The Early Years...

No, this is not an 80's Night at Young Life! These kids were crowded in some unknown, unsuspecting parent's home for Young Life Club circa 1988.

In the early 1970’s, the Dodrill family, Rufus, Violet, and their five sons moved to Fort Myers from Indianapolis.  The Dodrill’s brought with them a rich history of Young Life involvement, having been the prime movers in establishing the Young Life ministry in Indianapolis.  Along with this history, they brought with them the vision for reaching kids for Christ through the ministry of Young Life.  It took a while, but their patience and prayers finally paid off in the fall of 1981.
By that time, their oldest son, David, was teaching history at Cape Coral High School.  During that school year, David recruited a group of volunteers, trained them as Young Life leaders, and began the first Young Life club in Lee County.  The ministry flourished, growing quickly at Cape High, and began to capture the attention of the Christian community in Lee County.
In July of 1984, Bill Loy and Cindy Matthes-Loy became the first Area Directors for the newly established area.  That fall, Cindy and Bill, along with two recent graduates of the Cape Coral ministry, began the work at Fort Myers High.  Since that time, Young Life has spread throughout Lee County, north into Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, and Englewood, south to Naples, and east to Immokalee. Bill Loy, who still leads Young Life of Lee County, is the longest serving Area Director in the state of Florida. 
With active Young Life clubs popping up all over Southwest Florida, our hope is that WyldLife, Young Life’s middle school ministry, will be just as successful! And, looking ahead, we continue to pray for the growth of Young Lives, YL's ministry with teen moms, and Capernaum, our ministry with kids with disabilities.



Young Life Lee County | 5264 Clayton Ct Ste 5 Fort Myers, FL 33907-2112

Phone: (239) 275-5908

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