Central Pennsylvania Youth Ministries

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Central Pennsylvania Youth Ministries has its roots in the early 1940's. Youth ministry during that time  was very loosely organized and conducted only a few youth outreach activities each year.  Then God led a pastor from Sunbury to form the Sunbury Youth Fellowship. It's purpose was to reach out to all of the youth of Sunbury. Later he and a few friends began a ministry to the entire county of Northumberland. This was the beginning of Northumberland County Youth for Christ.


In March 1954, a Rev. Ellis Rowe got a small group of businessmen together to show the Billy Graham film "Mr. Texas". Together this small but committed group of laymen saw God do a remarkable thing. One thing followed another and what had begun as a small effort now became a regular Saturday night program. All through 1955 into the early part of 1956 Rev. Rowe and his small group carried on the newly formalized Youth For Christ Ministry. Then in 1956 Glen Furman with the help of many other local concerned adults added a new dimension to the YFC ministry with such things as Bible quizzing, Ocean City conferences, and Teen Choruses.


During the 1958 to 1960 period, YFC Bible Clubs were established and many young people found a new relationship with God right in the confines of the high school they attended. These were exciting days as new inroads were forged into the youth community. The ministry had moved from a loose association to a chartered member of Youth for Christ International.

The stage had been set and in early 1960, the Board of Directors asked Ed Young and his wife Joyce, recent seminary graduates, to come and head the Susquehanna Valley program. Ed was to stay for a period of ten years and leave behind an impressive record of achievement. Ed and  Joyce poured their lives into teenager after teenager.


August of 1971 saw the Board interview and call Frank Chivalette as Executive Director. Frank had served for three years as a Campus Life Club Director in the area and then had served pastorates in New Jersey and New York City. Arriving with a new baby, a new job, and a new place of residence, he attacked the needs of YFC head on. The organization grew - new staff were hired and new programs started. By 1972 the budget had grown to $50,000 a year and God continued to meet needs. Following the addage that "much faith demands much action" the Board of Directors authorized the merger of Juniata Valley Youth for Christ into what is now known as the Southwestern Module (Mifflin County). Later this area was split in two to form the Juniata County Module and the Southwest Module. This necessitated the call of even more staff to meet the growing needs of young people.


The organization continued to be faithful in proclaiming the Good News of Jesus. In 1991 Central Pa YFC  left their association with Youth for Christ/USA and changed it's name to Central Pa Youth Ministries. With a name change came the addition of a Youth Center in Berwick, an annual youth conference that attracts over 1000 local teens every year and a staff that had grown to 12 persons plus a budget of nearly $700,000.