Bill Bright thinks the Lord will tarry.

In 1951, when William R. Bright was a young and successful fancy-foods manufacturer in Los Angeles, he and his wife, Vonette, felt called to full-time Christian work. They launched an evangelism ministry at the nearby UCLA campus. Recently, 30 years and 150 countries later, Bright looked back on the diverse worldwide organization, Campus Crusade for Christ International, and predicted the best was still ahead:

“It is inconceivable to me that God, who is not willing that any should perish … would come and terminate the harvest—the greatest spiritual harvest in the history of the world,” he told hundreds of present and former staff and ministry friends attending an anniversary dinner at Crusade’s Arrowhead Springs headquarters near San Bernardino.

Believing that Christ’s return is not imminent because God wants to save more souls, Bright is gearing up his staff of more than 14,500 to lead at least a billion persons to the Lord during the 1980s. Emphasizing the crusade’s concept of “spiritual multiplication,” Bright announced these plans for the decade: acceleration of present programs, including multilanguage radio broadcasts; expanded use of the film Jesus for worldwide evangelism; establishment of additional centers to train pastors and lay leaders in evangelism and discipleship methods; and development of a Bible-based international graduate university on property already acquired near San Diego.

Burgeoning from its original thrust to campus leaders during the 1950s, Campus Crusade now ministers not only to the college world but also to churches, high-school students, families, prisoners, military personnel, athletes, and business and professional leaders. Other branches, Bright reminded, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.

Tags:
Issue: