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Heroes Across Pacific Magazine

Dear Family & Friends,
At the conclusion of this is a special tribute by Don Hall to the late Dr. Bill Bright

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ASSIST News Service (ANS) - PO Box 2126, Garden Grove, CA 92842-2126 USA
E-mail:, Web Site:

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Tributes To Bill Bright At His Memorial Service And Also From Friends Around The World

By Dan Wooding - - Founder of ASSIST Ministries

(ANS) -- Dr. Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, was remembered by friends at his memorial service in Orlando, Florida, on Wednesday, July 30, 2003.

Christian leaders such as Dr. Pat Robertson, chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN); Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family; Franklin Graham, son of evangelist, the Rev. Billy Graham and Charles Colson, the former Watergate figure and founder of Prison Fellowship, gathered at the service which was attended by more than 3,000 people.

Bright was 81 when he died on July 19 in Orlando, after he had courageously battled a degenerative lung disease and was buried on Tuesday, July 29, in Orlando.


Pat Robertson said during the memorial service, “The ministry that Bill founded, led, inspired is probably the most significant of any that has come into being in the 20th century.”

Charles Colson said that it was while he was in incarcerated for his part in the Watergate scandal that he first encountered Bright’s influence. He said it was during a Christian study group in prison with a Campus Crusade for Christ worker. He went on to say, “So when I got out of prison, he was one of the first people I wanted to meet.”

In the meantime, the ASSIST News Service has continued to receive tributes to Bill Bright from his friends around the world.


Bob Turnbull of Turnbull Ministries wrote to ANS: “Yvonne and I are speakers at a summer family camp here at the Sandy Cove Christian Conference Center in North East, Maryland (where the headwaters enter the Chesapeake Bay) and since there are no radios or TV sets here (thank you, Lord) we just now heard about the 'graduation' of Bill Bright from someone who phoned me knowing that we probably had not heard the news.

“I immediately did a flash back to the very first time I met Bill and Vonette. I was introduced to them by Dr. Henrietta Mears in her home (110 Stone Canyon Road in Westwood, next to the UCLA campus). It was right after the intro that Bill was happily informing me about a new ministry God had entrusted to him and that its initiation was right on the UCLA campus and was titled Campus Crusade for Christ. He shared his vision with me, who at that time I was a professional actor in Hollywood and a brand new Christian who was led to the Lord at the Forest Home Christian Conference Center in Southern California, a favorite place of Bill and Vonette's.

“When I heard of Bill's 'homecoming' I fondly remembered our first meeting and even more thankfully to note because of his faithfulness and obedience to Christ's Call upon him that Campus Crusade for Christ has grown into a tremendously vibrant ministry for God. I am equally thankful for my friendship with the Bright’s for just a couple of years under 50 years, and for their support and encouragement upon my personal and ministry life.

“I likewise fondly recall Bill giving me extra encouragement in my early days of when I was first serving as The Chaplain of Waikiki Beach and just starting the Waikiki Beach Chaplaincy ministry. Bill was aware of my early struggles in getting this ministry moving and gave me some important principles as guidance.

“Yvonne and I look forward to seeing Bill again in Eternity.”  For all of who knew Bill Bright he is gone – but not forgotten!

(Don's Tribute)

Dear Bob, Yvonne and Friends,

As I read with interest your remarks above about Dr. Bill Bright, I couldn't help but think how similar our stories are, especially concerning the first time and place we both met Bill. As you know, I had a personal encounter with Christ in early 1955 in a Los Angeles jail while a high school senior. I was put on probation, graduated several months later, and was praying about God's purpose for the future. My father arranged an appointment for me to meet Bill and Vonette who had just started a new outreach at UCLA called, Campus Crusade for Christ. We met together at Dr. Henrietta Mears home where they were living at the time. Bill's words of encouragement, wise counsel, and heartfelt prayer helped to confirm in my heart that God had a special calling upon my life for ministry. Although it didn't turn out to be with CCC, it was with young people - - as one of the early founder's of Teen Challenge in Southern California, Hawaii and Asia.

My next and last time being with Bill Bright was with you in Hawaii about 20 years later in the mid-70's. You had a radio show called, "Sun and Soul Talk."  Dr. Bright and I were your guests that day. He was just returning from Seoul, Korea where Campus Crusade and hundreds of local churches sponsored a historical evangelistic outreach in that country. It concluded with the largest religious open-air gathering up to that time - -1 Million people! As we took calls from listeners that day and discussed various issues, I was challenged by Bill's heart for the lost and his vision of reaching the nations for Christ. He inspired me again - - this time to double my efforts of evangelism and training. Since then, through our pastoral ministry and missionary work with Youth with a Mission and others, the Lord has touched thousands of lives in places like the slums of India, tribal villages of Indonesia, campuses of the Philippines, and the prisons of Russia.

Like a pebble thrown into a pond, one life often has a rippling effect upon many others. I was just one of the many tens of thousands who were impacted by the Godly life and powerful ministry of Dr. Bill Bright. May the Lord's anointing and blessing continue upon the outstanding ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ.

Rev. Don Hall

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