A Brief History of CEF

CHILD EVANGELISM FELLOWSHIP OF EASTERN PA, INC is an independent, non-profit, interdenominational, children’s ministry made up of 19 chapters serving 25 counties.

CHILD EVANGELISM FELLOWSHIP OF EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA, INC. is an interdenominational group of God’s people bonded together in desire, determination, and divine commission to pray for and to reach children with the good news of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

In 1936, J. Irvin Overholtzer responded to God’s call to win boys and girls to Christ, thus establishing the ministry of Child Evangelism Fellowship.  Mr. Overholtzer made the first contacts in Eastern Pennsylvania in 1937, and CEF was officially organized in Eastern Pennsylvania in 1938. The State Headquarters was later moved to Lancaster in 1951 and in 1976 was relocated to Harrisburg. In 1978, a new headquarters facility was constructed at 4305 Winthrop Drive in the Colonial Hills area of Harrisburg, PA.

 

We thank the Lord for the 75-plus years of ministry CEF OF E PA, INC. has had to generations of boys and girls in our area of Pennsylvania through Good News Clubs, 5-Day Clubs, Good News CampsReleased-Time Classes,Open-Air Work,Rallies, Fair Ministries, and Summer Missionary Training School.

Facts

  • Founded by Mr. J. Irvin Overholtzer
  • Officially organized in Eastern Pennsylvania in 1938
  • Attorney Ronald Butler was retained in 1978 to represent CEF OF E PA, INC. with the Internal Revenue Service in order to obtain our own 501(c)(3) IRS status.
  • In 1988 the State Board of CEF OF E PA, INC. voted unanimously to disaffiliate with CEF Inc. and become an independent CEF ministry.

Purpose

  • To evangelize children whom no one is reaching with the Gospel
  • To train children in the Word of God
  • To provide a systematic program of follow-up of children led to Christ
  • To conduct Good News Clubs, Released-Time Classes, 5-Day Clubs, Open-Air Work,Rallies, Camps, Fair Ministries, and other activities
  • To provide training for teachers who will be involved in CEF OF EASTERN PA, INC. and/or other children’s ministries
  • To provide visual aids, teaching materials, and other literature
  • To build up every Bible-teaching church and Sunday school
  • To cooperate with every fundamental organization but to be completely independent of them.

Personnel

Local Personnel

  1. Committee
  2. Director
  3. Teachers, Helpers, Hostesses
  4. Correspondence Course Markers
  5. Prayer Partners
  6. Donors
  7. Friends

Finances

The Financial Policy of CHILD EVANGELISM FELLOWSHIP OF EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA, INC. is to “ask God and tell His people.” All directors and other full-time workers should be willing to work on a faith basis of receiving a full or partial salary.

Statement of Faith

WE BELIEVE:
That “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God,” by which we understand the whole of the Book called THE BIBLE; that it is inerrant in the original writing and that its teaching and authority is absolute, supreme, and final; that the Holy Spirit guided the holy men of old in all that they wrote. II Peter 1:21; Exodus 20:1; II Timothy 3:16; Acts 1:16; I Thessalonians 2:13; I Corinthians 2:11-14; I Corinthians 14:37; II Samuel 23:2.

The Godhead eternally exists in three persons–the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These three are one God, having the same nature, attributes, and perfection. John 10:30,36; Galatians 4:6; Acts 2:17,18; Genesis 1:26; Genesis 3:22; Genesis 11:7; Isaiah 6:8; Matthew 3:16,17; Matthew 28:19; John 14:6; II Corinthians 13:14.

In the Personality and Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, begotten of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, truly God and truly man. John 1:1-3; John 1:14; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 2:9; Matthew 1:16-25; Luke 1:31; Luke 2:7,11; Galatians 4:4; Hebrews 1:8; Hebrews 2:14; Titus 2:13; John 10:30,38; John 5:17-23; Revelation 1:8; Revelation 22:12,13; Hebrews 1:1-3; John 17:5; I Timothy 3:16; Colossians 1:9.

