Our History

Power to Change began in 1967 as Campus Crusade for Christ, Canada. See how our ministry has grown and changed in the last 50 years.

 

 

P2C - History

 

 

1950s


1951 – Bill Bright and his wife Vonette begin Campus Crusade for Christ at UCLA with the backing of a 24-hour prayer chain. 

1956 – Bill Bright writes “God’s Plan for Your Life,” a 20-minute evangelistic presentation that early staff members are required to memorize.

 

1958 – Dr. Joon Gon Kim takes Campus Crusade for Christ to South Korea, the ministry’s first international work. By the end of the 1950s, Campus Crusade is active in three countries.

 

1959 – The first Lay Institute for Evangelism takes the evangelism and discipleship training from the campus ministry and adapts it to a church context.

1960s


1962 – Arrowhead Springs in San Bernadino becomes the headquarters for Campus Crusade for the next three decades. Many Canadian staff still serving today attended Arrowhead Springs for training and commissioning.

 

1965 – Campus Crusade opens its first ministry in Canada at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

 

1965 – Bill Bright writes a booklet called “Have You Heard of the Four Spiritual Laws?” A version of this evangelism tool is still in use at Power to Change as “Knowing God Personally.”

 

1966 – Josh McDowell takes over the ministry at UBC, which experiences rapid growth as hundreds of students gather every week to learn about Jesus.

 

1967 – The official birthday of Power to Change! Campus Crusade for Christ, Canada is granted legal status as a charity by the government of Canada. In the same year, the campus ministry begins to expand, first to the University of Alberta.

 

1968 – With Ken Berven serving as director, the campus ministry expands to the University of Calgary and the University of Toronto. Today, Power to Change – Students is on more than 60 campuses across Canada.

 

1969 – Bob Kendall is appointed national director and bases the ministry in Toronto.


1970s


1970 – Marvin and Katherine Kehler are invited by Peter Dueck to attend a Campus Crusade evangelism seminar in California and learn how the Holy Spirit can direct and empower their lives. That week, for the first time, Marvin leads someone to faith in Christ. Excited by the experience, Marvin and Peter organize Lay Institutes for Evangelism throughout Western Canada.

1972 – The national office of Campus Crusade for Christ, Canada relocates to Abbotsford, B.C. when Peter Dueck assumes leadership. The national headquarters has remained on the west coast ever since.

 

1974 – Marvin Kehler becomes national director, placing a strong focus on leadership development and building partnerships with the church. In the same year, the Athletes in Action (AIA) pro ministry begins, organizing outreaches, chapels and Bible studies for professional athletes.

 

1975 – AIA hosts a week of evangelistic high school assemblies in Toronto that climaxes with a nationally televised flag football game between Christian players from the CFL and NFL. At halftime, players share the gospel with a crowd of 16,000 at CNE Stadium.

 

1976 – “I found it! You can find it too!” That offer appears on billboards, bumpers, and in newspapers, radio and television ads across the country. Thousands call in for the answer: new life in Christ. Working with local churches, it is one of the largest evangelistic campaigns in Canadian history.


1980s


1980 – The JESUS Film makes its debut in Canadian theatres. Within a year, millions of North Americans in 2,000 theatres see the film. Today it is the most viewed and most translated film in history. It has been translated in over 1,300 languages, with more than 200 million people indicating decisions to follow Christ from viewings around the world.

 

1982 – AIA’s first international basketball tour heads to China. The gospel is shared during the promotion of the game, at halftime and during post-game activities. Back in Canada, “Michael Horner Speaks Out” begins. A Christian apologist, Horner debates secular humanists on university and college campuses, sparking spiritual conversations with students.


1983 – The first international summer project heads to Argentina.

 

1984 – At a jungle camp in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, 155 Canadians, mostly university students, are issued hammocks and equipment for their two-month stay in northern Brazil. Working hand-in-hand with national churches, they show the JESUS film to more than 300,000 Brazilians; 16,000 indicate decisions for Christ. The project stimulates similar efforts on various continents and by 1993, more than 1.1 million people hear the gospel.


1984 – Mothers Who Care begins. Groups of mothers are organized across Canada to pray for elementary and high schools, principals, faculty and students.

