W. R. "Bill" Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ died July 19 from complications related to pulmonary fibrosis, BPnews reported. He was 81. He died at his home in Orlando surrounded by family members, AP reported.
Bright spent most of his life leading CCC. He was full of passion and love to proclaim Jesus Christ as the only savior of this world.
CCC celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2001, which has become the world's largest Christian ministry. It began its campus ministry at UCLA, California but now about 26,000 fulltime staff and more than 225,000 trained voluteers in 191 countries are serving in CCC. The projects have been expanded from military ministry to inner-city outreach.
His renown booklet titled "The Four Spiritual Laws" has been printed in more than 200 languages and distributed to more than 2.5 billion people which means that it is the most widely disseminated religious booklet in history.
Also Bright commissioned the "Jesus" film, which is about the life of Jesus. It has been distributed to 234 countries, seen by more than 5.1 billion people. The film is viewed in more than 800 languages.
In 1996, Bright received the prestigious Templeton Prizefor Progress in Religion. Bright donated all of his prize money to causes promoting the spiritual benefits of fasting and prayer.
Billy Graham, a longtime friend of Bright said "he has carried a burden on his heart, a burden for the evangelization of the world."
"He is a man of sincerity and integrity. He devoted himself to our Lord who has been an inspiration and a blessing to me ever since the early days of my ministry." he added.
Bright's work through CCC will continue under the leadership of Steve Douglass, a longtime associate whom Bright tapped in 2001 as his successor. Douglass said "Not only have I lost a dear and lifelong friend in Bill Bright, but the world has lost one of its greatest visionaries and faithful servants of Jesus Christ."
"A Christian can't lose," Bright said in a 2001 interview. "If we live, we go on serving him. That's an adventure. If we die, we're in heaven with him, and that's incredible."
Bright and his wife have requested that friends honor his memory through the William R. Bright Legacy Trust to further the work to which he gave his life.