Our History

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Our History

Youth for Christ has a distinctive history of youth evangelism. In the early 1940s during World War II, many young men, mostly ministers and evangelists, held 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, developing 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.

From the mid 1940s through the mid 1950s, YFC grew rapidly and spun off several other organizations, including the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision International, Greater Europe Mission, Overseas Crusades, and Gospel Films. It was during this time that the famous YFC rallies took place, where thousands of youth, young adults, and middle-aged people would turn out on Saturday nights to hear famous preachers, movie stars, musicians, and others.

From the mid 1950s through the mid 1960s, YFC turned its focus to teenagers. In Canada, the organization initiated Bible clubs, created Lifeline (a ministry to teen delinquents), ran teen talent contests, started Bible quiz games, sent Teen Teams overseas, and used camping trips to spread the gospel.

Through the mid 1960s teenagers were changing, and programs had to be changed to meet their needs. YFC began sharing more material between chapters, and developed better training strategies for its staff. Youth for Christ also refocused its energy on unchurched teenagers - reaching and discipling them with personal attention.

The late 70's saw the high-energy leadership of Brian Stiller as President. This vibrant leader featured an emphasis on the recruitment and training of young men and women in developing excellence in leadership. This period also saw a new commitment to the church through a special effort to enlist the general public through TV Specials.

The 1980's through the 2000s had been characterized by a strong sense of vision and a willingess to grow and adapt to reach Canada's youth.

As we grow we understand each individual's life is shaped by a number of facets that influence who they are as a whole: physical, emotional, spiritual, social and intellectual. We aim to develop each of these areas through relationships so that every youth may reach their full potential.

YFC imparts God's love, truth and hope to young people from all walks of life regardless of race, faith, economic level, or cultural background.