Personal History

My name is Tim Ferguson and my Christian Youth Ministry began as a high school student at a Baptist Church in Port Jefferson, N.Y. Our adult leader often looked to me for ideas and even let me run a few meetings.

After returning from college in 1969 two local churches, one Presbyterian and one Methodist, joint together in a local coffeehouse ministry. Before I knew it, I was left in charge. It was a volatile time. The group had its share of Vietnam Veterans as well as protestors of that war. Everyone, it seemed, played acoustic guitar. People liked to philosophy about faith but involvement in the actual church was lessoning. In the midst of this events like "Olympics", and "flashlight sing" evolved. Our group still does these events thirty-five years later.

In 1973 it became apparent that it was time for me to move on. It was difficult. Though I had a job at a local insurance company, my work at the coffeehouse was my real mission in life. It took a good friend's heart to heart conversation with me to solidify my conviction that there truly was a new life ahead. I prayed about it and decided to leave it in God's hands - I would take the first affordable apartment anywhere within an hours drive of my place of business.

In May 1973 that "anywhere" became an unknown town in central Long Island, N.Y. by the name of North Babylon. Boardering to its north was the village of Deer Park. To my amazement the very first Sunday I attended the Deer Park Presbyterian Church a church elder announced that he wanted the church to support a new local coffeehouse. God had called me to leave one coffeehouse ministry behind and immediately gave me a new one in my new home. To this day I still marvel at how God calls us to our missions.

The Deer Park Coffeehouse was, in actuality, a post high school youth gathering and ran weekly for eleven event-filled years. In many ways a mission project, the group became a family of friends that still exists to this day. Several individuals from the group were introduced to our church through the coffeehouse. During these years I became a parent, started teaching a seventh grade Sunday school class and was elected to the church board of elders. Soon after the Cub Scouts of America called and seven years of den leadership became my new calling.

However, God was not yet through with me in terms of this church's youth work. The church asked for a new senior/junior high leader and I, now with fifth and eight grade sons, stepped forward on Easter Sunday 1994. As blessed as the previous programs were, this one, which continues to this day, is especially blessed.

We are blessed by youth who care and who want to make a difference. Many have made testimonials under the "Youth Speak Out" page on this website. They made a name for themselves by serving seventy-five homeless people on the lower east side of N.Y. City outdoors during a blizzard in January 2005. They have embraced the Thirty Hour Famine for eleven years and for several years brought other Christian youth groups into this program by inviting them to join us. I am particularly blessed that several of the children of the original Deer Park coffeehouse members now attend our youth group. It is so much fun to see Steven E. do well at Olympic events at which his father Joe E. excelled in the late 1970's.

About seven years ago my mother, Arthlyn Ferguson, presented a challenge to me. She told me that it was time to write down all I had developed and learned for others to use in their own youth ministries. With help from my very supportive wife, Linda,who did a great deal of the typing, the project was completed in April 2007. For those who are interested in learning more, please click on the below link:

Not the Same Old, Done-it-before Youth Meeting (the book)

Sadly, although my mother remains alive, she suffers from severe alzheimer's disease and, although I have recently shown her the book, she cannot understand its meaning, much less her role in its development. I do know that one day she will, as Paul says, "no longer see through a glass darkly" but will see see the Lord "face to face" [1 Corinthians 13: 12] and at that time her role in this project will become clear to her.

{On September 15, 2007 Arthlyn Ferguson passed on to that place where she no longer sees through a glass darkly. Read a short story in the archives activities section about my last moments with her. I also commemorate her life by publishing several of her works of art on this site such as the "Hope" drawing on this page. And I am sure she now knows that the project she challenged me to do many years ago has now been completed.}

Arthlyn Ferguson Last Memories: Archives:Arthlyn Ferguson

When will it all end? Our birth children are grown and passed their youth group years. However, there are still youth "running the race" and I still enjoy the challenge of "setting the pace" as they grow into the caring Christian youth men and women they have and will become.

My wife, Linda, and I have been richly blessed and I trust that all of you, my fellow Christian youth workers, have been equally touched by your youth ministries. This site was created to develop a special place to share ideas and experiences. It has recently been blessed by a group of young people from Uganda and the Philippines who have been sharing their stories with young people from New York. I look forward to hearing and learning more from them and from other Christians across the country and around the world.

Praise Him

Praise him ... praise the Lord, our God (Praise the Lord our God)
Listen to him ... his message is filled with truth (for me and you)
Follow him ... in everything we say and do

In Bethlehem ... God sent his son to this world
Glory be to God, peace has come to earth
To all who believe ... he promised everlasting life
Praise him ... praise the Lord, our God

-chorus-

Do unto others as you would have them do to you
Judge not so that you will not be judged
You are the light of the world, let it always shine
Praise him, praise the Lord our God


Search us, O God ... and know our hearts
Fill us so we'll learn to love one another

They layed down palms and shouted "Blessed be the King"
five days later ... he was crucified
On Easter morn God raised him from the dead
praise him ...praise the Lord our God

-chorus-

Worship God in his church ... on this blessed morn
praise him with trumpets, guitars and cymbals
Sing out with gladness for the hope that is now our own
praise him ... praise the Lord our God

-chorus-

Words and music copywrited by Tim Ferguson 2006