Earliest Bellingham YFC Roots
Teens For Christ roots go back to 1949 when Paul “Tex” Yearout began Bellingham Youth For Christ (YFC). Tex ran rallies and Bible Quizzing with students from Bellingham and Whatcom County. In the late ’50’s, Paul moved down to Seattle to work with Seattle YFC.
A Local Chapter of Youth For Christ
In 1961 a junior at Mt. Baker High School named Linda, who was not allowed by her parents to attend church, had a dream of starting a Bible club for the students at Mt. Baker high school. However, all of the Christians that she knew were too busy with sports and other activities to start the club. One day, freshman quarterback, Lowell Bakke, broke his foot walking across the stage at an awards assembly. Suddenly, there was a Christian with some time! Linda approached Lowell with her dream, and Lowell, along with his older brother Dennis, drove to Seattle to pick up the first charter with YFC. After all of her prayers, planning and hard work to get the program going, Linda was allowed by her parents to attend only the first meeting.
The Break From YFC
The Whatcom County YFC grew throughout the 60’s and in 1971, Mike French became the director. In 1973, new leadership at Youth For Christ headquarters wanted to make all of the YFC chapters alike. Several ministries, such as Kansas City Youth For Christ, and Tri-State Youth For Christ in Indiana had powerful ministries and did not want to change what they were doing to conform to the new format. They got together and formed Youth Evangelism Association (YEA). YEA would allow individual ministries to be unique for the purpose of reaching teens in their area of ministry. YEA is committed to being aggressively evangelistic, Bible believing and church centered. In 1975, the Board of Whatcom County YFC prayerfully joined Youth Evangelism Association. This brought the eventual name change to Teens For Christ. After over 20 years of service to Christ among teenagers in Whatcom County, Mike French resigned from Teens For Christ in February 1992.