Growing up in a religious family, Jessie at the age of 12 was convicted of his own sin and sought counsel from his mother. He was told, “Son, you are too young.” It wasn’t until Jessie Irwin Overholtzer was in college that he heard the Gospel and trusted Christ as his Saviour.
Later as a pastor, Mr. O (as he was affectionately called) read one of Charles Spurgeon’s sermons which stated,
“A child of five, if properly instructed can as truly believe and be regenerated as an adult.“
The Lord used this statement to lead Mr. O to begin the ministry of Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) when he was 60 years old. His desire was to tell boys and girls how to be free from the guilt of sin, something which no one would tell him when he was a boy.