As a student at Fuller Theological Seminary, studying late one night for a Greek exam, Bill Bright receives a unique impression from God to invest his life in helping reach the entire world, starting with college students. A professor friend suggests “Campus Crusade for Christ” as the name of the new ministry. In the fall, Bill and his wife, Vonette, start Campus Crusade (now known as Cru in the U.S. and as GCM in Nigeria.) at UCLA with the backing of a 24-hour prayer chain.
More than 250 UCLA students receive Christ, including the student-body president, campus-newspaper editor and many athletes, including Rafer Johnson, later an Olympic gold-medalist in the decathlon. Campus Crusade spreads to other schools, and to meet the need, the Brights accept their first six staff members.
Bill Bright writes “God's Plan for Your Life.” This 20-minute evangelistic presentation, required memorization for staff members, sets the tone for the development of Campus Crusade's revolutionary training in evangelism and discipleship.
Campus Crusade becomes international as Dr. Joon Gon Kim launches the work in South Korea. Over the next 40 years, South Korea moves from a missionary-receiving nation to one that sends them, with 271 Korean Campus Crusade for Christ staff members and disciples serving in 23 other countries around the world today.
The first Lay Institute for Evangelism takes the evangelism and discipleship training from the campus ministry and adapts it to a church context.
At the eleventh hour, God provides every last penny for the purchase of Arrowhead Springs. The resort complex in San Bernardino, CA, becomes Campus Crusade's headquarters for the next three decades.
André Kole becomes a Campus Crusade staff member and develops an evangelistic illusion show. The André Kole Ministry becomes Campus Crusade's first “special ministry,” preceding such divisions as Athletes in Action, Student Venture, the Josh McDowell Ministry and FamilyLife.
Bill Bright takes what he describes as “the distilled essence of the gospel” and writes a booklet called Have You Heard of the Four Spiritual Laws? Today the booklet has been translated into more than 200 languages, and more than 2.5 billion copies have been distributed worldwide.
With contemporary music lyrics gaining significance in youth culture through performers like The Beatles and Bob Dylan, Campus Crusade develops its own life-changing music group. The New Folk helps lead many to a personal relationship with Christ through carefully designed concerts incorporating secular music.
Campus Crusade staff members and 600 students converge on the University of California at Berkeley for one week of confronting the hotbed of radical campus activism with the radical message of the gospel. More than 700 students and faculty members receive Christ. The “Berkeley Blitz” ends with Billy Graham preaching at the campus Greek Theatre.
Campus Crusade staff members, Yemi Ladipo and his wife Sue return to Nigeria from the UK. Ministry began in the University of Lagos with the name Great Commission Movement (GCM).
Mission to Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria sponsored by Fellowship of Christian Students (FCS) which led to the appreciation and acceptance of Great Commission Movement.
Campus Crusade staff members and others converge at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas for EXPLO ‘72. This landmark conference features evangelism and discipleship training, contemporary music concerts, and lots of rain. Read more about what happened at this historic event. IN NIGERIA - Translation of training materials into Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo was completed. Basic training was conducted in Lagos, Ibadan and Igbaja.
More than 300,000 delegates attend EXPLO ‘74 in Seoul, South Korea. Police officially estimate a crowd of 1.5 million at one of the evening meetings; 323,000 of them indicate decisions to receive Christ. IN NIGERIA: Ministry started in Zaria, Kaduna State. And Lay Institute for post secondary institutions was conducted.
The first NIGERIA National office located at No. 44 Tafawa Balewa Street, Jos.
From 1976 to 1980, approximately 85 percent of Americans receive some exposure to the “I Found It!” campaign, which mobilizes more than 300,000 Christians from 15,000 churches in 246 cities for organized evangelism.
