Group picture from the 1980s




Over the past 41 years, we have worked to be present and active in the lives of young people as we share Jesus’ message of hope.

  • Youth for Christ began its work in Darke County in April of 1981, chartered as Darke County Youth for Christ. The mission of Youth for Christ is described this way: Youth for Christ reaches young people everywhere, working together with the local church and other like-minded partners to raise up life-long followers of Jesus, who lead by their godliness in lifestyle, devotion to the Word of God and prayer, passion for sharing the love of Christ, and commitment to social involvement. In its early years, Youth for Christ sought to achieve its mission in Darke County through three types of programs: Campus Life, Youth Guidance, and Campus Life JV. Campus Life was the first Youth for Christ ministry to be formed locally and is still a core ministry of YFC today.

  • After a few years, a Youth Guidance program was developed to help teenagers who had either been in trouble with the court system, or who were placed at risk because of their home environment. Many times these youth needed a mature, caring adult who would be there to listen and help. Some years, as many as one hundred fifty students were involved with the program. Youth for Christ also sponsored "Youth Guidance Camp" for "at risk" youth. For some of these young people, Youth Guidance Camp was the turning point in their lives, as they were faced, possibly for the first time, with unselfish love that refused to give up. Due to a number of factors, YFC stopped providing a Youth Guidance program a number of years ago. At about the same time, the national organization replaced Youth Guidance with a program called JJM (Juvenile Justice Ministry), which is focused more exclusively on incarcerated youth. As our culture has evolved, a higher percentage of the teen population has the risk factors that would have qualified them for involvement in a Youth Guidance program in years' past so these students are now reached through Campus Life. However, once Youth for Christ expands into areas that have juvenile detention facilities, YFC will again look to launch a JJM ministry to reach incarcerated teens.

  • The final ministry to be installed was Campus Life JV, which is now called Campus Life MS. Campus Life MS is YFC's ministry to middle school students. CLM utilizes upbeat programming designed to match the intensity and energy of early teens. It also includes camp, big events, large group activities and building times to help kids discover the foundations of faith, and develop basic life skills and decision-making abilities. Currently, three of the local Campus Life M clubs meet on school campuses during the school day.

  • In 2010, the local Youth for Christ effort was expanded to include Preble County as part of its ministry area. Beginning with a Campus Life program for students at Eaton High School, YFC has now set out to reach young people all across Preble County as well as its original territory. In keeping with this expansion, Darke County YFC also became Youth for Christ of the Miami Valley in 2010. This larger umbrella opens up Youth for Christ locally to expanding all across the area as people develop a desire for Youth for Christ ministry in their communities.

  • In order to reach teens where they are, YFC conducts most of its activities away from its office, often in "teen friendly," borrowed facilities or school campuses. However, in 2020, Youth for Christ opened a new ministry center in Greenville that includes meeting and hangout space for teens as well as administrative offices. Though this facility is primarily used by only one ministry site among many, it provides a great place to interact with nearby students and is a good location for meeting with adults that are involved as well.