Campus Crusade for Christ Founder Bill Bright Dies

by | Aug 31, 2003 | Charisma Archive


After a nearly three-year battle with pulmonary fibrosis, Campus Crusade for Christ International (CCCI) founder Bill Bright died July 19 in his Orlando, Fla., home. He was 81.


“Bill Bright showed us not only how to live and serve, but he showed us how to die well,” said pastor Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals. “For any of us to live like he lived would be a wonderful manifestation of the grace of God.”


Once a self-described “happy pagan,” Bright is credited with sharing the gospel with billions worldwide through the Jesus Film Project, which has been shown to some 5.1 billion people; his Four Spiritual Laws tract, which has been translated into 200 languages; and through CCCI, which has 26,000 full-time employees and more than 225,000 trained volunteers.


In 1996, he received the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, worth more than $1 million, which was donated to promote his prayer and fasting initiatives. “He has carried a burden on his heart as few men that I’ve ever known, a burden for the evangelization of the world,” evangelist Billy Graham once said of Bright. “He is a man whose sincerity and integrity and devotion to our Lord have been an inspiration and a blessing to me ever since the early days of my ministry.”


In May, President Bush called Bright early one morning to tell him he was thinking of him. In July, actor Mel Gibson stopped by his house to discuss his film project The Passion, then viewed a portion of the Jesus film at CCCI headquarters.


Yet friends say Bright was among the most humble men they knew. Evangelist Benny Hinn prayed for Bright several times and visited him a couple of months before his death. “Rather than us ministering to him, he ministered to us,” Hinn said. “Everything he said was about the Lord … it was like sitting at the feet of one of the apostles. He never once mentioned his sickness; his focus was on Jesus.”


Bright remained busy until the end, preaching–though from a wheelchair and sometimes via satellite–and completing a list of 80 tasks he said the Lord wanted him to see through. In 2001 he tapped Steve Douglass as his successor at CCCI, and in 2003 he named author and noted speaker John Maxwell as chairman of his Global Pastors Network, which he co-founded with the Rev. James Davis to train indigenous ministry leaders.


Bright is survived by his wife, Vonette, his sons Zachary and Bradley, and four grandchildren. A memorial service was held July 30 in Orlando.
Adrienne S. Gaines

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Have We Departed From the  Simplicity of Christ?

Have We Departed From the Simplicity of Christ?

Recently I heard a pastor say the following: "When I was pastoring and saw little fruit, I began to call those with potential to reach others for Christ to our home and to mentor them one on one. That's where massive growth happened in the people." Local pastors and...

Take the Fight to the Enemy, Before He Strikes at You

Take the Fight to the Enemy, Before He Strikes at You

Read Time: 3 Minutes 7 Seconds “When the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to seek out David; and when David heard of it, he went down to the stronghold,” (2 Sam. 5:17). When David heard that he was under...

Joyce Meyer: Becoming a Prisoner of Hope

Joyce Meyer: Becoming a Prisoner of Hope

Read Time: 3 Minutes 56 Seconds God is good. And He has a good plan for each of our lives. No matter what may be going on right now, God’s plan is unfolding. In the meantime, Romans 12:12 tells us to “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer,”...

Victimized By Gaslighting? 5 Steps to Finding Freedom

Victimized By Gaslighting? 5 Steps to Finding Freedom

Read Time: 2 minutes 26 seconds The term "gaslighting" has gone viral across social media this year and Merriam-Webster chose it as their word-of-the-year, saying searches for the word spiked 1,740% in 2022 alone. We're breaking down what the Bible has to say about...

RECENT ARTICLES

WATCH: Vlad Savchuck: Life, Health and the Bible

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZdzLoS3wCM During a recent visit to @HungryGeneration, Pastor Vlad Savchuk asked Bill Wiese to comment on his personal experience applying the Word of God to his own...
Miraculous Divine Intervention Birthed by Thanksgiving and Praise

Miraculous Divine Intervention Birthed by Thanksgiving and Praise

Read Time: 4 Minutes 2 Seconds When I first became a believer in 1970, my mother was one of my first “converts," giving her heart to Jesus as soon as I shared with her the beauty, the power and the opportunity of making Jesus the Lord of her life. However, my father...

I’m Going Defcon G on the Enemy

I’m Going Defcon G on the Enemy

Read Time: 1 Minute 32 Seconds The last six years have been the best of times and the worst of times. I’ve seen more death, destruction, disease and devastation than I care to remember. I’ve also seen the hand of God move in extraordinary ways. Indeed, sometimes I...

Prophetic Vision: ‘Now is the Time of Your Healing’

Prophetic Vision: ‘Now is the Time of Your Healing’

Read Time: 3 Minutes 41 Seconds I was remembering a time when my husband and I were praying over friends who had been in a situation for many years that had caused deep trauma to their souls. As we were praying for them, I became aware of an angel standing over them...

5 Ways to Improve Your Emotional and Spiritual Health

5 Ways to Improve Your Emotional and Spiritual Health

Read Time: 4 Minutes 50 Seconds Do you believe the Lord is concerned about your emotional and spiritual health? He is. He wants you to know how to improve your emotional and spiritual health to be resilient in turbulent times. One of the most powerful things you can...

Pin It on Pinterest