In the Personality and Deity of the Holy Spirit, the source and power of all acceptable worship and service, the infallible interpreter of the infallible Word, Who indwells every true believer and is ever present to testify of Christ, seeking to occupy us with Him and not with ourselves or our experiences. John 15:26; Romans 8:26,27; Ephesians 4:30; Acts 13:2; John 16:13-15; I Corinthians 12:13; I Corinthians 3:16; I Corinthians 6:19; Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 2:14; I John 2:27; Acts 5:3; Ephesians 1:13,14; II Cor. 5:5.

Man was created in the image of God, after His likeness, as stated in the Word of God, but the whole human race fell in the fall of the first Adam. Not only was his moral nature grievously injured by the fall but he totally lost all spiritual life, becoming dead in trespasses and sins, and subject to the power of the devil. “…the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:7,8). Therefore, he cannot see nor enter the kingdom of God until he is born again by the Holy Spirit. That no degree of reformation however great, no attainment in morality however high, no culture however attractive, no humanitarian and philanthropic schemes and societies however useful, no baptism or other ordinance however administered, can help the sinner to take even one step toward heaven; but a new nature imparted from above, a new life implanted by the Holy Spirit through the Word is absolutely essential to salvation. John 3:3-8; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:1-3; II Corinthians 5:17; John 1:12,13; I John 5:1; Acts 4:12; John 14:6; Psalms 53:1-3; Isaiah 64:6; I John 5:19; Romans 3:1-23; Galatians 3:22; Ephesians 2:1-3; Jeremiah 13:23; Mark 7:20-23; Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:12; Jeremiah 17:9.

That Jesus Christ became the sinner’s substitute before God and died as a propitiatory sacrifice for the sin of the whole world; that He was made a curse for the sinner, dying for his sins according to the Scriptures; that no repentance, no feeling, no faith, no good resolutions, no sincere efforts, no submission to the rules and regulations of any church can add in the very least to the value of the precious blood, or to the merit of that finished work, wrought for us by Him, Who tasted death for every man. Isaiah 53:2; John 1:19; II Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 9:28; I Peter 2:24; I Peter 3:18; Colossians 2:14; I Corinthians 15:1-3; Romans 3:26; Romans 5:6-8; Galatians 3:13; Romans 3:25; Colossians 1:20,21; Colossians 2:10; Acts 13:38,39; Romans 3:22; I Corinthians 6:9-11.

In the resurrection of the crucified body of Jesus Christ; that His body was raised from the dead according to the Scriptures and that He ascended into Heaven and sitteth on the right hand of God as the believer’s High Priest and Advocate. Acts 10:40,41; I Corinthians 15:3-6; Romans 4:25; Mark 16:9-11; Mark 16:14-18; John 20:11-29; Acts 1:1-3; Acts 2:23,24; Acts 3:13-15; I Corinthians 9:1; Acts 1:9-11; Romans 8:34; Ephesians 1:20,21; Ephesians 2:6; Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 4:14; Hebrews 7:25; Acts 7:55,56; I John 2:1,2.

That Christ in the fullness of the blessings He has secured by His death and resurrection is received by faith alone; that the moment we trust in Him as our Saviour we pass out of death into everlasting life, justified from all things, accepted before the Father according to the measure of His acceptance, loved as He is loved, and one with Him. At the time of acceptance of Christ as Saviour, He comes to dwell within the believer and to live out His life of holiness and power through him. Ephesians 2:6-8; John 1:12; John 5:24; John 6:47; Acts 13:38,39; Romans 4:5,24,25; Romans 5:1; I Corinthians 1:30; John 17:21-23; Ephesians 1:6; Colossians 2:10; Hebrews 10:10-14; Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 5:30,31; II Corinthians 13:5; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 1:27; I John 4:4; I John 5:18; I Corinthians 10:13; Jude 24.

