Who We Are:
The Berean Community and Family Life Center (BCFLC), founded in 1986 by the historic Berean Baptist Church in the Weeksville/Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, is the first of its kind in the city of New York – a faith-based organization that focuses on health and wellness for adults and children. Our mission is to provide an accessible, community-based program that responds to the holistic needs of persons to promote community empowerment, comprehensive wellness, and quality of life. BCFLC is a leader amongst faith-based community development organizations. A focus on program quality and effectiveness is the key to our success. We have been instrumental in connecting the Crown Heights community with education and support from individuals and organizations that have been making a tremendous difference in underserved populations nationwide.
What we do:
BCFLC offers a range of health, educational, recreational, and social service programs throughout the year for members of the community. We are a part of the Faith-in-Action In-Touch Network, a coalition of local churches and organizations that serve the needs of senior citizens and the physically disabled residents of the community. The purpose of this program is to reduce the needless isolation of individuals by utilizing the full range of resources to provide home visits, meal services, and in-house social activities. Our Life Cycle program promotes health and wellness among adults through the support of individual weight loss and fitness goals. Nutrition and behavior modification classes, exercise and fitness sessions monitored by a physical therapist, sharing of healthy meals, and peer support all assist the individual improvement of each participant.
Since 1989, the Berean Community and Family Life Center has been addressing the social needs of the congregation of the Berean Baptist Church and the people of the surrounding community. We have provided employment training and placement, summer youth programs, senior citizen programs, affordable housing opportunities, and food pantry programs. As health statistics became more available, and the number of deaths from preventable diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cancer, heart disease, and HIV/AIDS began to increase in the community, BCFLC took the initiative to create programming focused on these issues under the direction of our visionary leader and Board Chairman, Rev. Dr. Arlee Griffin, Jr. In 2002, Executive Director, Mrs. Angela Griffin, launched our health and wellness programs, Life Cycle and Weigh-to-go Kids!, to educate, motivate, and inspire adults and children to develop healthy lifestyles so that they may live longer lives. Our evaluated data supports that participants in these programs have made remarkable lifestyle changes and have improved their overall health. By the end of the decade, national statistics showed that childhood obesity among African American adolescents had escalated at an alarming rate. With the help of Rev. Byron Benton, the Berean Community Drumline was established in 2009 to further address this issue. The purpose of the Drumline is to provide physical activity that engages adolescents to combat obesity, prevent disease, and encourage an overall healthier lifestyle, following many of the same principles as the Weigh-to-go Kids! program. Through the rigorous techniques of marching band percussion and dance, adolescent participants have been able to improve their aerobic capacity, physical strength, and self-esteem. As of 2009, Ms. Angela Brown has led BCFLC as Executive Director and is continuing to build our organization’s outstanding community focused social service, health and wellness, and outreach programming. The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has supported us with a grant to launch a NYC Walkers for Wellness group that encourages increased physical activity by providing organized bi-weekly walks through the neighborhood. Participants have enjoyed the program so much that a walker’s club has recently been established to assist the continued physical activity involvement of the community. The National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS has also granted us funding for HIV/AIDS outreach and education. We provide workshops informing attendants of the severity of this disease to groups of all ages at different locations throughout the community. Our ultimate goal and plan for the near future is to complete the construction of our new building that will house a state of the art fitness center with an indoor walking track, expanded medial offices, a restaurant with healthy choices, community space for programming and workshops, and additional classrooms.
BEREAN COMMUNITY & FAMILY LIFE CENTER (BCFLC)
1635 Dr. Hylton L. James Boulevard (Bergen Street)
Brooklyn, NY 11213
Ms. Angela Y. Brown, Executive Director
Ms. Yasmeen A. Hadaway, Program Manager
(718) 774-0466 *118
Rev. Byron L. Benton, Associate Pastor (Berean Baptist Church)
(718) 774-0466 *114