Chicago Lights

Attend the 2017 Gala of Hope and support the work of Chicago Lights!
Friday, February 24 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago

Chicago Lights logo

Chicago Lights is the community outreach arm of Fourth Church. Its programs provide hope and opportunity to our city’s children, youth, and adults who face the challenges of poverty.

It is this congregation’s historic commitment to serve the city and our urban neighbors that is given expression in Chicago Lights. It was founded as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2004 as a way to bring together under one umbrella various Fourth Church urban outreach programs and at the same time to offer those programs better access to corporate and foundation support and partnerships.

Among the programs brought together in 2004 under the Chicago Lights name and organization were the Social Service Center, which was created by Pastor Elam Davies in 1984, and Tutoring, which was started in 1964 by church members and subsequently gave rise to a 501(c)(3) organization known from 1991 to 2004 as Partners in Education (PIE).

The diverse programs and supportive relationships of Chicago Lights empower people to thrive academically, secure economic stability, lead healthy lives, and build community.

Embodying the commitment of Fourth Church to reflect God’s inclusive love, honor the dignity and potential of all, and compassionately serve our neighbors in need, Chicago Lights annually serves 4,000 individuals of all races, ages, ethnic backgrounds, and religious traditions through its five programs, described below.

Subscribe to the Chicago Lights email newsletter

Browse the Chicago Lights Annual Report

Learn about the Chicago Lights Board of Directors and the Associates Board

Calendar of Chicago Lights Events

View upcoming Chicago Lights events and opportunities here.

Chicago Lights Dance Academy

Chicago Lights Dance Academy supports learning and creative self-expression by providing arts education in dance in four public elementary schools in Chicago.

Social Service Center

The Chicago Lights Elam Davies Social Service Center helps meet the basic human needs of food, clothing, and a caring community for more than 1,800 adults annually who are hungry, homeless, or in transition.

Summer Day

Chicago Lights Summer Day provides a safe place to learn and engage in academic classes and arts activities for 100 first through ninth graders for six weeks each summer.


Chicago Lights Tutoring seeks to break the cycle of poverty through academic and emotional support for more than 400 students from low-income families.

Urban Farm

The Chicago Lights Urban Farm empowers youth and community residents in the Near North—formerly Cabrini Green—neighborhood to have increased economic opportunities through access to organic produce, nutrition education, workforce training, and microenterprise development. 

For more information about Chicago Lights, visit the Chicago Lights website or contact Stacy Jackson (312.981.3562), Executive Director of Chicago Lights.