Harvard-Radcliffe Christian Fellowship has been a community of students bearing witness to Jesus at Harvard for seventy-five years. The notes below are a very incomplete history of CF and a work in progress.
Conversations among students about starting an Evangelical Christian fellowship began in 1936.
CF’s existence as a recognized student group started in 1939, as the Harvard Christian Fellowship. Although InterVarsity was not officially an American movement until 1942, CF’s partnership with InterVarsity is as old as CF.
In 1947, the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students was founded by ten member movements in Phillips Brooks House at Harvard.
At this period, Harvard College and Radcliffe College were still separate schools. At some point – probably in the 40s or 50s – Radcliffe Christian Fellowship was planted. Later, Harvard Christian Fellowship and Radcliffe Christian Fellowship merged to become one fellowship – Harvard-Radcliffe Christian Fellowship.
In the fall of 1994, CF planted the Harvard Radcliffe Asian American Christian Fellowship (AACF) as a sister chapter. Leaders in CF saw a sister chapter as a positive way to respond to its own issues of growth and pursue its own mission of multiethnicity. Moreover, they viewed a fellowship focused on Asian Americans as a way to expand Gods’ ongoing work among Asian Americans at Harvard. At the same time, a significant set of Asian American leaders within CF felt called to pioneer such a fellowship and sought the blessing of HRCF. After much prayer and deliberation, the CF Exec Team blessed the planting effort.
SoulFood Bible study started in the late 90s or early 00s as a effort to better work with and minister the Black community at Harvard. In 2010, CF released them to be their own fellowship, and began partnership with them as a sister fellowship as CF had done with AACF fifteen years earlier.