Child Evangelism Fellowship South Africa

History of CEF

Child Evangelism Fellowship®, also known as CEF®, is a Bible-centered, worldwide organisation composed of born-again believers whose purpose is to evangelize boys and girls with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to establish (disciple) them in the local church for Christian living.

CEF was founded by Jesse Irvin Overholtzer in 1937. Growing up in a religious family, Jesse at the age of 12 was convicted of his own sin and sought counsel from his mother. He was told, "Son, you are too young." It wasn't until Overholtzer was in college that he heard the Gospel and trusted Christ as his Savior.

Later as a pastor Mr. Overholtzer read one of Charles Spurgeon's sermons which stated, "A child of five, if properly instructed can as truly believe and be regenerated as an adult." The Lord used this statement in Mr. O's life to lead him to begin the ministry of Child Evangelism Fellowship when he was 60 years old. The ministry has grown into the largest evangelistic outreach to children in the world. CEF is currently ministering in over 157 countries. The International Headquarters of CEF are in Warrenton, U.S.A.

The CEF work in South Africa started in 1947.

CEF has different types of evangelistic programs, but the two most identified with the organization are 5-Day Clubs® and Good News Clubs®. These two exciting ministries take place in neighbourhood settings such as homes, backyards, schools and community centers all over the world. These fast-paced, one-hour programs are designed to bring the Gospel of Christ to children on their level in their environment.

Along with the clubs, CEF also has fair, camping, open-air and correspondence outreach programs for children. CEF provides classes to train their workers and other Christians who are burdened for evangelizing children. The Childrens Ministries Institute® (CMI®), a modular 3-month course located at CEF's campsite, Lenteland close to Vereeniging, is dedicated to providing quality, practical training for those called of God to take the Gospel message to children. Similar training is offered in various locations around the world.

CEF Press® produces and distributes Bible and missionary lessons and related materials for use in teaching children to help accomplish the goals of the ministry. Many products are translated into some 90 different languages and distributed around the world.

Impact, a quarterly magazine for children's workers published in English at CEF's International Headquarters, is distributed worldwide. You can download it to your computer from the International website and read it in your own comfort. To receive the magazine, sign up online at 

CEF offers a variety of opportunities for involvement in the ministry - from volunteer service as a Good News Club teacher or in the National Office to part-time, short-term, summer or full-time service in South Africa and abroad.