Our Story

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 since grown into the largest evangelistic outreach to children in the world.

In 2016, CEF of New York City celebrated 50 years of ministry!  

And in 2017, CEF rejoiced at being around the world in 80 years!

We Believe                    Read the Whole Document Here

That “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” 2 Timothy 3:16

God eternally exists in three persons, the Father, 

the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Matthew 28:19

In the personality and Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ...

truly God and truly man. Philippians 2:5-7

In the personality and Deity of the Holy Spirit...who indwells every true believer, 

and is ever present to testify of Christ  John 15:26

That man was created in the image of God, but the whole human race

fell in the fall of the first Adam...  Romans 5:12

That Jesus Christ became the sinner’s substitute before God, 

and died as a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world.  1 John 2:2

In the resurrection of the crucified body of Jesus Christ...

and that He ascended into Heaven and sits on the right hand

of God as the believer’s high priest and advocate.  Ephesians 4:10

That Christ...is received by faith alone and that the moment we trust in Him

as our Savior we pass out of death into everlasting life, justified from all things...

to live out His life of holiness and power through us.  Hebrews 9:15; John 5:24

That the Church is composed of all those who truly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. 

and...we are responsible to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace...

loving one another with a pure heart fervently.   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...  Ephesians 2:10

In the evangelization of the world... Mark 16:15; Matthew 18:14

In the personal return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ...  Philippians 3:20

That the souls of those who have trusted in Jesus for salvation do at death

immediately pass into His presence.  1 Thessalonians 4:15-18

That the souls of the lost remain after death in misery until the final judgment

...when soul and body reunited at the resurrection shall be cast “into the lake of fire.”

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9

In the reality and personality of Satan, who deceives the world...   Revelation 12:9