Campus Crusade for Christ sometimes is criticized by local pastors, who say the San Bernardino, California-based organization thrusts evangelism programs upon them without their consent or assistance. However, unity was the goal of a two-day conference for evangelical pastors last month at Campus Crusade headquarters.
The conference was designed to unify evangelical clergymen, as well as to include discussion on the relationships between parachurch groups and the local church. More than 160 pastors from the U.S. and Canada attended.
The pastors intended to “cut out duplication and overlapping” in their evangelism efforts, said Buckner Fanning, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio. He and Campus Crusade President Bill Bright conceived the idea for the conference, and were its cohosts.
Fanning and a seven-man steering committee invited pastors to the conference from a variety of denominations and geographic regions. Most of them had large church memberships; half of them have media ministries, said Fanning. Conference speakers included pastors E. V. Hill, of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, W. A. Criswell of First Baptist Church in Dallas, and Sam Coker, of Grace United Methodist Church in Atlanta. Charles Malik, former president of the United Nations general assembly and an executive committee member of Campus Crusade’s “Here’s Life” effort, was keynote speaker.
Future task force and joint meetings are planned, says Buckner, to include pastors from “a broader base,” and more parachurch and media representation. They will coordinate world evangelism programs and ways to “Christianize” America—getting people “committed and involved in Christ,” not just telling them how to become Christians, said Fanning. ...1
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