Who are we?
The Central Family Life Center, Inc. (CFLC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that seeks to improve the lives and environment of Staten Island residents. The CFLC was established in 1979 under the aegis of the First Central Baptist Church, led by Rev. Dr. Calvin Rice, and it continues today under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. Demetrius Carolina. The 10,000 square foot facility is the only minority-led community center of its kind of Staten Island, and it houses many critical social services programs for the borough's diverse residents.
"The Central Family Life Center is a valuable foundation of learning, activity, and life assistance for individuals and families, as well as a community of support for them."
Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Our Mission/Our Vision
The mission of The Central Family Life Center is to provide Staten Island individuals including children, seniors, at-risk youth and families of varying backgrounds with the needed services, programs and opportunities to improve their overall well-being.
Our vision is to provide our diverse communities with opportunities to rebuild and improve their quality of life. Our goal is to promote self-reliant, emotionally and physically balanced environments through programming focused on education, training, counseling, job placement, leadership, and much more. We seek to partner with all groups, organizations, and agencies that will help to accomplish our mission.
Rev. Dr. Demetrius Carolina
Rev. Dr. Demetrius S. Carolina, Sr.
Reverend Dr. Demetrius S. Carolina Sr. is widely recognized as a spiritual leader and advocate for justice and human rights. He maintains a respected reputation as a man of conviction, one who consistently demonstrates hands-on leadership and a commitment to his congregation and issues affecting all humanity. Having a deep concern for issues that relate to spiritual empowerment, economic equity, educational development and human rights, his work has taken him to several continents on behalf of these issues. Rev. Dr. Carolina has been appointed as a commissioner of Human Rights in 2015 by Mayor Bill de Blasio and is the recipient of the 2017 New York City Council MLK Community Award, 2017 Stapleton UME Dreamers award, 2017 Black History City Council recognition, and various other awards and recognitions. He is the founder of The Staten Island Black History Town Hall Meeting, served as lead advocate in bringing the nationally recognized Eagle Academy to Staten Island, the organizer of the only Cure Violence Initiative on Staten Island; known on Staten Island as True 2 Life and has grown the nonprofit community partnership connecting Staten Island with the other 5 boroughs.
As an educator and active proponent of higher education, Reverend Dr. Carolina has received numerous awards and certificates for outstanding service, leadership, merit and scholastic excellence. He has served as an educator for over 25 years in the class room and in administration. A few of his posts include Adjunct and Associate Professor of Applied Science, Business Education, Health Education, Educational Administration, World Religions, Sociology and Cross Cultural Diversity. A few of his administrative posts include Upward Bound Counselor, Student Advocate, Coordinator of Academic and Student Affairs, Dean of Student Affairs, Senior Policy Advisor to two college presidents, and executive director of several multimillion dollar nonprofit corporations. He holds an Associate’s Degree in Communications, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Science, History and Education, a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration Leadership from Temple University, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership/Management from the University of Phoenix. He also accomplished post graduate work at New York University, CUTS Theological Seminary, Westminster Seminary Graduate Studies Program, and Philadelphia College of the Bible. The title of Dr. Carolina’s dissertation is: A qualitative study of the healthcare experiences and health information acquisition of African American men.
Reverend Dr. Carolina answered the call to gospel ministry at age 16. His missionary work has been world-wide and his preaching/teaching ministry has spanned the globe. He is known for his work on the behalf of underrepresented populations in the United States, Europe and Africa. He is also known to be an effectiveness leading pastor, having pastored in New Jersey, Philadelphia and New York City. Some highlights of his ministry include being the youngest president in the history of the South Jersey Ministers’ Alliance, building the social consciousness and ministry effectiveness of the congregations and surrounding communities of each church he has served and building a 150-million-dollar shopping center in The Bronx NY. He has been effective with the unique implementation of family centered ministries that foster numerous community partnership initiatives including but not limited to senior citizen’s programming, pre-school programming and training ministers, pastor mentorships, deacons, teachers and educational administrators’ development and training. Additionally, through local community workshops, seminars and fairs, he administered programs to encourage health awareness, community involvement and financial freedom for numerous congregations and surrounding communities.
Reverend Dr. Carolina currently serves as Senior Pastor at First Central Baptist Church, Staten Island, New York since 2005. He constantly contributes to the betterment of the Staten Island community by providing strong educational advocacy, economic development and facilitating bold community partnership initiatives, benefiting various community organizations. As the Executive Director of the Central Family Life Center, with responsibility to develop corporate, public and private relationships, he has raised awareness of service needs and has sought to offer greater collaborative response to the community by way of the center. Dr. Carolina oversees and administers strategies to ensure the operation and sustainability of the Life Center. Dr. Carolina oversees a city-funded after school program, a senior citizens program, prison recidivism, mental health support, youth recreation and various other community enhancements projects. He promotes intergenerational programming such as the annual celebration of "everyone’s birthday," annual philanthropic community holiday events, monthly collaborative leadership meetings, development of various borough-wide peace and self-empowerment demonstrations, advocacy and advisement to various political officials, and he has constantly built effective community sponsorship of events and programming to meet the diverse socioeconomic needs of surrounding communities.
The Reverend Dr. Carolina has co-authored several peer review research studies focused on prostate cancer and health literacy associated for underrepresented communities. Reverend Dr. Demetrius S. Carolina is the author of an internally popular book entitled “Let There Be Light, Creating a Life Worth Living”. He is currently the president of “Clergy with a Purpose,” a city-wide ecumenical clergy and citizen empowerment organization. He is an adjunct professor at St. John University in the School of Education. He is a member and award recipient of the NAACP. In the past 20 years, he has set on numerous local and national boards. A few include: M.B.D. House Corporation, Hampton University Ministers’ Conference, Staten Island University Hospital Executive Board, the Baptist Ministers Conference of Greater New York & Vicinity, the United Missionary Baptist, Richmond County Community Health Center.
The Reverend Dr. Carolina’s is the father of three wonderful children, Dior Isaiah, DeLisa Mona and Demetrius Solomon Carolina, II.
- Schools, hospitals, and other institutions that can dedicate time or resources to support health interventions: ter; Staten Island Mental Health; Legal Aid Society; Daytop; Workforce1; NAACP of Staten Island (Youth, Education, Criminal Justice and Housing Committees), Urban League of New York City; PS 44; PS 51; NYC Public Library
- Buildings, parks, and other infrastructure: Tappen Park; Central Family Life Center: Community Health Resource Center; St. Phillips Baptist Church in Port Richmond; Fellowship Baptist Church in Port Richmond;
- Community-building, educational, or service, cultural, or Faith-based organizations: First Central Baptist Church: Staten Island Ministerial Alliance (encompasses 31 Black Churches on Staten Island); St. Paul’s Episcopal Church: National Black Leadership Commission on HIV/AIDS; Albanian Cultural Center; Reach Out and Touch International Ministries; Stapleton UAME Church; Legal Aid;
- Local businesses : Cassandra Properties; Stradford Funeral Homes; Bari’s Pizza; Family Dollar; Key Foods; Probation office;
- Social groups or networks : Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.; Eastern Stars; Masons; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority; Live and Direct cable show; Staten Island Not for Profit Association; Young Male Initiative;
- Elected Officials: Council Member Debi Rose: Borough President James Oddo; Assembly member Michael Cusick; NYS Senator Diane Savino; NYS Assembly Member Matthew Titone.