Vonette Bright

We’re saddened to announce that Cru’s vivacious co-founder, Vonette Bright, died December 23rd at the age of 89. Both Bill and Vonette were very influential in many lives, including ours.

You may have only known her as the wife of Bill Bright, so we hope the following quotes we’ve compiled will strengthen your faith and give you some insight into this woman of God.

0900: President Bush, Laura Bush: Remarks on the National Day of Prayer. East Room.
Vonette with the Bushes for the National Day of Prayer

Prayer

Many may not know that Vonette was the dynamo that helped institute the National Day of Prayer on the first Thursday of May. She was a great believer in prayer; she said:

“Prayer is the greatest privilege and most revolutionary power available to the Christian, and God’s Word promises us its effectiveness. Campus Crusade was born in prayer and prayer is still our lifeline. History records the impact of what prayer has accomplished.”

Evangelism and Discipleship

Cru is known for evangelism and discipleship. We hope Vonette’s words will encourage you in sharing your faith:

“Quite frankly, I would never tell another person about Christ if I waited until I felt like it. We tell others about God because of the wonderful model we have in Jesus Christ — and because He commands us to tell others about Him. Don’t wait for your emotions to give you permission — that may never happen. Instead, be obedient.”

Here’s a few more thoughts from Vonette:

Obedience

“Being available to God comes naturally to those who chose Christ’s path. As we actively pursue a deeper relationship with God, He will send opportunities beyond our wildest imaginations — but we must accept them.”

Marriage

“What makes a marriage work? First consciously commit yourselves to the Lord and to each other. God established marriage as a partnership. Second, establish God-centered priorities. A vital spiritual life must be your main focus. Third, develop ‘other-centeredness.’ Be selfless in a self-ish world. Fourth, build a godly home for your family.”

and…

“Bill and I definitely had times of disagreement in our marriage, but our bond stayed strong because we were willing to sacrifice ourselves for each other. Practice patience. Be slow to anger, quick to forgive and abounding in love. Instead of hurling insults during an argument, build your spouse by loving him through your words and deeds.”

Birghts with Billy Graham
Bill and Vonette Bright with Billy Graham

One of the speakers at Vonette’s memorial service was Kay Arthur, who based her reflections about Vonette’s life from Deborah in Judges 4 and 5:

  • Vonette listened to the Lord.
  • She enlisted others and co-labored with them.
  • She did not care who got the glory, but focused on God and His kingdom.
  • She also handled well Bill’s death and her long separation from him.

Bill and Vonette Bright loved all the staff of Cru as if we were their own family. They encouraged us to trust God, to love and obey Him and to follow Him unreservedly. They each lived out Acts 20:24:

“But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”

NOTES:

  • Bill and Vonette Bright knew each other while growing up in Coweta, Oklahoma. They married in 1948 and founded Campus Crusade for Christ (known as Cru in the U.S.) in 1951.
  • Read more about Vonette’s life, watch a recording of her memorial service, or leave a tribute at vonettebright.cru.org.

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