It was an eventful week in 1966 at the University of California in Berkeley.
The president of the university was fired by the board of regents during the turbulent days of student revolution. They had reason to believe that he had communist ties.
All the college campuses in California erupted in anger and violence, but the enemy did not have his way at Berkeley as he had planned.
We had gathered about 600 Campus Crusade for Christ staff members and students from across America to present the claims of Jesus Christ to more than 30,000 students.
During the week, we rented an abandoned fraternity house and installed more than 50 telephones, and each one of the 600 of us had a box of approximately 50 names of students whom we were to call and with whom we were to make personal appointments to tell them about Jesus.
Through some 80 meetings in dormitories, fraternity and sorority houses, international groups, at athletic banquets and faculty breakfasts and luncheons, in personal appointments, and finally at a great meeting of some 8,000 gathered in the Greek theater, almost every student had an opportunity to hear the good news of God's love through Christ. Literally thousands responded.
When the camera crews from the local television stations rushed out to film the predicted violence, they were amazed to find that the Berkeley campus, fountainhead of the radical student revolution, was remarkable quiet. Music, singing and sharing the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ prevailed. They discovered there was no violent revolution as they had anticipated. Instead, there was another kind of revolution, a spiritual revolution. It was a bloodless revolution, calling people to the love and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It was during that period that I interviewed Bettina Aptheker. She was the leader of this whole revolution that spread across America, burning buildings and threatening to overthrow our government. Her father was one of the top three or four men of the communist party in America. She was Jewish by birth and an atheist by conviction. But in the course of a filmed interview, which she knew she was being recorded, I asked her, "Who in your opinion is the greatest man who ever lived? Who has done more for mankind that anyone who has ever lived?" And she was very silent for a while, and finally she said, "I guess I would have to say Jesus of Nazareth."
Many point to that week as a turning point in the direction of a world-famous university. That is not to say that the university has no problems today, as radical students and anti-Christian thinking pervades most of our secular campuses. However, something wonderful happened during that week and many lives were changed forever. The campus was visited by the Holy Spirit.
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.