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Our History

Who We Are:

CEF of South Central Mississippi was chartered in April 2012 with the purpose of reaching unchurched children in Amite, Lawrence, Lincoln, Pike, and Walthall Counties.


What We Do:

We evangelize the boys and girls with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, disciple them in the Word of God, and work to establish them in a local church for Christian living.  This is done through targeted ministries, specially designed to reach the 75% of children in the area that are not regularly attending a local church.  These ministries include: the after-school Good News Club®, 5-Day Club®, Christmas Across America, Christian Youth in Action (CYIA)®, and Christian Leaders in Action (CLIA).  Our vision is to influence the new generation that seek to love and honor God.


How We Do It:

Through more than 80 years of experience, CEF has become very effective at helping the local church organize and equip lay-led ministries that put teams of volunteers in front of boys and girls that no one else is reaching.

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 countries around the world and in every state in the U.S.

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