WINDSOR MILL, Md.—Bill Vogel was a successful businessman. He owned World Financial Agency, a successful investment company. He faithfully supported Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF), a non-denominational Bible-based worldwide organization founded to evangelize children, help them grow spiritually and guide them to a local Bible-believing church. Vogel’s wife, Beth, had been involved in the program since she was 10 years old in the Dominican Republic. She was raised in the mission field and her sister was a missionary with CEF.
“I was the guy who wrote the check,” Vogel said.
But when he attended a CEF fundraising event, and heard the testimonies, he had a deeper calling. What really spoke to him was when he heard that it was completely legal to take the Gospel to the schools. In fact, the Supreme Court, made the ruling in 2001 in a case called Good News Bible Club v. Milford Central School District. The ruling stated that Bible clubs must be given the same access to school facilities accorded any other non-school related group.
“That was the mind-blowing thing for me!” Vogel said. After that, Vogel sold his business and went into full-time ministry with CEF. He is now CEF’s director of strategic ministries in Maryland.
“It still blows my mind. Just think, If every Bible-believing church adopted a school, wrapped their arms around that school and beyond to the families, and connected them to local Bible believing churches we’d see churches grow, lives changed and societies transformed,” Vogel said.
The Gospel is promoted in the schools through CEF’s Good News Clubs. The clubs include Bible lessons, songs, memory verses, missions lessons and games. The Gospel is clearly presented. Vogel said CEF weaves messages into Bible stories to encourage saved children and to speak to unsaved children to lead them to know Christ.
Currently CEF is working with 76 schools throughout Maryland, reaching 2,000 children each week.
Vogel said the opportunity is incredible, and the need is great. He cited statistics from George Barna that 83 percent of Christians accept Christ before they are 15 years old, and 80 percent will never enter a church.
CEF partners with churches to smooth the process of taking a Good News Club to a school. “We sit down with you, lay out a plan and identify the school most apt to affect your church. We raise up five to 10 workers, train them, screen them, and provide them with curriculum and insurance. We also approach the school district to help get that church into the school.”
While CEF would like for the church to sponsor CEF, Vogel said CEF will partner with a church whether it provides sponsorship or not. Money will not stand in the way, he said.
For more information, see www.cefmaryland.org/Good-News-Clubs.aspx.