The seed was sown in 1946 … and now bears fruit
The Jamaica Child Evangelism Fellowship (JCEF) began towards the latter part of 1946 when a number of Christians, whose hearts were burdened for the unsaved children of Jamaica, formed a committee under the chairmanship of the late Sir Charles Campbell. Members of the committee included Mr. & Mrs. Leonard Bewick and Dr. R. A. Kennedy. The Bewicks' concern for the spiritual welfare of boys and girls led them to start a Good News Club® (Home Bible Class) at their home. In 1937, the Bewicks met Mr. J. Irvin Overholtzer, founder of International Child Evangelism Fellowship (now Child Evangelism Fellowship Inc), and invited him to Jamaica. Mr. & Mrs. Overholtzer visited Jamaica in 1938. Following their visit, the first ICEF missionary, Miss Mary Wilcox, arrived in Jamaica in July 1946. In September that year, the Jamaica Child Evangelism Fellowship was formed.
The Lord graciously honoured the prayers and efforts of His
servants on behalf of the children. Gradually, as the aims of
the Fellowship became known, Christians responded either for training
as teachers and/or by opening their homes for Good News Clubs.
As teachers were trained, they entered into active service, conducting
classes in the open air, in a quiet corner of their garden, or in their homes.
Good News Club teachers, Olga Weston and Jen Limsang
The need for instructors to train teachers became evident at an early stage and,
again, the Lord laid it on the hearts of dedicated local workers, such as,
Mr. Noel Aiken and Mrs. Rosie Fullerton-Holman, who admirably suited the
spiritual and academic standpoint to enter this sphere of service.
This need was also ably met by graduates from the Jamaica Bible College
in Mandeville, who, along with others, became full-time workers with the Fellowship.
They were responsible for holding the work together between the departure of Miss Wilcox
in 1949 and the arrival of the second missionary, Miss Mildred Hollar.
Owing to ill-health, Miss Hollar had to be recalled from Jamaica in 1950; here again, the
Lord provided help from Jamaican nationals who carried on the work for a number of years.
In October 1955, Mr. & Mrs. Roy Helms came to direct the work.
During their ministry, much blessing and the raising up of national
workers by the Lord were evident.
Mr. and Mrs. Roy Helms
In 1961 when the Helms returned to
the USA due to ill-health, the need for national leadership emerged.
Three nationals - Mr. Conrad Campbell, Miss Linda Lowe, and Miss Lola Carey -
were trained at CEF Inc. during the Helms' directorship and were able to carry on the
work after the Helms departed.
Millicent, Linda and Lola
Mr. Conrad Campbell served as Executive Director from 1962-1968,
followed by Miss Lola Carey who had joined the Fellowship in 1962 and as
Executive Director from 1970 to 2004.
In 1963, Miss Linda Lowe left for Hong Kong where she served as a
child evangelist until her retirement in 2004. She now lives in Jamaica.
Linda Lowe, JCEF's first missionary to Hong Kong and the Asia-Pacific region
In 1965, Miss Beryl Christian a retired teacher was sent by JCEF to Liberia
serving 6 years and later served in Ghana for 11 years. She is now with the Lord.
Mrs. Millicent Campbell is the present Executive Director of JCEF and brings, to the position,
a wealth of experience in children's work and has a heart full of love and compassion for the
children of Jamaica.
The Fellowship is governed by a Board of Directors and an Advisory Council assists with advice from time to time
Teacher-trainers have a vital role in the Fellowship. One of the tasks of the Instructor of Teachers is to communicate a vision and a passion to potential trainee-teachers. Currently, there are a number of persons involved in the teacher-training program, including the Parish Supervisors who conduct training in their parishes. Teacher training is also offered to Sunday school teachers - through seminars, conferences and workshops.
Over the years, JCEF has concentrated on reaching children through Good News Clubs® (GNC™) and supplementing this ministry through camps, 5-Day Clubs®,
radio programmes, open-air evangelism, devotion in schools, telephone ministry. and other children's ministries.
2006 marks 60 years of child evangelism among the children of Jamaica.
Thousands of children have been reached and won for Christ through JCEF's
various ministries and many are still serving the Lord.
JCEF is, as our motto for this our 60th Anniversary year indicates, committed to
Reaching the Next Generation for Christ.