Registration of the ministry as a corporate body was approved by the Federal Commissioner for Internal Affairs. First and second Agape staff team arrived Nigeria. Ministry began in Langtang, Lafia, Dengi and Jos. The 1st generation of trainees: Late Uchey and Edma Simon, Manasseh Wakama, Bala Jidenke, Helen Ighile, and late Rick Cook(trainer-1976) In December, National office, bookstore and future training centre were moved to a rented facility in Tudun Wada. The Ladipos began conducting marriage conferences for Churches and Mission groups.
Athletes in Action, Campus Crusade's sports ministry, makes national news when its men's basketball team crushes collegiate powers Nevada-Las Vegas and San Francisco. UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian, referring to AIA's evangelistic presentations at halftime, quips, “They beat you up in the first half, pray for you at halftime, then beat you up in the second half.”
Great Commission Training Centre (GCTC) commenced four months training cycle. The Late Rick Cook was appointed GCTC Director. Third Agape staff team arrived Nigeria and were posted to Bukuru and Keffi. The whole staff team traveled to Switzerland for the all African Staff Conference called "Summons 77". A Student conference was held in Langtang and about 100 students were trained.
JESUS, a film account of the life of Christ, premieres in 250 theaters. Based on the Gospel of Luke, JESUS is filmed at 202 locations in Israel, incorporating a cast of more than 5,000. The film becomes the most-translated motion picture in history-more than 974 languages, 5.5 billion viewers and 201.6 million decisions for Christ as of January 2007.
IN NIGERIA: The ministry expanded to University of lMaiduguri. The first Executive conference was held in Lagos with 315 people in attendance. Acquisition of two acres of land for Training Centre and National headquarters along Bauchi Ring Road, Jos. Launching of operation Good News in 13 of the then 19 states. Basic sequential training for staff unveiled at July staff conference. Secondary School conferences were held in Keffi and Gindiri. About 300 students were trained.
Campus ministry started in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Here's life (I found it campaign), a gospel saturation effort, were held in Kaduna and Zaria. 2000 church workers were trained, 30,000 people were exposed to the gospel, 10,000 people prayed to receive Christ. Great Commission Discipleship Centre opened in Jos. Final detail for the legal acquisition of the property along Bauchi Ring Road settled. Building of two one-storey structures commenced. Cost of the two structures and initial work of the office structure was about N108,823.53. Agape staff in Nigeria provided N104,705.88 of the total amount. Staff recruitment conference was held in Maingo Rest Home and attended by 20 potential staff. The English version of the Jesus film was acquired in Nigeria. Work began on Hausa version of the film.
Campus Crusade sends its first team of students to the Soviet Union. Under the code name “Northstar,” this summer mission project highlights an influx of covert ministry activity in Eastern Europe, which accelerates openly after the fall of the Iron Curtain.
Dr. Timothy Gyuse was appointed National Director in July during staff conference. Here's Life campaign was held in Ibadan: 50,000 people exposed to the gospel, 35,000 people prayed to receive Christ, 10,000 Christians from 350 different local churches were trained The Kanuri Jesus film narration was launched. Rev. Ladipo moved to Nairobi as continental Field Director. Nigeria National staff strength was two Nigerian couples. All others were expatriates. Four National Youth Service Corp members served with Great Commission Movement of Nigeria.
More than 17,000 college students, Campus Crusade staff members and exhibitors, as well as Billy Graham, brave arctic conditions and icy roads to meet in Kansas City, MO, for KC 83, an evangelism and discipleship training conference.
Here's Life campaign was held in I lorin. 10,000 people prayed to receive Christ. 2,061 of them were Muslims, at least 2,000 were trained. Operation Reach Out was held in Langtang: 1,561 people prayed to receive Christ and 150 people trained. West Africa regional ministry was divided into three regions: Nigeria, English West Africa, Francophone West Africa. Kansas City (KC '83 USA). The ministry. sent student representatives from the universities of Jos, Maiduguri, Lagos and ABU Zaria. The first staff women's retreat was held in Miango. The Kanuri version of the Jesus Film was completed. Work was in progress on Tarok, Igbo, Yoruba, Tiv and Fulfulde versions of the film. The Hausa version of the film was widely used.
