Around the Corner and Around the World
Child Evangelism Fellowship is a world-wide ministry agency focused on reaching children with the message of God’s Word the Bible. CEF is an interdenominational agency from the Christian evangelical perspective and is well established in all fifty states and 195 nations around the world. The organization was founded in 1937 and has been established in New York State since 1949.
The Finger Lakes Area chapter began ministry in 1968 under the leadership of Miss Doloris Reed, who served in the role as local director for 42 years. Jeff Michaels was appointed as the local director after Miss Reed retired in April of 2010.
Jeff Michaels had previously served as the local director for the Rochester, New York area and as the New York State director, with a combined total of more than 33 years of experience with CEF. He received a BS degree in Business from Rochester Institute of Technology and has completed the necessary coursework for a MS degree in Communication – also from RIT.
Jeff and his wife Dee have been married since 1981 and they have one adult son. Their family also consists of two wonderful Basset Hounds – Bubba and Rosie!
The mission of CEF is to evangelize children with the Gospel of Christ, disciple them in their faith, and establish them in the local church for Christian living. This is accomplished through a number of ministries, but the strongest focus is the establishment of After School Good News Clubs in public schools.
Some well-meaning people will occasionally ask how CEF can have ministries in the public school… after all, isn’t there the issue of ‘separation of church and state’? That’s a great question and the answer comes from the United States Supreme Court, which decided the issue in a landmark decision (Good News Club vs. Milford Central Schools) in June of 2001. In their 6-3 majority decision, the court ruled that Good News Club must be granted equal access to public school facilities on the same basis as any other community based organization.
Since that decision, After School Good News Club has swept across the nation, reaching children in more than 6,000 public elementary schools. However, as important as After School Good News Club is to our organization, there are other ministries used to fulfill our purpose and to assist the local church and other believers.
Here are just a few:
- CYIA (Christian Youth in Action) – a summer ministry for teens
- 5-Day Club – a summer outreach to children taught by teens
- Fairs, Open Air, and Park ministry to reach children
- Training and equipping – designed to assist local churches
- Materials and Resources – CEF is a recognized publisher of teaching materials