The Early Days
Christian Endeavour (CE) was founded in Portland, Maine in 1881 by Canadian born Dr. Francis E. Clark. Dr. Clark saw that there were many opportunities for youth to “hear” the Word, but few for young people to learn to “do”.
At the Williston Congregational Church 57 young people signed a pledge which listed what they would do to apply Christianity to all aspects of their lives. Real sacrifices of their time and energy were made, and the results were astonishing. CE started as a way to train and equip young people to become leaders within the local church as they chose to take ownership of their Christianity.
The early Endeavourers reversed the common teachings of the church on young people and launched what is now called ‘youth ministry.’ Now, nearly every youth ministry organisation today can be linked to Christian Endeavour either in history, method, or both.
CE in Australia
In the 1880s, CE Societies were established in each Australian state.
South Australia’s first CE Society commenced in Adelaide in 1888 in Flinders Street Baptist Church and camps have been a central part of CE South Australia’s activities since 1926.