Black History Month: The Gatlings

Mr. Lafayette Gatling, Sr., through a trust, is the current owner of nearly 500 acres of land near the northeast intersection of U.S. Interstate highways 80 and 57, in County Club Hills.  

Gatling purchased the land in 1994, which is now one of the largest remaining undeveloped parcels in Cook County.  Gatling also founded Gatling's Chapel in 1986, and serves as its President and Founder. 

During that time, Gatling's Chapel has evolved into the country's largest family black-owned-and-operated funeral home, employing more than 100 people.

Other subsidiary companies formed to enhance the service delivery of Gatling Chapel, Inc., include Gatling's Printing, Ginger's Florist, and the Gatling Charter Bus Company. The two best-known clients are entertainers Britney Spears and Keith Sweat.

Gatling was part owner in Angelus Funeral Home in Chicago from 1975 to 1979, prior to developing Gatling's Chapel. As a general contractor for over 26 years and a former member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, his expertise in the building trades afforded him the opportunity to participate in some of Chicagoland's more high-profile construction projects including the Sears Tower, McCormick Place, and O'Hare International Airport. 

Mrs. Marguerite Gatling, spouse of Lafayette Gatling, Sr., currently serves as Chief Operating Officer of Gatling Chapel, Inc., where she directs the corporate planning, daily management, and regulatory compliance functions of the company.  Mrs. Gatling is an active participant in community affairs and holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Chicago State University and a graduate degree from the Worsham School in Mortuary Science.

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