The Ministry was re-organized according to the then states. State Coordinators were appointed for Plateau, Borno, Benue, Kaduna and Lagos. Here's Life campaign/Operation Reach Out (ORO) were held in Gashua: 2,500 people were exposed to the gospel. Here's Life Training Centre was established in Zaria and Keffi. Studio equipments were purchased.
EXPLO 85, a worldwide video conference, links an estimated 300,000 delegates at 98 conference sites on five continents, with the help of 18 satellites. Bill Bright defies jet lag while spending one day on all five continents.
Dr. Bill Bright visited Nigeria prior to Explo '85. Work started on Agape Centre building. Nigeria Jesus Film Studio was established. Jesus film was translated into Tiv and Fulfulde languages. Explo '85 was held in Ife, Ilorin and Zaria. 3,500 Christians were trained. Here's Life campaign was held in Omu-Aran.
Ministry reopened in the University of Jos and commenced in the University of Ilorin. Mangu New Life Training Centre (NLTC) commenced. Surveys were carried out and pilot work started on Community Health Evangelism (CHE) at Nasarawa Eggon area. Aren Eggon gave his consent.
Campus Crusade launches New Life 2000®. This initiative brings Campus Crusade ministries under one umbrella in cooperation with Christians worldwide, with a goal of helping lead at least 1 billion people to Christ.
Agape Centre was officially opened. The cost was NI,809,000, out of which N1,700,000 was raised locally. Easter conference was held for post-secondary school students in Plateau state. First edition MT xplosive Christian living was published.
Vonette introduces the legislation that President Ronald Reagan signs to officially declare the first Thursday in May the National Day of Prayer. Vonette Bright serves as co-chairwoman in its first year. Campus Crusade later turns over leadership of the event to Shirley Dobson and Focus on the Family.
Dr. Gyuse combined national leadership and Area of Affairs leadership positions. Nine months Great Commission Training Cycle commenced. Mwaghavul version of the Jesus film was premiered. Africa Area of Affairs (AOA) was divided into four, with Directors of Affairs (DOA) as follows: Francophone - Dr. Kassoum Keita Nigeria and West Africa - Dr. Timothy Gyuse Eastern Africa - Dela Adadevoh Southern Africa - Don Myers Building of fence around the Bethany Village property commenced.
Jos comtnunity New Life Training Centre (NLTC) commenced with about 20 trainees. Community Health Evangelism (CHE) took off in Nassarawa Eggon.
Representatives from 102 countries converge on Manila over a six-month period. During the New Life 2000: Manila project, more than 5,000 people (only 11 percent of them Americans) present the gospel to 3.3 million Filipinos, with 447,000 indicating decisions to receive Christ.
Manila '90 city-wide saturation campaign was attended by the leadership of the ministry. Jos Women in Prayer later known as People in Prayer was launched. National Student Conference was held in Jos. Construction of 6 units of two-bedroom flats on Great Commission compound commenced. The fund was locally generated. The Bethany Village land was extended from 16 hectares to 24 hectares.
Campus Crusade's world headquarters moves from California to Florida. After 30 years at Arrowhead Springs in San Bernardino, the ministry relocates to Orlando. IN NIGERIA: National Students' Conference was held in Ilorin during the Easter period.
The CoMission unites more than 60 Christian organizations, including Cru, in the pursuit of making the most of the new-found spiritual openness in the former Soviet Union. The CoMission foreshadows the explosion of cooperative efforts in the church at large, such as The Macedonian Project and Mission America.
Paul Gadzama was appointed National Coordinator for the ministry. Rusty Wright spoke at campus classics at the University of Ilorin, University of Jos and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Two Nigerian staff were sent to the Gambia to help the ministry there. Biblical counseling course organized by the ministry was held in Jos. Bethany Christian Academy began with 30 students in JSS1. Acquisition of four-bedroom bungalow in Zaria for N54,000. The Igbo version of the Jesus film was premiered. 30 days of Christmas campaign took place in all Igbo speaking states. Through Jesus film shows (Igbo version) 782,000 people were exposed to the gospel, 238,000 prayed to receive Christ. The Bura version of the Jesus film was premiered.
