Campus Crusade Co-Founder Vonette Bright Dies at 89
Vonette Zachary Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, also known as Cru, has died. She was 89.
Bright, wife of the late William "Bill" R. Bright, died Wednesday after suffering complications from acute leukemia.
Mrs. Bright and her husband launched Campus Crusade for Christ in 1951 to "win the campus today, win the world tomorrow."
"Vonette had a heart for the gospel and an extraordinary vision to reach people for Jesus Christ," Rev. Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said in a statement posted on Cru's website. "Her single-minded focus on the power of intercessory prayer has been both an encouragement to my life and a model for the church."
"I can't think of a single person on the planet that I respect more than Vonette Bright. She is 10 feet tall in my eyes. Like so many others, I have been profoundly impacted by her long obedience. She is a gift to our generation," Beth Moore, with Living Proof Ministries, said.
Mrs. Bright also founded the National Prayer Committee to motivate Christians to unite in prayer for spiritual awakening in America. In 1988, she successfully petitioned Congress to designate the first Thursday of every May as the permanent day for the National Day of Prayer.
She served for nine years as chairwoman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force. The movement today includes more than 2 million people in 30,000 observances around the country.
Among other outreaches, Mrs. Bright authored more than a dozen books, most highlighting the themes of prayer, evangelism, walking with God and hospitality.
"I am deeply saddened by the pasing of my dear friend, Vonette Bright," said Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network. "She and her husband, Bill, were a model to all Christians in America through their sacrificial life in the furtherance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
"Vonette was a brilliant author, a great soul winner, and a strong support for her dear husband," he adds. "We on earth mourn the passing of a great saint, but I know the angels of heaven are rejoicing at her homecoming and in her reunion in heaven with her husband of so many years".
I salute and support the magnificent work of Campus Crusade for Christ and pray that they will rise to meet the hopes and expectations of Bill and Vonette Bright.
Vonette Bright is survived by her brother, Roy Curtis Zachary; her sister, Deanne Rice; her sons, Zachary Dale and Bradley Randolph; her daughters-in-law Terry and Katherine; and four grandchildren.
A celebration of life service for Vonette will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Orlando, Jan. 8 at 10 a.m. ET.