great things happen with youth and residents of the area. What a tremendous ministry!

Comments ( 1 )

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etallmanthebeth 06/27/2012

Larry, The gardens look fantastic this year! The residents are working hard to grow food and share it with their neighbors. Thanks for having such a great vision for the gardens throughout Alton Park and for all the hard work to make it happen!

Rebecca A.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I became aware of the Bethlehem Center's mission and activities through Bible Study lead by Pastor Jennings. I started donating to the Beth because I was convinced of the good works done by Pastor Jennings and all the other hard workers and volunteers. Then I became a volunteer at the Beth and eventually became a Board member. I still donate and volunteer at the Beth as I continue to believe in its mission. It truly serves as a safe, Christian haven for children and youth in the neighborhood. The documented strides made by the Beth in literacy are amazing and its literacy program has been adopted by other organizations and churches and endorsed by our local educators. I only wish the services offered for children and adults in the Alton Park neighborhood had been available to me when I was growing up and feeling very alone and unloved in a very dysfunctional family. Keep up the great work!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Bethlehem Center offers children educational opportunities, help with school work, exercise, nutrition, and fun activities. I really love that the kids have the opportunity to earn money throughout the program, and at the end are given a lesson in budgeting when they are paired with adults to spend their earnings. Not only do they have programs for children, but they serve the community in many ways focusing on healty lifestyle changes.

Donor

Rating: 5

I came to The Beth 50 years ago and I have not left. As a student, teacher/coach, board member, donor and executive director. I am blown away each day I serve this community and beyond through the Bethlehem Center. God's hand is always moving in this ministry to bring hope to the staff, board and participants. Check it out and your life will never be the same.

Client Served

Rating: 5

There are a lot of really cool kids at the Beth and they are really nice. The Beth helps with all your school needs. They also care about who you can't be around and what you shouldn't do.

Deanna Q.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a mom who has worked with the children and staff at the Beth for everything from fund raising to Christmas shopping with the kids, I appreciate the safe haven and opportunities the Beth provides for our children in Chattanooga. The children are precious, and the staff is always responsive and appreciative. What a great organization and resource!!

Michael S.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am thoroughly impressed with what the Bethlehem Center is doing for the city of Chattanooga. It's wholesome community service I have found unparalleled with similar institutions. The staff I have found to manifest a consistent patient and self-sacrificing disposition that is rarely seen in this busy age we live in.

The BETH is more than a community center, it is a city of refuge within a city. A place where young and old alike can find direction and encouragement. The programs they offer for the community do not merely sustain and provide wholesome entertainment. In addition to this, the staff are dedicated to educating, inspiring, and ministering to the needs of the family and the individual heart. Past history and the present day testifies to the truth of this fact. What a different America it would be if every community had their own Bethlehem Center!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have benefited from the Bethlehem Center a number of years. As a child, I attended the Good Shepherd Fold Day Care Center. As a teen, I participated in various activities at the Bethlehem Center. As an adult, I am privileged to be a part of their Economic Development. I love the haven that "THE BETH" provides for children and adults. The center offers programs that can benefit any individual in any life situation. I am PROUD to have been a part of the BETH, and that the BETH is still a part of me!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Bethlehem Center is doing great things for the community.
Keep up the good work!!

Joyce T.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Several years ago I had the privilege of teaching under Lurone Jennings as my principal. He set an example for his teachers and students to follow Jesus Christ and that we are a result of our thoughts and actions. Lurone has brought this philosophy to the Bethlehem Center and all who enter in. Lurone remains a mentor and inspiration to me as a teacher and Christian.

Nancy A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful inter-city program. The children come to the center after school for help with their homework, as well as recreation and learning God's word. There is a wonderful summer program which focases on raising the reading skills and math performance of approximately 110 students enrolled in the program. My church has served lunches for one week each summer for the last three years. Everyone involved in this outreach activity has received a tremendous blessing each year. I can wait for our week of service this summer.