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About Youth for Christ

The Story of

Youth For Christ

The Story of YFC

Youth For Christ (YFC) is an international, Christian non-profit organization that sees the hope and potential in every young person.

Since 1944, Youth For Christ has played a pivotal, catalytic role in youth evangelism. Youth For Christ’s rich history includes forward thinking employees, the first of whom was Billy Graham. “It seems like just yesterday that, in fear and
trembling, I spoke at my first Youth For Christ rally in 1944,” said Graham. “I am praying that YFC will continue to share the transformational message of Christ and His Kingdom, with renewed vision, boldness, and courage to a generation of young people who are desperate to hear the words of life and truth.”


Youth For Christ staff have gone on to launch over 100 Christian organizations, including World Vision, Samaritan’s Purse, Compassion International, Youth Specialties, Youth Front, Ravi Zacharias Ministries and many others.
Youth For Christ is now in over 100 nations. We’re an organization on a mission to bring the message of Jesus to young people around the world.

Our Story

Our Local Story

Youth For Christ in the south central Minnesota area began to take shape in 1960, after Dick Thunstedt brought the idea of Youth For Christ to this area.  He and his wife, Pearl, attended YFC rallies in Los Angeles where Billy Graham shared a life-changing message. Mr. Thunstedt became the catalyst, with the help of a number of other dedicated people, birthing South Central Minnesota Youth For Christ. Fast forward to today and every year thousands of youth are engaged by dedicated staff and volunteers across 7 ministry sites, a regional prayer center and a campground, all centered around one common mission:

Youth For Christ reaches young people everywhere, working together with the local church and other likeminded 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.

"...More than ever before, we need to continue our quest to reach lost youth."

Billy Graham

Administrative Staff

Our Staff

Greg Gudal

Executive Director


Kay Werner

Bookkeeper and Donor Management


Karen Hagen



Robin Gudal



Lori Olson

Human Resources

Albert Lea Staff


Michelle Lestrud

Drop-In Center Director


Macey Stephoni

City Life Staff


Natalie Raatz

City Life Drop In Center Staff


Macayla Marti

Middle School Director


Becky Kelly

Campus Life Director


Tania Raatz

Campus Life Staff


Jakob Malakowsky

Ministry Staff


Patrianna Scales

Drop-In Center Staff


Kevin Ellis

Drop-In Center Staff


Liz Ellis

City Life Staff


Sheri Viktoria

City Life Drop-In Center Staff

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