A long but encouraging journey...
It all began in the 1940s and 50s when Youth for Christ sponsored large monthly gatherings right here in Peoria. Locations included were Bradley’s Fieldhouse, Trewyn School and the old Woodruff Field where Billy Graham was known to have spoken.
By the late 50s and 60s monthly gatherings turned into Bible Clubs at numerous local high schools. Students, teachers, and YFC Staff members would gather before or after school to study the Bible and pray. The Supreme Court’s ruling in 1963 ended that activity.
So going into the 70s & 80s, YFC conducted evening programs called “Campus Life”. Central Illinois teens could attend a club near their own school and play ridiculous games, laugh at fun crowd breakers, talk about life in high school, and learn where God fit into their lives.
In the 90s and early 2000s YFC began to offer area-wide Campus Life Clubs, which allowed teens from numerous high schools to gather in one place for fun, fellowship, teaching and be challenged to follow and grow in Jesus Christ.
Today, at YFC, we believe all Christians are full-time ministers. This means accountants, engineers, bankers, artists, teachers, parents, coaches, insurance agents, business owners, tradespeople, and professionals all have a place in the lives of teens. And so we mobilize dozens of local adults who gather with teens in large groups, small groups, on trips, at crazy events, and over coffee with hundreds of local teens to live out the Great News of Jesus Christ and raise up life-long followers of Him.
Youth For Christ - National Movement
In the early 1940s, after World War II, godly men were holding large rallies across the United States. Someone needed to coordinate this movement, providing leadership, strategy, speaker coordination, musicians and locations. YFC organized into a national movement fairly quickly and Billy Graham became our first staff member.
Saturday night rallies in the 40s and 50s turned into Bible Clubs in the late 50s and 60s. In the 60s and early 70s, Campus Life ministries rose up, to reach toward senior high students.
Since then, several ministry models have been created, like Juvinelle Justice Ministry, to reach at-risk and institutionalized teens. City Life was born to reach millions of teens in major urban communities.
YFC/USA is a chartered program of Youth for Christ International. 1,800+ paid staff and 16,500+ volunteers serve in 100+ countries around the world.