Bill Bright Diagnosed With Lung Condition
Campus Crusade for Christ
Campus Crusade for Christ Founder and President Says God Has Given "Great Peace"
ORLANDO, Fla., October 31, 2000—After undergoing three days of medical testing and examination at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Bill Bright, founder and president of Campus Crusade for Christ, received confirmation from his doctor last week that he has pulmonary fibrosis of the lung, according to a letter his wife Vonette sent to their worldwide staff on Friday, Oct. 27.
During Campus Crusade for Christ's U.S. Leadership Conference the week of Oct. 16, Bill Bright shared with 275 senior staff members of the worldwide movement that he has a lung condition, initially diagnosed as pulmonary fibrosis (but not yet confirmed at the time), and prostate cancer.
Four years ago, Dr. Bright began treatment for prostate cancer, during which time doctors believe he developed pulmonary fibrosis. Pulmonary fibrosis is a build up of scar tissue in the lung that results in a permanent loss of the tissue's ability to transport oxygen. Currently, there is no known cure for pulmonary fibrosis, and the average life expectancy for one suffering with the lung condition is three to five years.
"We are saddened to learn of Dr. Bright's recent diagnosis, but are certain that he will face this obstacle with the grace, courage, and dignity that he has used to lead this ministry for nearly 50 years," said Steve Douglass, president designate of Campus Crusade for Christ.
This past summer at Campus Crusade for Christ's annual international directors meeting, after nearly five decades of leading one of the world's largest international ministries, Dr. Bill Bright announced to his worldwide staff that Douglass would succeed him as president. Douglass currently serves Campus Crusade for Christ as executive vice president.
Bright, 79, will turn over the presidency on August 1, 2001. Although he will continue to serve as chairman of the board of directors, Douglass will assume full post and authority at that time.
Bright continues to maintain an aggressive schedule of speaking and ministry work that has taken him in recent weeks from Amsterdam to San Francisco to Philadelphia and many places in between. Bright, who has agreed to slow down in the near future, told his staff "I'm here to do what God still has for me to do on this earth and whenever that is finished, I am ready to be with Him in heaven. There is still so much work to be done."
In her message to staff, Mrs. Bright said she and her husband would continue to explore the medical options, work on nutrition, and pray for a cure to be found as they adjust their lives to this "new adventure."
"What more can we ask? We have enjoyed an incredible God-blessed 52 years of marriage, 50 years of ministry with Campus Crusade for Christ, seeing our successors Steve and Judy Douglass in action with a smooth transition in leadership, and our children serving in full-time ministry."
Upon retirement, Bright, who was awarded the 1996 Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, will devote his time to promoting a worldwide emphasis on fasting and prayer for spiritual revival. He also plans to write ministry curriculum and produce training videos for Campus Crusade's International Leadership University, located in the Empire State Building.
He will help to host and lead an international gathering of Christians in Orlando, Nov. 2-4, for Fasting and Prayer 2000 (www.fastingprayer.com).
Campus Crusade for Christ International, founded by Bill and Vonette Bright in 1951, is one of the largest non-profit, interdenominational organizations in the world. Based in Orlando, Fla., the organization has more than 60 different ministries in 186 countries around the world dedicated to showing people how to know and experience God's love and plan for their lives.
For more information, or to contact Campus Crusade for Christ, see their website at: www.ccci.org
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