Bill Bright fasts for 40 days, and issues a call for prayer and fasting for revival in America. More than 600 Christian leaders meet in Orlando, FL, for the first Prayer and Fasting Conference. In 1998, thousands join the conference through 4,100 satellite downlinks.
Jesus film saturation of Jos was held in February. Family life Conference for Pastors and denominational leaders was held in Jos with 112 people in attendance. 11 people prayed to receive Christ. The ministry was restructured into 7 regions (South Western Nigeria, Lagos, South Eastern Nigeria, North Eastern Nigeria, South Central Nigeria, Central Nigeria, North Western Nigeria). With Dr.Timothy Gyuse as National Director/Director of Affairs for Nigeria and West Africa. Coordinators were appointed for regions as follows: Central Nigeria - lliya Chindusu South Western - Nigeria George Buremoh South Eastern Nigeria - Charles Daniel (formerly Igwilo) North Eastern Nigeria - Apollos Jabbo National Administrative Office was created to coordinate Trustees and legal matters. Institute of Bible Studies was held in Jos for staff and non-staff.
Ministry commenced in North West region with Minna as regional headquarters. This brought the active regions to five. First West Africa History's Handful conference was held in Jos. The Berom, Tyap and Igala versions of the Jesus film were premiered. West Africa staff conference (Mobilization) took place in Bethany Village, Barkin Ladi.
Campus Crusade's U.S. National Staff Conference becomes a world staff conference, as staff members representing 171 other nations attend and find their faith inspired.
First Destiny (National Students' Conference) was held at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Enugu.
Bill Bright announces Steve Douglass, executive vice president and director of U.S. Ministries, as his successor, effective August 2001.
In response to the September 11 attacks on America, Campus Crusade produces the evangelistic magazine Fallen but Not Forgotten. The 16-page remembrance piece was distributed to more than 10 million people by hundreds of churches and Christian organizations.
Operation Sunrise Africa mobilizes Christians in 22 African countries. Believers from India, the Philippines, Singapore, France and the United States join thousands of Africans in the strategy to proclaim the gospel in 50 cities in 50 days. Sixty-four million people heard the gospel, 1.7 million indicated decisions to receive Christ and 81 new churches were planted.
Fifty-two years after founding the world's largest Christian ministry, Bill Bright dies at age 81.
Many of Josh McDowell's books have been translated into 65 languages. It takes just 30 languages to reach three-quarters of the world's population.
During Spring Break, at least 10,000 students participate in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in New Orleans and Pass Christian, Miss.
The evangelistic website, EveryStudent.com is translated into 27 languages and has more than 5 million visitors, with 400 indicating decisions to know Christ per day.
Jesus Film Project releases Magdalena: Released From Shame, the story of Jesus told from the perspective of Mary Magdalene. It has now been shown in 34 countries, including 8 on national television.
Global Aid Network responded to the January 12 earthquake in Haiti by immediately distributing 1 million pre-packaged meals, and following up with medical and trauma care teams, and additional shipments of food, water filters, hygiene items, blankets, tents and mobility units (wheelchairs, walkers and crutches). In the first six months, GAiN shipped 40 containers of aid worth $6.5 million, and distributed more than 5.3 million meals.
Campus Crusade for Christ becomes Cru in the U.S.
Nearly 1,500 Campus Crusade staff members and volunteers from more than 30 countries participated in the Heartbeat Tallinn event in Estonia’s capital city. By the end, some 15,000 Estonians heard the message of God’s love for them.
Jesus Film Project has seen more than 10 million views of their films digitally. They have also seen more than 100,000 installs of the Jesus Film Media app between iPhone and Android.
© GCMN - A ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ International. All Right Reserved.