That the Church is composed of all those who truly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour; it is the body and bride of Christ; that every believer is baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit, whether Jew or Gentile, and thus being members of one another we are responsible to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, rising above all sectarian prejudices and denominational bigotry, and loving one another with a pure heart fervently. Ephesians 1:22,23; Ephesians 2:19-22; I Corinthians 12:12-27; I Corinthians 1:10-13; Romans 12:4,5; Ephesians 4:3-6; Ephesians 5:32; Philippians 2:1-5; Galatians 5:13-15.

That all believers in our Lord Jesus Christ are called into a life of separation from worldly and sinful practices, and should abstain from such amusements and habits as will cause others to stumble or bring reproach upon the Cross of Christ. Believers are created in Christ Jesus unto good works. “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10). Romans 12:1,2; Romans 14:13-21; I Corinthians 8:9-13; I Corinthians 10:23-33; I John 2:15; James 4:4; II Corinthians 6:14; Titus 2:11-14; Ephesians 4:17-32; Galatians 5:24; Galatians 6:14; Romans 13:12-14; Ephesians 2:10.

In the evangelization of the world; that the supreme mission of the people of God in this age is to preach the Gospel to every creature; that special emphasis should be placed upon the evangelization of children. Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:18,19; Acts 1:8; Luke 24:47; John 17:18; II Corinthians 5:18,19; Acts 5:32; Mark 10:13-16.

In the personal return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; that the coming again of Jesus Christ is the “Blessed Hope” set before us, for which we should be constantly looking. “Our citizenship is in heaven from whence we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20). John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; Hebrews 9:28; I Thessalonians 4:16-17; I Thessalonians 1:10; Philippians 3:20,21; I John 3:1-3; I John 2:28; Titus 2:13; Matthew 24:44-46; Luke 17:26-30; Luke 18:8; Revelation 1:7.

That the souls of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation do at death immediately pass into His presence, and there remain in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the body at His coming, when soul and body reunited shall be with Him forever in glory. Philippians 1:23; II Corinthians 5:1-8; II Corinthians 12:1-4; I Thessalonians 4:13,14; John 14:2,3; I Corinthians 15:35-57; Romans 8:23; I Thessalonians 4:15-18; Philippians 3:20,21; I John 3:2; Colossians 3:4; Hebrews 4:9; John 17:22-24.

That the souls of the lost remain after death in misery until the final judgment of the great white throne, when soul and body reunited at the resurrection shall be cast into the lake of fire which is the second death, to be “punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power” (II Thessalonians 1:8,9). John 8:21,24; Hebrews 9:27; Luke 16:23-31; Mark 9:42-48; John 5:28, 29; Revelation 20:5; Matthew 25:41,46; Revelation 20:15; Revelation 21:8; Revelation 22:11; Matthew 13:30-50; Luke 16:26.

In the reality and personality of Satan, “that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world” (Revelation 12:9). John 14:30; I John 5:19; Luke 13:16; II Corinthians 2:11; Ephesians 2:2; Revelation 20:10; Hebrews 2:14; Matthew 25:41; I Peter 5:8; James 4:7; Ephesians 6:11,12.

Mission Statement

The purpose of CHILD EVANGELISM FELLOWSHIP OF EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA, INC. is to reach boys and girls with the gospel by promoting and conducting home Bible classes (called Good News Clubs) for children.  We also conduct Bible studies and evangelistic meetings for school children in Released-Time classes, 5-Day Clubs, and in public places where children gather such as parks and playgrounds.  We foster and carry on open-air child evangelism and visit children and parents in their homes to present the Gospel and leave literature for children.
Our organization encourages the promotion of rallies, camp programs, fair ministries and other activities to reach children with the Gospel.  One of the mainstays of our ministry is to conduct Teacher Training Classes and Christian Education Conferences for children’s workers. In fulfilment of our purpose we will produce, purchase, and distribute literature on child evangelism and kindred subjects.  It is our desire to cooperate with every other doctrinally-sound, Bible-believing, Christian agency working to teach the Word of God to children and to lead children to faith in Christ.  After salvation, it is our goal to follow up evangelistic efforts with correspondence courses that enhance Christian growth and attempt to establish children in local Biblically sound churches.