 

1984 – The national headquarters of Campus Crusade for Christ, Canada relocates to Burnaby and now includes a video production facility.


1984 – Christian Embassy opens in Ottawa, building relationships with Canadian political leaders and foreign ambassadors.

1986 – Leadership Ministries sponsors the first JESUS Film Project for business and professional people. Business leaders are recruited to travel overseas and show the film in remote areas. Witnessing God’s work first-hand serves as a catalyst to their own spiritual growth.

 

1987 – The Canadian Business and Professional Association is formed. This ministry is geared toward young executives and professionals, teaching them to share Jesus within their sphere of influence.

1987 – AIA expands to university campuses to reach varsity athletes and teach them how to integrate faith and sport.


1988 – FamilyLife launches its first marriage conferences in Canada, supporting and rebuilding relationships across the country. Today, FamilyLife Canada is still bringing hope to marriages and families with events, resources and mentoring.


1990s


1990 – The New Scholars Society is established with an aim to promote Christian scholarship in every field, with a special interest in areas where philosophy, faith and science intersect. And, after East Germany opened the Berlin wall in 1989, political reforms sweep the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, creating unprecedented opportunities to share the gospel. As a result, the campus ministry helps establish student ministries in Russia, Latvia and Ukraine.


1991 – The JESUS Film Project opens a Canadian office to accelerate its translation efforts. Meanwhile, Campus Crusade for Christ, Canada relocates its national headquarters to Surrey, BC.

 

1992 – A pilot project in Surrey, BC launches the JESUS Video Strategy, an evangelism campaign that reaches communities coast to coast. Churches of many denominations band together to offer a free copy of the JESUS video to every home in their neighborhood. In all, 34,261 trained volunteers visit 1.3 million homes, distributing more than 342,000 videos. The strategy spreads to many countries including the United States, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

 

1993 – A large number of women leaders from the business and professional community in Vancouver attend an outreach banquet with special guest, Gerda Hnatyshyn, the wife of Canada’s Governor General. The event launches a new ministry, Women in Leadership.

In the campus ministry, Student LINC (Leaders In New Campuses) begins. Students with a vision for reaching their campus for Jesus are trained and equipped by a regional team. This allows the campus ministry to expand from 10 campuses with a staff team to 43 campuses in one year.


1994 – Women Today begins, focusing on training women to reach women. Meanwhile, ROX Games begins touring Canadian high schools. ROX is a multimedia presentation promoting the values of excellence and discipline at assemblies using music, video and a wacky games competition. At an invitational event held later the same day, the gospel is shared openly.

 

1996 – As more and more of the world discovers the internet, TruthMedia is launched, an online ministry that creates evangelistic content in multiple languages. Today, this ministry continues as The Life Project, providing online mentorship and life-changing content for Christians and non-Christians across multiple websites.

Offline, the national headquarters of Campus Crusade for Christ, Canada relocates to Langley. The facility is constructed to facilitate global communication of ministry, staff and resources.



1997 – The first Cities of the World project exposes 15 million to the gospel in Columbia.

 

1998 – Global Aid Network (GAiN), the humanitarian partner of Power to Change, is launched, bringing humanitarian aid, clean water, disaster response and development to areas in need around the world.

 

1999 – Campus Crusade partners with churches with the “Power to Change” campaign, a media-driven campaign that shares the gospel across Canada.


2000s


2003 – Leonard Buhler leaves his business in Manitoba to become president of Campus Crusade in Canada.

 

2007 – Campus Crusade for Christ, Canada changes its name to become Power to Change Ministries to reflect its wide breadth of ministries. The final phase of the ministry headquarters is also completed.

 

2007 DRIME, an established ministry in Vancouver that uses drama for a new and more effective twist on street evangelism, joins the Power to Change family of ministries.

 

2010 – Power to Change partners with More Than Gold and other like-minded ministries to share the gospel message in Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

 

2015 – For the first time in its history, Power to Change -Students began the school year with a ministry presence in every province in Canada. There are now ministries on 60 campuses across the country.

