The first full-time worker for Youth for Christ was Billy Graham. In autumn 1946 he left America along with Cliff and Billie Barrows to spend six months in Britain on mission. It turned out to be one of the worst winters on record, with incredibly low temperatures and fuel shortages but God worked amazingly through the team at rallies and events across the country. The response was extraordinary. Thousands of people were won to Christ in those six months of campaigns as Billy and the team preached the gospel and saw lives transformed, families reunited and prayers answered.
As a result of this great move of God, a passion was ignited for reaching Britain’s young people and meeting their tragic spiritual need through new methods of youth evangelism. The success of the campaigns led to local British YFC groups springing up around the country. There is evidence of one in the Wirral starting the year before Billy arrived but it was the mission in 1946 that really created momentum! Later a national Youth for Christ conference was called in Birmingham which resulted in the formation of British Youth for Christ to reach the young people of Britain with the Good News!
Methods change but over 70 years on we remain true to the original vision as we continue to be “anchored to the Rock and geared to the times.” Today, BYFC can be seen serving churches and the local community in sports arenas, secondary schools, inner-city urban centres, skate parks, young offenders’ institutes and local church youth groups. Anywhere you find young people – we’ll be there connecting with them on their level and communicating the gospel.
Taking the gospel relevantly is what we do. That has always been our vision, and it always will be…..until every young person in Britain has heard and responded to the Good News of Jesus Christ.