Mabee Foundation Awards $950,000 to Methodist Family Health
$950,000 challenge grant will help fund the Mike Millar Spiritual Life Center in Little Rock

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Methodist Family Health received $950,000 from the Mabee Foundation for the construction of the Mike Millar Spiritual Life Center.

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LITTLE ROCK, AR (Jan. 19, 2021) – The Mabee Foundation recently awarded $950,000 to Methodist Family Health for construction of the Mike Millar Spiritual Life Center. The new center will replace the original chapel on Methodist Family Health’s oldest campus, the Methodist Children’s Home, in Little Rock.

This challenge grant to the Methodist Family Health Foundation for completion of the new center stipulates the nonprofit raise the total project cost of $4,256,175 by October 13, 2021. To date, Methodist Family Health Foundation has $809,000 left to raise.

“This center will include a chapel, multipurpose space, welcome center for the campus, and administrative space for our Methodist Children’s Home administrators,” said Carolyn McCone, CFRE, executive director of the Methodist Family Health Foundation. “We also will include an outdoor labyrinth, new landscaping and enhanced parking to compliment the center.”

Plans for the center include bible studies and spiritual services, such as communion, for the Arkansas children and families Methodist Family Health serves. United Methodist Church groups throughout the state and region generously and continually volunteer to serve at Methodist Family Health, providing worship experiences like music, devotionals, vacation bible school and other spirituality services, and with this new reverent space for worship and spiritual learning, those we serve will continue to connect with the community and feed their spirits in a place where they feel love, peace and hope for their futures.

“Even with our attempts at keeping it structurally repaired, the original chapel has deteriorated to a point where our children are without a dedicated place to worship,” McCone said. “Currently, our faith-based services must be held in our gym or in individual cottages. For some of our children, these services are their first experience for worship and a relationship with God.”

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Millar Center interior

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In addition to the chapel, the center will provide space for:

  • Methodist Family Health’s best first impression to families and visitors.
  • Training for directors and staff; and
  • Meetings for community partners such as neighborhood associations and community education.

McCone said the Methodist Family Health Foundation is seeking contributions from the community to meet the challenge grant’s requirement so the new center can begin construction. To make a tax-deductible donation, donors can:

  • Text SLC to 501-881-2258.
  • Visit and choose “MCH Renovation for chapel or other facility”.
  • Send a cash or check donation to Methodist Family Health Foundation, P.O. Box 56050, Little Rock, Arkansas 72215. Please note SLC on the memo line of your check.
  • Call 501-906-4201 to make a secure donation using your debit or credit card.
  • Contact Carolyn McCone, CFRE, executive director of the Methodist Family Health Foundation at or 501-906-4202 about naming opportunities, questions about the Mike Millar Spiritual Life Center capital campaign, or to make a one-time gift; arrange a yearly, quarterly, monthly or weekly pledge over the course of three years; a gift of stock or funds from an IRA; or any way that works best for you.


The Mabee Foundation was formed in 1948 by Missouri natives (and Oklahoma residents) John and Lottie Mabee. John, who did not complete high school, and Lottie were hard workers, innovative entrepreneurs, and shrewd investors. Starting with nothing, they built an impressive business and were gracious and generous as they shared their financial blessings with others through various forms of philanthropy. John and Lottie, who had no children, formed the Foundation in 1948 and ultimately both left the bulk of their estates to the Foundation.

Over time, the Foundation began to limit grants to ‘brick and mortar’ projects located in six states: Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arkansas, Missouri, and Kansas. John and Lottie Mabee also desired others to give and crafted the foundation ‘challenge’ grants in such a way as to both require and inspire widespread public support. The forward-thinking policies and parameters of John and Lottie Mabee became the catalyst for the exponential raising of more funds from a broad pool of givers for Mabee Foundation grantees. As such, Mabee Foundation Challenge Grants have enabled many organizations to finish projects in a timely fashion and, in the process, to build their bases of support in such a way as to help insure the health of the organizations for the long-term.

The simplicity of the focus of the Mabee Foundation has allowed its grants to impact grantees in significant ways. Mabee Foundation-funded buildings dot the landscape of the six states in which the Foundation operates. Since its inception, the Mabee Foundation has grown to a value of over $1 billion and has made grants totaling over $1.2 billion. The generosity and commitment to wise philanthropy of John and Lottie Mabee continues to inspire others and to enrich the lives of many today, as it has for the last 60 years.


Founded in 1899 as the Arkansas Methodist Orphanage, Methodist Family Health provides the best possible care to those who may need our help. A statewide continuum of care, Methodist Family Health each year serves thousands of Arkansas children and their families who are abused, abandoned, neglected and struggling with psychiatric, behavioral, emotional and spiritual issues. Methodist Family Health has locations throughout the state, including the Methodist Behavioral Hospital, two residential treatment centers, therapeutic group homes, a day treatment program, outpatient counseling clinics, school-based counseling clinics, a grief center for children and their families, and the Arkansas Center for Addictions Research, Education and Services (Arkansas CARES).


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