As his battle with pulmonary fibrosis takes its toll, Bill Bright, founder and chairman emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ and co-founder of Global Pastors Network (GPN) has selected John C. Maxwell to succeed him as chairman of GPN following his death.  Bright, 81, has been fighting pulmonary fibrosis for more than a year.


"It appears that what God has prepared for Bill in heaven is about ready," Vonette Bright wrote in a letter that was posted on the ministry's Web site Feb. 20. "Bill entered the hospital for the second time on Saturday, February 16th. Yesterday, the doctor told Bill, (when Bill asked), that he might live 6 months or less. He shared with both of us that it was time for us to seek help from Hospice care. We have known from the beginning of diagnosis, that without a miracle that Bill's time on earth is limited. We have prayed and are still praying for that miracle. We know too, when the miracle comes, it will be to honor Christ only, no person or group."


Vonette Bright, who co-founded the evangelical Christian organization, noted her husband's accomplishments in the time since his diagnosis in the fall of 2000. "Bill has surprised us all with two years of great productivity including 16 new books and the launch of the Global Pastors Network, and the Discover God movement, which is unfolding," she wrote.


Global Pastors Network is a worldwide Internet portal and gateway for distributing training content and materials from the Christian community to pastors around the world. Launched in 2002 in a partnership with James O. Davis, founder and president of Cutting Edge International, GPN is a growing coalition of Christian ministries working together to train and equip and assist pastors everywhere.


Already, GPN is accessible in 237 nations, provinces and territories, and is preparing to introduce a core curriculum of training materials in all the major languages of the world. 


Bright has called GPN "the most important project I have ever been part of in my life."  A new headquarters facility for GPN, The Bill Bright Leadership Center, is being planned near the Campus Crusade for Christ headquarters in Orlando.


Expected for completion in early 2005, The Bill Bright Leadership Center will be open to pastors year-round, and will offer teaching and training materials live onsite and via the Internet and satellite 24 hours per day, every day of the year. John Maxwell will provide strategic leadership for the capital campaign for this new center.


Maxwell is the founder and chairman of the INJOY Group, based in Atlanta. Also a noted author and speaker, Maxwell trains leaders around the world through his non-profit organization, EQUIP. Recently, he launched a plan to train one million Christian leaders worldwide by 2008 through leadership conferences, certified national trainers, partnerships with other ministries, and technology.