Steve Douglass, former president of Cru, dies at 77

Steve Douglass, president of Campus Crusade for Christ, Intl, announces name change to Cru.
Steve Douglass, president of Campus Crusade for Christ, Intl, announces name change to Cru. | CCC via The Christian Post

Steve Douglass, the former president of Cru and Campus Crusade for Christ International, has died due to complications from cancer at the age of 77. 

In a recent announcement from Cru, the Christian campus ministry organization said Douglass died last Saturday, leaving behind his wife, Judy, three adult children, and 10 grandchildren.

“Even though we all rejoice that Steve is with Jesus, this is a tremendous loss for the family and Campus Crusade for Christ/Cru,” said Cru President Steve Sellers in a statement shared with The Christian Post. “A great missionary statesman has gone home.”

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Greg Stier, a preacher and founder of Dare 2 Share Ministries, shared his condolences in a post on Twitter last week.

“He was a man who was passionate about Jesus and relentlessly committed to the advancement of the Gospel. A great servant of God has passed into the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ,” Stier tweeted.

Douglass initially joined Cru in 1969, shortly after earning a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from Harvard University.

“What I saw in those meetings was the love and joy of Jesus beaming forth from the faces and lives of the people in a small group of students,” Douglass recalled.

“They didn’t just talk about Jesus; they lived out His presence and power in their lives. It was magnetic and irresistible. One night that summer I sat up in bed and said, ‘God, that’s what I want.’”

Douglass served in various roles for Cru before becoming president in 2001, succeeding Cru founder Bill Bright. He remained in the leadership position until October 2020.

In 2011, under Douglass' watch, the United States wing of Campus Crusade for Christ changed its name to Cru, a nickname that had become popular at the grassroots level.

According to the ministry organization’s board of directors, the name change had come under the belief that many Americans are inherently alienated by the word “Crusade.”

“Our mission and DNA remain the same,” Douglass stressed in comments released at the time. "It is all about fulfilling The Great Commission."

In addition to leading Cru, Douglass was a member of the board of directors for the National Religious Broadcasters and the host of the national radio program “Making Your Life Count.”

Douglass also authored or co-authored multiple books, including Managing Yourself, How to Achieve Your Potential and Enjoy Life, How to Get Better Grades and Have More Fun and Enjoying Your Walk with God.

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