Our Story

Working Towards a Better Today

FirstFollowers is a community based organization that operates a drop-in center located at Bethel A.M.E. Church which is located at 401 E. Park Street in Champaign, IL.


Although we are not a faith-based program, Bethel's pastors, Larry Lewis (from 2015-19) and his successor, Terrance Thomas, along with their congregation, have welcomed us into their home. Our hours of operation are Tuesdays and Thurdays from 1 pm to 5 pm. Please drop-in to see us!

Mission Statement

First Followers’ mission is to build strong and peaceful communities by providing support, guidance, and hope to formerly incarcerated people and their loved ones through peer mentorship.

Our organization offers:

  • A safe stigma free environment

  • Peer mentoring

  • Assistance with employment searches

  • Workforce development for emerging adults

  • Advocacy for individuals with felony convictions

  • Family reunification

  • Service referrals