Bright, William R. (Bill) | 1996
- Birth and Death Year | 1921-2003
- Induction Year | 1996
- Profession | Religious Leader
- Oklahoma Connection | Bright was born in Coweta, Oklahoma.
- Hometown | Coweta
Bill Bright moved to Los Angeles, California, after graduating from college where his new company, “Bright’s California Confections,” was soon supplying specialty foods to leading department stores and epicurean specialty shops across America. Eager to capitalize on his business savvy, Bright also began an oil leasing, drilling and producing company in Kansas and Oklahoma.
“All over the world…there is nothing like [Campus Crusade for Christ] in the world. There is nothing like it in the history of the Christian world and it came from the vision of Bill and Vonette Bright.” - Dr. Billy Graham
William R. “Bill” Bright was born on a ranch five miles from Coweta and attended his first seven years of school in a one-room schoolhouse. After graduating high school, he attended Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and graduated with a degree in economics and the distinction of being the school’s “Outstanding Graduate.” After venturing into several business opportunities right out of college in California, he met and married Vonette Zachary, a young woman from his hometown. Business was good and the couple lived well in their home in the Hollywood Hills, but they were unsatisfied with their lives. It was at this point that the Brights decided to make a written contract, turning their lives, fortunes and future over to God. Their lives changed almost overnight as they sold their business interests and began visiting nearby University of California at Los Angeles campus to share their views. From their work at U.C.L.A., the Brights founded Campus Crusade for Christ in 1951. Mr. Bright was on his way to creating an organization with more than 40 specialized ministries utilizing more than 50,000 full-time staff, trained associate staff and volunteers operating in 165 nations around the globe. He authored numerous books and spoke worldwide. He obtained his religious education at Princeton Theological Seminary and at the Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena and was the recipient of several honors in his field.