Who We Are

Mission

Lawndale Christian Development Corporation was established in 1987 by the Lawndale Christian Community Church to fulfill the call, in scripture, to do justice according to Micah 6:8. LCDC organizes with the community, for power, to eliminate health and wealth disparities in North Lawndale and around the world. LCDC’s work is done through the development and management of affordable mixed-use housing, providing homeownership for working families and creating cooperative businesses in pursuit of economic development.

Vision

Emerge as a national model of a faith-based network that enables residents to overcome systematic disinvestments in their communities and to create future legacies with intergenerational wealth which eliminate health barriers and disparities.

History

In the fall of 1975, Wayne “Coach” Gordon began teaching and coaching football at Farragut High School on Chicago’s west side.Shortly after, he moved into an apartment in the Lawndale community and along with his wife Anne, began a Fellowship of Christian Athletes Bible Study hosted in their home. In 1978, together with several of the young men and women in the bible study and one of their mothers, Coach and Anne Gordon launched Lawndale Community Church (LCC) currently known as Lawndale Christian Community Church (LCCC)

Guided by Coach Gordon’s dedication to both the physical and spiritual needs of the North Lawndale community, LCCC began buying and rehabilitating abandoned apartment buildings, and renting them to church members and other North Lawndale residents at affordable rates.

To expand the capacity of its redevelopment initiatives, LCCC launched the Lawndale Christian Development Corporation (LCDC) in 1987. Coach Gordon and a small staff continued to rehabilitate single family homes and managed the day-to-day operations, while a dedicated team of volunteers established the strategic framework that would help LCDC dramatically increase its capacity.

Richard Townsell, who had been mentored during high school and college by Coach Gordon, became LCDC’s Executive Director in 1992, and served in that role for 14 years, before transitioning into other leadership roles throughout Chicago. Under Townsell’s direction, LCDC brought more than $40 million in redevelopment to North Lawndale. During this time, LCDC also broadened its program offerings to include youth and adult education, and job readiness programming.

Following Townsell’s departure, Marcus Thorne became the Executive Director from 2006-2007, followed by Kim Jackson from 2007-2014. Under Jacksons’ leadership LCDC brought great change to the North Lawndale community through the development of the following sites: Dr. King Legacy Apartments, Fountain View Apartments, Renaissance Place Apartments and the Gideon Homes, among others.

Since its inception, LCDC has completed over $100 million in residential and commercial development, and contributed more than 360 units of affordable housing to the North Lawndale community.

Richard Townsell returned to LCDC as Executive Director in 2015.