 

2016 – After 14 years as a senior executive with the Jim Pattison Group and several years in leadership at Power to Change, Rod Bergen is named president of Power to Change Ministries.

 



FULL TIMELINE


1951 – Bill Bright and his wife Vonette begin Campus Crusade for Christ at UCLA with the backing of a 24-hour prayer chain.

 

1956 – Bill Bright writes “God’s Plan for Your Life,” a 20-minute evangelistic presentation that early staff members are required to memorize.

 

1958 – Dr. Joon Gon Kim takes Campus Crusade for Christ to South Korea, the ministry’s first international work. By the end of the 1950s, Campus Crusade is active in three countries.

 

1959 – The first Lay Institute for Evangelism takes the evangelism and discipleship training from the campus ministry and adapts it to a church context.

 

1962 – Arrowhead Springs in San Bernadino becomes the headquarters for Campus Crusade for the next three decades. Many Canadian staff still serving today attended Arrowhead Springs for training and commissioning.

 

1965 – Campus Crusade opens its first ministry in Canada at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

 

1965 – Bill Bright writes a booklet called “Have You Heard of the Four Spiritual Laws?” A version of this evangelism tool is still in use at Power to Change as “Knowing God Personally.”

 

1966 – Josh McDowell takes over the ministry at UBC, which experiences rapid growth as hundreds of students gather every week to learn about Jesus.

 

1967 – The official birthday of Power to Change! Campus Crusade for Christ, Canada is granted legal status as a charity by the government of Canada. In the same year, the campus ministry begins to expand, first to the University of Alberta.

 

1968 – With Ken Berven serving as director, the campus ministry expands to the University of Calgary and the University of Toronto. Today, Power to Change – Students is on more than 60 campuses across Canada.

 

1969 – Bob Kendall is appointed national director and bases the ministry in Toronto.

 

1970 – Marvin and Katherine Kehler are invited by Peter Dueck to attend a Campus Crusade evangelism seminar in California and learn how the Holy Spirit can direct and empower their lives. That week, for the first time, Marvin leads someone to faith in Christ. Excited by the experience, Marvin and Peter organize Lay Institutes for Evangelism throughout Western Canada.

 

1972 – The national office of Campus Crusade for Christ, Canada relocates to Abbotsford, B.C. when Peter Dueck assumes leadership. The national headquarters has remained on the west coast ever since.

 

1974 – Marvin Kehler becomes national director, placing a strong focus on leadership development and building partnerships with the church. In the same year, the Athletes in Action (AIA) pro ministry begins, organizing outreaches, chapels and Bible studies for professional athletes.

 

1975 – AIA hosts a week of evangelistic high school assemblies in Toronto that climaxes with a nationally televised flag football game between Christian players from the CFL and NFL. At halftime, players share the gospel with a crowd of 16,000 at CNE Stadium.

 

1976 – “I found it! You can find it too!” That offer appears on billboards, bumpers, and in newspapers, radio and television ads across the country. Thousands call in for the answer: new life in Christ. Working with local churches, it is one of the largest evangelistic campaigns in Canadian history.

 

1980 – The JESUS Film makes its debut in Canadian theatres. Within a year, millions of North Americans in 2,000 theatres see the film. Today it is the most viewed and most translated film in history. It has been translated in over 1,300 languages, with more than 200 million people indicating decisions to follow Christ from viewings around the world.

 

1982 – AIA’s first international basketball tour heads to China. The gospel is shared during the promotion of the game, at halftime and during post-game activities. Back in Canada, “Michael Horner Speaks Out” begins. A Christian apologist, Horner debates secular humanists on university and college campuses, sparking spiritual conversations with students.


1983 – The first international summer project heads to Argentina.

 

1984 – At a jungle camp in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, 155 Canadians, mostly university students, are issued hammocks and equipment for their two-month stay in northern Brazil. Working hand-in-hand with national churches, they show the JESUS film to more than 300,000 Brazilians; 16,000 indicate decisions for Christ. The project stimulates similar efforts on various continents and by 1993, more than 1.1 million people hear the gospel.


1984 – Mothers Who Care begins. Groups of mothers are organized across Canada to pray for elementary and high schools, principals, faculty and students.

