Frequently Asked Questions

Who started Child Evangelism Fellowship?

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 some 200 countries around the world. 

What is the Vision of CEF?

Our ministry vision is to reach Every Child, Every Nation, Every Day.

Every Child: God has given His people a clear commission—to reach every creature with the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our special mission in CEF is to evangelize every child. In the last ministry year our workers worldwide reached over 16.4 million children! 

Mark 16:15, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Every Nation: CEF is a worldwide ministry serving in every region of the world in an ever-expanding way.

Matthew 28:19, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations.

Mark 16:15, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Every Day: We are committed to leading children to be in God’s Word every day. As children grow in their relationship with the Lord through meditating on His Word, they develop godly character, which produces much fruit to the glory of God, including spreading the Gospel to their peers. We now have over 800,000 Wonder Devotional Books in Africa. Right now we are working to reach 500,000 children in Asia with the books.

Psalm 119:2, “Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.”

Only as we trust in God and call upon Him are we empowered to do His will. Programs come after prayer, never before it.

What is the purpose of CEF?

Since 1937 God has been using Child Evangelism Fellowship to bring the love of Jesus Christ to children around the world.  Without the foundation of a relationship with God and training in Biblical principles for life, they are unequipped to face what life will throw at them.

How can I get involved in the Ministry?

At CEF we have various ways to be involved from Directing a region to running clubs, visiting churches and growing the ministry. Prayer is the backbone of the ministry. When we work, we work. When we pray, God works. Please join us in prayer for the needs of children and all our CEF missionaries around the world. For more information contact us here, email:, or phone: (204) 943-2774 and ask for the Canadian National Office and talk to our National Director.

What kind of training is available?

The Children’s Ministries Institute (CMI) provides specialized, practical training in children’s ministries not found in Bible colleges or Christian universities. If you have a heart for reaching children for Christ and discipling them, if you desire to train others in this ministry or if you are seeking career opportunities in this field, CMI is just what you are looking for.

You can also take a look at our training page for more information.