Since 1944, Youth for Christ has had a distinctive history of youth evangelism. In the early 1940s, during World War II, many young men, mostly ministers and evangelists, were holding large rallies in Canada, England and the United States. As the hunger for God's Word grew it became evident that there needed to be someone to coordinate this movement, providing leadership, strategy, and coordinating speakers, musicians and locations. Beginning in dozens of cities at the end of World War II, YFC quickly organized into a national movement. Billy Graham became YFC's first full-time staff member.
Starting with Saturday night youth rallies in the late 1940s and early 1950s, YFC's ministry methodology turned to Bible Clubs in the late 50s and 60s. It was in this period of ministry that the concept of teen to teen evangelism was birthed. Then in the middle sixties and early seventies Campus Life and Campus Life/JV ministries to senior and junior high youth began to be the thrust of YFC ministry. Since that time there have been several ministry models that have been created. Youth Guidance became an avenue in reaching at-risk and institutionalized young people. Teen Moms developed to mentor and equip young mothers with parenting skills as well as the love of Jesus Christ. Urban Ministries reach the millions of young people in our major urban communities, partnering with the church and other organizations. Ministries are tailored to reach youth in urban, suburban, and rural settings.
In addition, the YFC sponsored DC/LA Student Evangelism SuperConferences, held every three years, challenge and equip thousands of young people from hundreds of youth groups to effectively impact their schools for Christ.
YFC/USA is a chartered program of Youth for Christ International. Over 1,861 paid staff members and 16,571 volunteers serve in over 100 countries around the world. As a part of the YFC/USA commitment to serve the world, we offer Project Serve which provides overseas short-term mission opportunities. In addition, well over 100 YFC staff members from the U.S. have ministry assignments with YFC programs in other nations as part of YFC/USA's World Outreach Division.
Throughout YFC's history there has been an unwavering commitment to youth evangelism and biblical Christianity. One of YFC's slogans over the past fifty years has been "Anchored to the Rock, Geared to the Times"-the message of the gospel will never change and YFC is flexible to creatively communicate this message of hope, grace and love in the context of different cultural settings.
Greater Cleveland YFC's Story
On May 15, 1943 a local youth group leader, Florian Manas, organized the first Youth for Christ rally in downtown Cleveland. One year later, the national YFC organization was founded, and Cleveland became one of the charter members. YFC remained strong under the direction of several executive directors over the next sixty years. Through their vision, and with the growth of the ministry field in our area, we have established ourselves as one of the largest youth ministries in Cleveland. Since then, our motto has never changed. We are geared to the times, but anchored to the rock. As our culture changes, the methodology changes, but the Gospel never wavers.