Press - Background

Cru Historical Fact Sheet

1951Campus Crusade for Christ is founded by Bill and Vonette Bright on the UCLA campus.
1952The Brights accept their first six staff members.
1956Bill Bright writes, "God's Plan for Your Life," a 20-minute evangelistic presentation, which sets the tone for the development of Campus Crusade's revolutionary training in evangelism and discipleship.
1958Campus Crusade becomes an international organization, forming a ministry in South Korea.
1959By the end of the 1950s, Campus Crusade is active on 40 U.S. college campuses and in three other countries.
1960sCampus Crusade begins new ministries to high school students, military personnel and athletes, as well as a new prayer ministry.
1962Campus Crusade purchases its headquarters for the next three decades at Arrowhead Springs, a resort complex in San Bernardino, California.
1965Bill Bright writes Have you Heard of the Four Spiritual Laws? It is likely the most widely distributed religious booklet in history, with more than 2.5 billion printed to date.
1969By the end of the 1960s Campus Crusade is active in 25 countries.
1972EXPLO '72, a conference featuring evangelism and discipleship training, premieres in Dallas with 80,000 in attendance.
1974EXPLO '74 premieres in Seoul, South Korea, training 300,000 in evangelism and discipleship.
1976The "I Found It!" evangelistic billboard/bumper sticker campaign, is launched. Eighty-five percent of all Americans are exposed to the campaign.
1978The "I Found It!" campaigns are established in more than 100 countries. As a result, more than 3.5 million people become Christians.
1979JESUS, a film based on the Bible's Gospel of Luke, is first released in 250 theaters across the United States. 
By the end of the 1970s, Campus Crusade is active in 71 countries.
1982Campus Crusade's campus ministry sends its first team of students to the former Soviet Union.
1985The largest Christian satellite telecast conference to date links 97 countries for EXPLO '85.
1988The first Thursday in May is officially declared the National Day of Prayer. Vonette Bright serves as co-chairwoman in its first year.
1989By the end of the 1980s, Campus Crusade is active in 93 countries.
1990Delegates from 102 countries attend New Life 2000 in Manila, Philippines. During the six-month period, the Gospel is shared with more than 3.3 million Filipinos.
1991Campus Crusade celebrates its 40th anniversary. Its world headquarters moves to Orlando, Florida from California.
1994Campus Crusade convenes 600 Christian leaders in Orlando, Florida for the first annual Fasting & Prayer gathering.
1995Fasting & Prayer '95 draws 3,500 Christian leaders to Los Angeles.

U.S. News & World Report rates Campus Crusade the top religious charity in the United States.
1996Bill Bright is awarded the $1.1 million Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion and donates the money to promote the spiritual benefits of fasting and prayer.
Bill Bright is inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.
Money magazine rates Campus Crusade the most "efficient" religious ministry in the United States (1996, 1995, 1993). 
1997More than 5,000 U.S. and international staff gather in Fort Collins, Colorado, for Campus Crusade's first global staff conference at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
1999Campus Crusade for Christ International's Lake Hart campus is dedicated in Orlando, Florida.
2000Bill Bright announces Steve Douglass, executive vice president and director of U.S. Ministries, as his successor, effective August 2001.
2001Bill Bright passes the leadership torch to new president Steve Douglass in front of an audience of 8,000 at Campus Crusade's bi-annual staff conference, at Colorado State University.
2002JESUS, the most watched (5 billion viewership) and translated film of all time, is translated into its 800th language.
2003Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ International, dies from complications due to pulmonary fibrosis.
Chronicle of Philanthropy rates Campus Crusade for Christ the top religious charity in the United States (2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998).
2006 During spring break, at least 10,000 students participate in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in New Orleans and Pass Christian, Mississippi.

The most translated film in history reaches another major milestone—JESUS is available in more than 1,000 languages.

More than 15,000 students representing 121 countries gather in South Korea for CM 2007, one of the largest global student missions events in history.

2008 Campus Crusade for Christ International's Military Ministry (now Cru Military) distributes the 2 millionth Rapid Deployment Kit. 
2009Some 66 million people visit one of the 100+ websites run by Campus Crusade for Christ's Global Media Outreach to search for information online about Jesus.

Campus Crusade for Christ makes Forbes' "200 Largest U.S. Charities" list.


Campus Crusade for Christ in the U.S. changes its name to Cru.


Vonette Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ International, dies due to complications from acute leukemia.


Steve Sellers becomes the third president of Cru. (October)

With more than 19,000 staff members in over 190 countries, Cru offers spiritual guidance, resources and programs tailored for people from all cultures in every walk of life.

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