meet the team
"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth."
2 Timothy 2:15
Steve and Bev McKinley
My wife, Bev grew up around CEF, and many of her relatives were CEF leaders and staff members. I did not know anything about CEF until our son, Matt, wanted to go to CEF’s Christian Youth In Action (CYIA) training in the summer of 1993. When he returned from CYIA, he could teach Sunday School, 5 Day Clubs, and was excited about doing it. At this time, God had already begun to move in our hearts that we needed to make a change in our life. We were so impressed with CEF and Matt’s training that summer that Bev and I sold our business and went to CEF staff training in Missouri that fall of 1993. I had grown up in Palmer, Alaska and felt that the Lord wanted us to return to Alaska and restart a CEF ministry on the Kenai Peninsula. We have been here since 1994 and have been blessed to see CEF spread around the state, training teenagers and adults to reach children. Children need to hear about Jesus! They need to know Godly life skills, and understand that God loves them and that they have a purpose in life.
My involvement with CEF started when I was 12 years old and I attended my very first CYIA, held in Girdwood, AK. It was at that CYIA that I told the Lord I would follow Him wherever He led. From that point ministry was always my ambition. I served in local Good News Clubs in the Soldotna/Kenai area through jr high and high school, moving on to summer intern during college. I met my husband, Francisco, while in college at Moody Bible Institute and convinced him to come check out Alaska. His first week in Alaska was spent at CYIA and his second, out in Unalakleet helping with VBS. From 2012 - 2015 we served together as the ministry coordinators for CEF of the Kenai Peninsula and had many opportunities to travel and share CEF training both in bush Alaska and on the road system.
Today, Francisco serves as youth pastor at our local church, while I continue to coordinate our local Good News Clubs, CYIA and lead our Track 2 program for advanced CEF students. We believe CEF does an excellent job raising up skilled workers for the advancement of the Gospel and rejoice in the opportunity we have to be a part of the work God is doing in Alaska.
CEF has been a constant factor in my life since the 1970’s. My Mother started a Good News Club in our home so the many un-churched neighborhood children would be able to learn about God. I learned the importance of knowing God, memorizing His Word, and sharing the Gospel with others. Now I enjoy teaching God’s Word to children, teens and adults. I love seeing the expression on people’s faces when they receive forgiveness for their sins. I see the desire stirred in them to know more about God and His Word. I encourage anyone to be confident in their faith in God and to build their relationship with Christ. I have found the more I teach the Bible, the more I learn.
“That ye may walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” -Colossians 1:10
Mark & Sharilyn Hargrave
Ministry Expansion/Military Children
Sharilyn: I was born in Alaska and raised in the Eagle River/Anchorage communities. My mother taught Good News Clubs in the 70’s and it was the presentation of the Gospel through the Wordless book that led me to receive Christ as my Lord and Savior.
My life with Christ grew as I pursued a career in the travel industry and finally settled with owning a small family business in real estate advertising. In November 2005, God’s words in Matthew 6 spoke to my heart to “Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven…” I dedicated my life to God for His service and I held to the promise that God could make me useful and effective for His Kingdom.
In 2012 I answered the need for CEF workers for Good News Clubs on the military installation of Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson (JBER). It became clear that this is what the Lord wanted me to do full time.
I am so thankful to be a part of Child Evangelism Fellowship. It is an amazing honor to bring the precious Gospel message to children; in a public school; on a military installation. To God be the glory.
Mark served with Hope for the Heart and New Life Ministries prior to coming to Alaska to serve with CEF. He managed a team of Biblical counselors, and served in ministry development. Coming from a counseling background, it was mostly adults that he counseled. However, after going on mission trips to Africa, God had revealed a gift, and a heart to work with children. He began serving in children's ministry through his church and in a local Good News Club in Texas. Mark met his wife Sharilyn in 2018, and through prayer, it was evident that God’s hand was at work in bringing them together. They were married in August of 2019.
Mark moved to Alaska in early 2019 and serves as Ministry Expansion Coordinator in the Anchorage Mat-Su area. "It brings me great joy to see pastors, families and teenagers working together, and building their confidence in evangelizing through CEF training. And to watch them grow as they boldly share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the people of Alaska"
"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20,21
Rural Ministry Coordinator
I began serving the Lord in children’s ministries as a teenager in my church. God solidified my heart for ministering to children on a mission trip to Ecuador at age sixteen. I was accepted to Moody Bible Institute in Chicago where I met my husband, Mark. We were married in 1992, remaining in Chicago until I completed my degree in International Ministries in 1994. During my training at MBI one of my favorite ministries to participate in was evangelizing and mentoring children with InterCity Impact Ministries. Upon my graduation, Mark then continued his training in Elizabethton, TN, receiving his degree in Missionary Aviation Technology in 1997. During his training God placed me at a local elementary school as an Extended School Program teacher where I had opportunity to subtly impact the lives of the children with the love of Christ.
Early in our married life, Mark and I sought the Lord as to where and with whom He would place us to minister. When we learned about ministry opportunities in Alaska, the Lord burdened our hearts to be part of it.
We arrived in Alaska in 2001 to serve with Missionary Aviation Repair Center and now, in 2016, Mark has transitioned over to serving with Samaritan’s Purse and I with CEF. During those years with MARC, we were both deeply involved as volunteers with CEF.
God has blessed us with four children, each of whom have been trained through CEF and are active participants in the ministry. Our family has seen first-hand the effects of the ministry of CEF throughout Alaska and feel very blessed to not only continue to have a part in it, but be able to be involved in it as full-time ministry.
In Rural Ministry Development, my job encompasses mentoring teens locally and in the villages, teaching, training, and coordinating village ministry. The goal is to see the next generation rise up to be the spiritual leaders of their families, churches, and communities. May God be glorified.
Rob and Kristi Dillingham
Family Ministry Coordinator
Rob came to Alaska in1995 and flew commercially for ten years. He met Kristi at church in Kenai and they were married in 1998. Work took them to Anchorage where Kristi finished a bachelor's degree in nursing and found a nursing job. It was during this time that they felt called by the Lord into full-time ministry and they began serving with Arctic Barnabas Ministries in 2005. Rob used his flying skills and Kristi used her organizational and administrative gifts at ABM, but God also developed in them a desire for pastors' families and their ministries in rural villages to thrive.
In March 2018 the Dillinghams transitioned from ABM to CEF. Rob is serving as Family Ministry Coordinator and Kristi as an office associate. They are comfortable traveling to rural communities as a family and enjoy serving as a family with CEF all around the state. Their daughter Leah has been involved with CEF since the summer of 2017 when she attended her first CYIA, then working at a local Good News Club (where Kristi has been a hostess), and working as part of the CEF team at Native Musicalle in Anchorage. Their son Jeremy attended his first CYIA in 2018, and Rebekah in 2019.
Scott and Jennifer McKinnie
Family Ministry Coordinator
Our first experience with CEF was in 2016 when our oldest daughter attended Christian Youth in Action in Soldotna. She came back changed, more confident in her faith and boldly ready to share it with others. As Christian homeschool parents, we quickly saw the great opportunities that CEF offered to teens, children, and adults and wanted to become a part of such a wonderful organization. When Scott retired from the Army after 25 years, we jumped right in. We volunteered in a Good News Clubs, served as counselors at CYIA and Camp Good News, took the whole family on a village mission trip and then coordinated 5-day clubs. As the Family Ministry Coordinators, we hope to see CEF grow in the Anchorage/Matsu area by training adults to disciple teens to evangelize children. Jesus gave us all the great commission.