A Brief History of Child Evangelism Fellowship® of Illinois – Three Rivers Chapter

     In 1970, Erma Eaton invited Ruth Johnson and several other friends to her home for coffee.  At that gathering, Marge Hollingsworth, who had been involved with CEF in Texas, invited Ruth to open her home for a teacher-training class.  During that year the training continued in Ruth’s home. 

     After the chapter’s organization in 1971,  the ministry operated from a home in Plainfield where “Grandma” Senders resided.  She helped maintain the office and handled literature.  Mrs. Hollingsworth served the chapter as the acting director and teacher-trainer.  In those early days homes were used as Good News Club® sites, along with the first public schools Crystal Lawn and Central, both in the Plainfield School District. 

     Kathy Hollingsworth was the chapter’s first summer missionary—she was 16 years old when she conducted the chapter’s first 5-Day Club®.  Later she married Jim Sullivan, and they both assumed the responsibilities of chapter directors. 

     The present location in Shorewood was purchased in 1981, for $39,000.00.  The Sullivans resigned in 1991, and were replaced with Randy and Lynne Casserilla.  During their tenure, Lorraine Holt, was hired as secretary.  In the fall of 2000, the Casserilla’s resigned their position.  Lorraine Holt assumed the responsibilities of director.  Lorraine resigned her post, affective the end of 2006.  J. Michael Fox joined the chapter staff in 2001 and was named Ministry Coordinator in the fall of 2007, and later became the Local Director.  Steve Fox, who served his internship in the chapter, was called to serve as the Good News Club Coordinator in 2005.  Rosetta Flowers served the chapter as TCE™-1 Coordinator.  After Rosetta resigned in 2014, Valarie Hunt joined the staff as Teacher Trainer. 

     Through the years thousands of children have heard the life-giving message of salvation in Good News Clubs and summer ministry.  Only heaven will reveal the fruit for which many workers and financial partners have invested.

God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply.

Hudson Taylor