Profile: Models for Christ
Ever wondered if it was possible to be in the fashion industry and be a Christian? Models for Christ thinks it is.
Models for Christ (MFC) is a New York-based nonprofit organization, first started in 1984 by then-unmarried Jeff and Laura Calenberg. After returning to New York from a modeling trip to Milan, Jeff realized the need to build a community of Christians working in the fashion industry. He also wanted a way to reach unbelievers around them. The first MFC meeting was held in Laura’s apartment and included fellowship with a Bible study.
Since then, Models for Christ has grown to include three domestic locations. There is a small staff that oversees operations as a whole for MFC, including International Directors Shane and Christina Nearman. Leah Walton serves as the Media Director, as well as the Director for MFC in New York City. Each city has its own leadership team that varies from five to ten people. These teams lead the MFC members from Los Angeles, Miami, and New York City in “weekly Bible studies, outreach events, and community service opportunities,” Leah says. Although Models for Christ does not affiliate itself with any specific Christian organization or denomination, its website explicitly says it is “a Christian ministry that bases truth on the Holy Bible” and provides “spiritual support and accountability.”
In addition to serving in the States, MFC has a huge online presence. Models for Christ launched its website in 2007 and increased its membership worldwide. It allowed for MFC to add another aspect of fellowship for its members in the way of internet groups that connect people globally. Through the international connections MFC has with people and churches, traveling fashion professionals can join with other Christians around the world.
Furthermore, Models for Christ has participated in assorted service projects. A group of MFC members has traveled to Tijuana, Mexico every year since 2003. They have helped domestic abuse victims and orphans, assisted in various construction projects, and evangelized on the streets. MFC has also hosted boat cruises around Manhattan for underprivileged youth in New York City. They have also filled (and gift wrapped!) boxes of clothes and toiletries as Christmas presents for impoverished children around the world, and held Christmas parties for elderly in nursing homes.
Models for Christ isn’t just for models; members include fashion photographers, make-up artists, and executives, to name a few. To get connected with or to support MFC, visit their website HERE or email info (at) modelsforChrist (dot) com