THE SEVEN ERAS OF YFC (1944–2019)

THE LAUNCH (1940s)

• Brand new type of ministry designed to reach teenagers and WW2 Servicemen
• Pre-rally beginnings — Evon Hedley, Oscar Gillan, Glenn Wagner, George Beverly Shea, Jack Wyrtzen
• Roger Malsbary in Indianapolis — 1943; Dick Harvey in St. Louis — 1944
• Opening Chicago Rally by Torrey Johnson — May 1944; Orchestra Hall
• Torrey Johnson hires Billy Graham — January 1945
• Soldier Field Rally with 70,000 — May 1945; Torrey Johnson — “God Did It!”
• Founding YFCI Convention Winona Lake, Indiana; Torrey Johnson elected as founding President — 1945
• Monthly Publication of Youth For Christ Magazine begins — March 1946
• Jack Hamilton starts Bible Clubs in Kansas City — 1946
• Graham and others on two overseas teams to Europe — 1946–1947
• First of 12 World Congresses in Beatenburg, Switzerland — August 1948

Wildfire Expansion Under President Bob Cook (1948–1957)

• Bob Cook elected as second president — July 1948
• 100 teams to Europe in 1950; One million in attendance; 10,000 decisions
• Goal — “To evangelize the world in this generation.” – Billy Graham — July 1950
• “I feel we are in the midst of a nationwide revival.” – Billy Graham — 1949–1951
• Bob Cook announces “Million Souls Crusade” — December 1950
• 12 World Congresses each year 1948–1960
• Many co-operative events/rallies between YFC and Billy Graham — 1949–1962
• 1951: YFCI in 75 countries; Goal — “To have YFC in every U.S. county” — 3,070
• Youth Guidance and Institutional Ministry begins with Bruce Love — 1951
• Jack Hamilton: “We now have 1,000 clubs in 30 states.” — March 1952
• YFC expands into Asia under Dave Morken and Sam Wolgemuth — 1952–1954
• Giant rallies of 8,000 to 20,000 in many cities
• “Never thought it’d get this big!” – Torrey Johnson, Winona Lake, 10th Anniversary, 1954
• YFC: “One of the miracles of the 20th Century.” – Billy Graham — 1954
• Kelly Bihl starts YFC Director’s School in Kansas City — July 1954

Consolidation and Innovation (1957–1968)

Organization and Training (1968–1983)

• YFCI and YFC/USA divide — First Triennial YFCI Convocation in Kingston, Jamaica — 1968
• Teen Dynamics seminars organized and led by Gary Dausey — 1968
• Campus Life Insight/Impact Manuals 2, 3, and 4 published — 1968–1970
• First Summer Institute begins in 1968
• International office opens in Geneva, Switzerland — 1969
• Domestic Teen Teams begin in the states — 1970s
• YFC intern program begins in six cities — 1971
• Jay Kesler elected president; initiated chapter reports and 0.5% service fee —1973
• Jay begins Family Forum radio broadcasts — 1974
• “Whole Person Survival Kit” for associate staff produced by Art Deyo — 1976
• School of Theological Studies begun at Summer Institute Rockford — 1976
• Project Serve program begins — 1976
• First TV special with Johnny Cash and other celebrities — 1980
• Earl Schultz named Director of World Outreach — 1980
• MCYM begins in collaboration with Young Life — 1980
• Publication Division opened at National Office by Bruce Barton — 1982
• Ted Engstrom elected President in 1957; sees YFC at “all-time peak”
• Less expansion and more consolidation under Ted Engstrom
• Capital Teen Convention with 10,000 teens — December 1959 — Graham speaking
• Winona Lake — talent contests, quizzing, decade of destiny —1960s
• Teen Team era begins — 1961 — 70 under Wendy Collins and Paul Robbins
• Balanced Life Philosophy — by Bill Eakin and Warren Wiersbe — 1962
• Second Capital Teen Convention with 12,000 — December 1962 — Graham speaking
• Kelly Bihl elected president and starts radio program — 1963
• Campus Life Clubs begin with crowdbreakers, discussion and wrap-up — 1964
• Sam Wolgemuth elected president at Midwinter — 1965
• YFC Magazine becomes Campus Life Magazine under Harold Myra — October 1965
• Y2 (a two-year program to send missionaries overseas) begins — 1966
• First Campus Life Insight and Impact Manuals published — 1967

High Visibility Events and Conferences (1983–2004)

Ministry Clarity and Leader Equipping (2004–2016)

• Dan Wolgemuth elected president by YFC/USA Board of Directors — 2005
• Formalized City Life, Campus Life, Campus Life Middle School, Core (Friend to Friend), Parent Life, Juvenile Justice Ministry (JJM), Deaf Teen Quest (DTQ), Campus Life Military (YFC Military), with a director for each area — 2006
• New mission statement and Five Essentials created — 2005–2006
• Camp ministry begun by Molly Ramseyer in 2004; 100th week of camp held in 2018
• Summer Institute changed to YFC Institute — January 2008
• Affiliate strategy launched by Don Talley — supervised from the NSC — 2010
• Unified focus established; Target: authentic, Christ-sharing relationships — 2010
• Cities Initiative launched — 2014; 20 cities committed by 2018
• Strategic Plan adopted; goal to work with one million students per year — 2015
• Church status confirmed by IRS for all chapters of YFC/USA — 2017
• TV specials continue in local chapters
• YFC publishes Life Application Bible — later sold to Tyndale House —1983
• Youth Congress 1985 in conjunction with Campus Crusade for Christ — 1985
• Dick Wynn elected president in 1986
• Celebration of Hope in Chicago — eight YFC Presidents and Billy Graham — 1987
• D.C. 1988 in Washington, D.C. — equipping kids to share their faith — 1988 — Rollie Rickert, Director
• Summer Institute continues each year with Training Director Lynn Ziegenfuss
• Office moves from Wheaton, Illinois to Colorado — 1990
• Dick Wynn resigns and Roger Cross elected president — 1991
• D.C. 1991 in Washington, D.C. — 1991 — Mark Jevert, Director
• World Outreach Liaison Directors begin serving five YFCI areas from the U.S. under Larry Russell — 1992
• D.C./L.A. 1994 — held in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles — Geoff Cragg, Director; 3Story Evangelism introduced as method of sharing one’s faith
• 50th Anniversary Celebrations — 1994–1995
• YFC office moves to current location on in Englewood, Colorado — 1995
• D.C./L.A. 1997 — in Washington, D.C. and Los Angles — Geoff Cragg, Director
• D.C./L.A. 2000 — in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles — Geoff Cragg, Director
• D.C./L.A. 2003 — in Washington, D.C., Cincinnati and Sacramento — Mike Work, Director
• Roger Cross resigns — Jim DeKryter installed as interim CEO — 2004

Interdependence (2016– )

• Began moving toward interdependence between local U.S. chapters and the NSC instead of independence that characterized YFC in years past — 2018
• 75th Anniversary celebration in local U.S. chapters — 2019
• Global Engagement transitioned to YFCI — January 2019
• Development and deployment of shared processes across the movement — 2019
• First-ever Executive Leadership Conference designed to roll out processes — February 2019