Policy on Speaking in Tongues

CHILD EVANGELISM FELLOWSHIP OF EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA, INC. POLICY RELATIVE TO “SPEAKING IN TONGUES”:
Often people who adhere to the modern “Tongues Movement” desire to work with us in the CHILD EVANGELISM FELLOWSHIP OF EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA, INC.  Past experience has shown that when this has been allowed, because of doctrinal differences, confusion results and the work of reaching children for Christ suffers. The State Board therefore has found it necessary to implement the following policy:
The CHILD EVANGELISM FELLOWSHIP OF EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA, INC. will not accept or allow to remain in its organization or program anyone who speaks in, or aspires to speak in, ecstatic utterances, commonly referred to as “tongues.”
Therefore, in order to implement this Policy on the State and County level, the State Board of CHILD EVANGELISM FELLOWSHIP OF EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA, INC. requires all Committee Members, Director, Teachers, and Volunteer Workers to sign without reservation this Policy on Tongues.
Should you find that you have broken your agreement with this policy, we ask that you contact your county director immediately.

Child Abuse Policy

POLICY STATEMENT

In order to safeguard the children entrusted to us, to provide as secure an environment as possible for our ministry participants, to comply with the PA Child Protective Service Law, and to minimize the ministry’s and workers’ vulnerability to unwarranted accusation, the following procedures will be strictly enforced.  (Updated May 13, 2015.)

DEFINITION

Child abuse is defined as intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing harm to a person under 18 years of age.  Types of abuse are physical abuse, sexual abuse, mental abuse, serious physical neglect, and imminent risk.
ALL volunteers and employees having “direct contact with children” are considered “mandatory reporters” and are required to report all suspected and actual occurrences of abuse.

MINISTRY PRECAUTIONS

1. At least two workers, employees or volunteers (one must be over the age of 16), should be present at all ministry activities.  (For large groups of children, the number of adult supervisors should be increased.)

2. Workers should arrive at least ten (10) minutes before a scheduled activity and should keep watch over those in their care until all have been picked up by an authorized person.  Do not send children out to find their parents and do not release any child to await transportation.

3. Random visits to each event should be made by state board members, the State Director, the county director, and/or county committee members.

4. All unique or nonstandard ministry events must be approved by the State Board, the State Director, the county director, and the county committee.

5. Workers should never touch a child’s private areas and should avoid the appearance of impropriety, such as sitting older children on their lap, kissing on the lips, or long hugs.

6. A time of instruction regarding the Child Abuse Policy shall be included each year as part of the regular training for each ministry.  As a minimum, the instruction should include: POLICY STATEMENT, DEFINITION, MINISTRY PRECAUTIONS, DISCIPLINE, and REPORTING PROCEDURE.

7. Any suspicious or inappropriate behavior between an employee or volunteer and a child or between two children should be reported.

DISCIPLINE

1. Employees and volunteer workers are never to spank, hit, grab, shake, or otherwise physically discipline any child.

2. Disciplinary problems should be reported to the county director.

REPORTING PROCEDURE

If a volunteer or employee becomes aware that a child is injured, abused, or molested while attending one of this organization’s ministries or that the child has been injured, abused, or molested previous to attending one of this organization’s ministries, he/she should immediately make a report of the incident/observation. This report is to be made by calling ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313.  After making the call, the country director must be informed. A written report must then be filed within 48 hours (see director for form CY-47 and instructions).

VERIFICATION

An volunteer or employee will be required to submit and/or complete at the county’s direction the following original clearances and that copies will be retained by the county: Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check, Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance, and Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Federal Criminal History Background or Disclosure Statement Application for Adult Volunteers.