Bethany Christian Services

The information in this column was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 5/4/2021. To update the information in this column, please email:


Bethany Christian Services believes every child deserves to be safe, loved, and connected through family. Bethany is a global nonprofit that supports children and families in the U.S. and around the world with world-class social services, all designed to help families thrive.

Contact information

Mailing address:
901 Eastern Ave. NE
PO Box 294
Grand Rapids, MI 49501-0294


Phone: (616) 224-7610


Organization details

EIN: 381405282

CEO/President: Mr. Chris Palusky


Board size: 18

Founder: Marguerite Bonnema and Mary DeBoer

Year founded: 1945

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 12/31

Member of ECFA: No

Member of ECFA since:


Bethany is an international Christian nonprofit changing the world through family. 75 years ago, we began our work by serving one child. Today, we partner with churches and communities in more than 30 states and nearly a dozen countries to strengthen and preserve families, support refugees and immigrants fleeing danger, and find safe, loving families for children who need them. Bethany demonstrates the love and compassion of Jesus, impacting hundreds of thousands of lives every year, because we believe everyone deserves to be safe, loved, and connected. As a nonprofit, all contributions to Bethany are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. In addition Bethany is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA).

Mission statement

Bethany Christian Services uses the following to express its mission:

Bethany Christian Services demonstrates the love and compassion of Jesus Christ by protecting children, empowering youth and strengthening families through quality social services.

Statement of faith

Bethany Christian Services is founded upon the Bible, and we believe:

"The God of the Bible is the one eternal God, Creator and Lord of the world, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who governs all things according to the purpose of his will."

"We affirm the divine inspiration, truthfulness, and authority of both Old and New Testament Scriptures in their entirety as the only written Word of God, without error in all that it affirms..."

"We affirm that there is only one Savior and only one gospel... Jesus Christ, being himself the only God-man, who gave himself as the only ransom for sinners...There is no other name by which we must be saved."

"We affirm that God is both the Creator and the Judge of all. We therefore should share his concern for justice and reconciliation throughout human society and for the liberation of men and women from every kind of oppression. Because men and women are made in the image of God, every person-regardless of race, religion, color, culture, class, sex, or age- has an intrinsic dignity because of which he or she should be respected and served, not exploited."

Excerpted from the Lausanne Covenant

Transparency grade


To understand our transparency grade, click here.

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Community Development

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating148 of 8447 of 40
Fund acquisition rating269 of 84411 of 40
Resource allocation rating282 of 84414 of 40
Asset utilization rating214 of 8449 of 40

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$15,721,585$14,877,789$15,429,928$14,268,361$13,194,704
Short-term investments$32,913,104$28,958,055$33,692,845$30,713,071$28,702,551
Other current assets$203,608$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$53,545,643$47,979,481$52,685,474$48,574,864$45,177,829
Long-term investments$515,658$751,147$850,016$559,813$585,351
Fixed assets$25,535,466$18,587,682$17,715,895$17,413,896$15,152,226
Other long-term assets$198,000$220,000$220,000$0$0
Total long-term assets$26,249,124$19,558,829$18,785,911$17,973,709$15,737,577
Total assets$79,794,767$67,538,310$71,471,385$66,548,573$60,915,406
Payables and accrued expenses$11,856,457$9,455,744$9,292,326$8,186,540$8,774,744
Other current liabilities$4,985,991$3,711,221$7,375,589$3,435,895$3,119,132
Total current liabilities$16,842,448$13,166,965$16,667,915$11,622,435$11,893,876
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$235,248$245,625$297,235$309,467$303,613
Total long-term liabilities$9,680,710$6,275,208$3,803,978$8,303,169$6,384,895
Total liabilities$26,523,158$19,442,173$20,471,893$19,925,604$18,278,771
Net assets20192018201720162015
Temporarily restricted$3,099,683$2,865,944$1,809,693$1,744,725$489,850
Permanently restricted$0$0$0$179,325$172,674
Net assets$53,271,609$48,096,137$50,999,492$46,622,969$42,636,635
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$113,662,763$101,595,566$91,449,696$84,538,247$74,370,400
Program service revenue$0$0$0$0$0
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$5,321,291($2,402,498)$3,970,583$0$0
Other revenue$19,513,873$22,039,749$24,654,966$26,808,089$23,307,082
Total other revenue$24,835,164$19,637,251$28,625,549$26,808,089$23,307,082
Total revenue$138,497,927$121,232,817$120,075,245$111,346,336$97,677,482
Program services$110,868,508$105,278,196$98,779,702$91,741,472$81,821,147
Management and general$15,093,782$11,625,750$10,989,423$10,011,512$9,384,727
Total expenses$132,214,766$123,279,985$115,698,722$107,360,002$96,274,775
Change in net assets20192018201720162015
Surplus (deficit)$6,283,161($2,047,168)$4,376,523$3,986,334$1,402,707
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$6,283,161($2,047,168)$4,376,523$3,986,334$1,402,707


Blacquiere WilliamPresident/CEO$277,944
Alfaro OvidioCOO$220,237
Knibbe PeterSVP of Advancement$152,599
DeVries ScottSenior VP of Finance$150,787
DeVos BrianSVP of Child and Family Services$148,137
VanPutten RobertVP of Information Technology$143,319
Keller BradRegional Director of Operations$141,106
Davis NathalieSVP of Human Resourcees$137,877

Compensation data as of: 12/31/2017

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 5/4/2021. To update the information below, please email:


Making an Impact
Since 1944, Bethany has grown and developed not only into a well-known adoption agency, but a social services agency that serves and supports expectant parents, foster families, individuals and families in need of counseling, and struggling families and children who are in desperate need of even the most basic necessities. Bethany's purpose is to demonstrate the love of Christ by equipping families to be the answer for children in need. Our founders started Bethany by taking in one child who needed a home. Last year, Bethany served more than 45,000 expectant parents, children, and families.

How it All Started
In 1944, Marguerite Bonnema received the shock of her life.

To her surprise, a little neighbor girl revealed her father's strong dislike of his wife's illegitimate baby girl. "He is going to kill [the baby]," the little girl said. Marguerite replied, "Tell him not to kill her but to give her to me."

Arrangements were made-in a hurry. The neighbor mother and baby girl traveled by bus to a train station, where Marguerite and her friend and roommate Mary DeBoer received the child to live with them in their small apartment.

But the two didn't stop with one child. In the coming months, they took in five more babies, and that November, with the help of Andrew VanderVeer , they founded Bethany Christian Home as a nonprofit organization. The following year, the home moved to a residence on the 13-acre property in Grand Rapids, Michigan where Bethany's present headquarters now stand.

With a state childcare license procured, Marguerite and Mary's dream was now a fledgling reality-one which, prospering through the years, would help make countless other dreams come true.

In the words of our founders, "It was earnestly hoped that Bethany Christian Home would always be a place where Christ's presence could be felt and His blessing sought and enjoyed."

In 1951, Bethany obtained its child placement license and began serving as an adoption agency. Twenty-five children gained loving adoptive families through Bethany that year. Pregnancy counseling services also commenced, with 59 single mothers receiving guidance.

Amazing Growth, Amazing Grace
Bethany began with the dream of two women who stepped out in faith, with hearts full of love. Today, Bethany's diverse ministries and its influence both nationally and internationally have grown in ways its founders could never have imagined. But their dream remains our guiding star: to demonstrate the love and compassion of Jesus Christ by protecting and enhancing the lives of children and families through quality social services. A string of awards, an impressive list of achievements, international favor and impact-these are just some of the by-products of serving as the hands and feet of Christ.

Program accomplishments