 

1984 – The national headquarters of Campus Crusade for Christ, Canada relocates to Burnaby and now includes a video production facility.


1985 – Christian Embassy opens in Ottawa, building relationships with Canadian political leaders and foreign ambassadors.

1986 – Leadership Ministries sponsors the first JESUS Film Project for business and professional people. Business leaders are recruited to travel overseas and show the film in remote areas. Witnessing God’s work first-hand serves as a catalyst to their own spiritual growth.

 

1987 – The Canadian Business and Professional Association is formed. This ministry is geared toward young executives and professionals, teaching them to share Jesus within their sphere of influence.

1987 – AIA expands to university campuses to reach varsity athletes and teach them how to integrate faith and sport.


1988 – FamilyLife launches its first marriage conferences in Canada, supporting and rebuilding relationships across the country. Today, FamilyLife Canada is still bringing hope to marriages and families with events, resources and mentoring.

 

1990 – The New Scholars Society is established with an aim to promote Christian scholarship in every field, with a special interest in areas where philosophy, faith and science intersect. And, after East Germany opened the Berlin wall in 1989, political reforms sweep the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, creating unprecedented opportunities to share the gospel. As a result, the campus ministry helps establish student ministries in Russia, Latvia and Ukraine.


1991 – The JESUS Film Project opens a Canadian office to accelerate its translation efforts. Meanwhile, Campus Crusade for Christ, Canada relocates its national headquarters to Surrey, BC.

 

1992 – A pilot project in Surrey, BC launches the JESUS Video Strategy, an evangelism campaign that reaches communities coast to coast. Churches of many denominations band together to offer a free copy of the JESUS video to every home in their neighborhood. In all, 34,261 trained volunteers visit 1.3 million homes, distributing more than 342,000 videos. The strategy spreads to many countries including the United States, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

 

1993 – A large number of women leaders from the business and professional community in Vancouver attend an outreach banquet with special guest, Gerda Hnatyshyn, the wife of Canada’s Governor General. The event launches a new ministry, Women in Leadership.

In the campus ministry, Student LINC (Leaders In New Campuses) begins. Students with a vision for reaching their campus for Jesus are trained and equipped by a regional team. This allows the campus ministry to expand from 10 campuses with a staff team to 43 campuses in one year.


1994 – Women Today begins, focusing on training women to reach women. Meanwhile, ROX Games begins touring Canadian high schools. ROX is a multimedia presentation promoting the values of excellence and discipline at assemblies using music, video and a wacky games competition. At an invitational event held later the same day, the gospel is shared openly.

 

1996 – As more and more of the world discovers the internet, TruthMedia is launched, an online ministry that creates evangelistic content in multiple languages. Today, this ministry continues as The Life Project, providing online mentorship and life-changing content for Christians and non-Christians across multiple websites.

Offline, the national headquarters of Campus Crusade for Christ, Canada relocates to Langley. The facility is constructed to facilitate global communication of ministry, staff and resources.



1997 – The first Cities of the World project exposes 15 million to the gospel in Columbia.

 

1998 – Global Aid Network (GAiN), the humanitarian partner of Power to Change, is launched, bringing humanitarian aid, clean water, disaster response and development to areas in need around the world.

 

1999 – Campus Crusade partners with churches with the “Power to Change” campaign, a media-driven campaign that shares the gospel across Canada.

 

2003 – Leonard Buhler leaves his business in Manitoba to become president of Campus Crusade in Canada.

 

2007 – Campus Crusade for Christ, Canada changes its name to become Power to Change Ministries to reflect its wide breadth of ministries. The final phase of the ministry headquarters is also completed.

 

2007 DRIME, an established ministry in Vancouver that uses drama for a new and more effective twist on street evangelism, joins the Power to Change family of ministries.

 

2010 – Power to Change partners with More Than Gold and other like-minded ministries to share the gospel message in Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

 

2015 – For the first time in its history, Power to Change -Students began the school year with a ministry presence in every province in Canada. There are now ministries on 60 campuses across the country.

 

2016 – After 14 years as a senior executive with the Jim Pattison Group and several years in leadership at Power to Change, Rod Bergen is named president of Power to Change Ministries.