Authors Pg 5
Through the ages, Christians have communicated to the world through written works of art. The pen, the typewriter, the computer, or the laptop would crank out words that had the reader witness the beauty of a romantic world, the horrors of war, the wonder of nature, the suspenseful mysteries, or the heart stopping feats of valor.
The authors are countless but we will read about their lives and their stories. Their contributions to society are immortalized in their works.
William R. "Bill" Bright (October 19, 1921 – July 19, 2003) was an American evangelist. In 1951 at the University of California, Los Angeles he founded Campus Crusade for Christ as a ministry for university students. In 1952 he wrote The Four Spiritual Laws. In 1979 he produced the film Jesus.
In 1996 Bill Bright was awarded the $1.1 million Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, and donated the money to promote the spiritual benefits of fasting and prayer. In 2001 he stepped down as leader of the organization and Steve Douglass became president. He died in 2003.
Bill Bright was born in Coweta, Oklahoma on October 19, 1921. He was the sixth child and fifth son of Forrest Dale and Mary Lee Rohl Bright. His father Forrest Dale was a cattle rancher while his mother Mary Lee was a school teacher prior to marrying Forrest.
Bill's father Forrest was actively involved in the Oklahoma Republican Party with Bill remaining a staunch Republican throughout his life. Bill studied economic at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. As a student at Northeastern State University, he was initiated into the Zeta Chapter of Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity, and has subsequently been granted honorable alumni status to Alpha Gamma Omega Christ-Centered Fraternity. In 1942, Bill enlisted in the United States Navy Reserve but did not see combat service due a burst eardrum from playing football during high school.
While in his early 20s he moved to Los Angeles, California and founded a company called "Bright's California Confections." During the 1940s, Bill attended the First Presbyterian Church, Hollywood where he became an evangelical Christian. Bright was influenced by Henrietta Mears, who served as the Director of Christian Education at First Presbyterian Church, and Billy Graham, who later became a prominent American evangelical leader.
In 1946, Bill Bright quit his candy business to pursue Biblical studies and theology at Princeton and Fuller Theological Seminaries. According to the historian John G. Turner, Bright struggled with his academic studies and did not complete his degree at either institution. While studying at Fuller seminary, Bight felt what he regarded as the call of God to reach out to university students and abandoned his academic studies. Before starting his campus ministry, Bright sold off his confections company and settled a financial dispute with his former business partners, the Taylor family. 
Campus Crusade for Christ
Bill Bright had initially planned to produce an evangelical film called "The Great Adventure" but abandoned the project due to a lack of funding. Though Bright had initially considered partnering with other churches, his disenchantment with their ability to mentor new Christian converts led him to start Campus Crusade for Christ as a parachurch organization. In 1951, after recruiting several volunteers from Fuller Seminary and Hollywood Presbyterian, Bright started Campus Crusade's first chapter at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). According to Turner, Campus Crusade was also inspired by Bright's desire to combat Communist influence in US universities including UCLA, which was then regarded as a hotbed of student radicalism.
The Four Spiritual Laws
During the decades to follow, Bill Bright and his wife, Vonette Bright, remained faithful to this work, and the ministry expanded greatly. In 2011 Campus Crusade for Christ had 25,000 missionaries in 191 countries.
In 1952, he wrote "The Four Spiritual Laws", an evangelistic Christian tract. In the booklet he outlines his view of the essentials of the Christian faith concerning salvation. It is summarized as four spiritual laws or principles that govern what he sees as human beings' relationship with God. The booklet ends with a prayer of repentance.
Bright held five honorary doctorate degrees: a Doctor of Laws from the Jeonbuk National University of Korea, a Doctor of Divinity from John Brown University, a Doctor of Lettersfrom Houghton Seminary, a Doctor of Divinity from the Los Angeles Bible College and Seminary, and a Doctor of Laws from Pepperdine University.
In 1983, he chaired the National Committee for the National Year of the Bible. He was named the 1996 recipient of the $1.1 million Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. He donated the prize money to causes promoting the spiritual benefits of fasting and prayer.
He wrote more than 100 books and booklets, and thousands of articles and pamphlets that have been distributed in most major languages by the millions. He endorsed the document Evangelicals and Catholics Together.
Bright was a co-founder of the Alliance Defense Fund which funds high-profile litigation cases on behalf of Christians' First Amendment rights. He was also a co-signatory of the Land letter of 2002 which outlined a just war rationale for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, providing a theological underpinning for the invasion being planned by President George W. Bush.
He produced the film Jesus in 1979, which was released by Warner Bros. in the United States. It was not a financial success, losing approximately $2 million. While praising its "meticulous attention to authenticity", critics panned Jesus for being "painfully monotonous". The Los Angeles Times called it a "...dull Sunday-School treatment of the life of Christ."
In 1988 he led the protest against the Martin Scorsese film The Last Temptation of Christ and he called the film "blasphemous". He offered to buy the film's negative from Universal in order to destroy it.
The Rev. Billy Graham released a statement on Bright's death: "He has carried a burden on his heart as few men that I've ever known - a burden for the evangelization of the world. He is a man whose sincerity and integrity and devotion to our Lord have been an inspiration and a blessing to me ever since the early days of my ministry."
And for further reading:
Lettie Burd Cowman (March 3, 1870 – April 17, 1960), also known as L.B. Cowman, was an American writer and author of the devotional books Streams in the Desert and Springs in the Valley. Cowman published her books under the author name Mrs. Charles E. Cowman.She was also one of the cofounders of The Oriental Missionary Society (later known as OMS International, and eventually One Mission Society).
“We are safer with Him in the dark than without Him in the sunshine.” (Springs in the Valley)
- Lettie Burd Cowman
Ruth McCue Bell Graham (June 10, 1920 – June 14, 2007) was an American Christian author, most well known as the wife of evangelist Billy Graham. She was born in Qingjiang, Jiangsu, Republic of China, the second of five children.
Her parents, Virginia Leftwich Bell and L. Nelson Bell, were medical missionaries at the Presbyterian Hospital 300 miles (480 km) north of Shanghai. At age 13 she was enrolled in Pyeng Yang Foreign School in Pyongyang, Korea, where she studied for three years. She completed her high school education at Montreat, North Carolina, while her parents were there on furlough. She graduated from Wheaton College (Illinois) in Wheaton, Illinois.
The Grahams met at Wheaton College and were married in the summer of 1943, shortly after their graduation.
Ruth Graham became a minister's wife for a brief period in Western Springs, Illinois. She lived out the rest of her life in Montreat, North Carolina. The Grahams have five children: Virginia (Gigi), Anne, Ruth, Franklin, and Nelson Edman (Ned), 19 grandchildren, and numerous great grandchildren.
Seventeen-year-old Ruth Bell had to flee her birth country of China. When the Japanese invaded in 1937, it was no longer safe for her to remain. Her missionary parents secured her passage to the United States.
The adventure she’d lived so far wouldn’t compare to the unexpected life that awaited her as the future wife of evangelist Billy Graham. Here are five phases in the unique life of one of Christianity’s most effective ambassadors, although she often worked behind the scenes.
Ruth’s journey to the United States led her to Wheaton College in Illinois. At Wheaton, she would fall deeper in love with God and fall into love with a lanky young man from North Carolina.
From the beginning, Ruth Bell believed Billy Graham would amount to something. Meeting him caused her to drop her life’s goal to become a missionary spinster in Tibet. After their first date, she prayed, “God, if you let me serve you with that man I’d consider it the greatest privilege in my life.”
As Billy’s popularity grew, tourists began dropping by, hoping to get their pictures taken with the Graham family. To gain more privacy, Billy and Ruth purchased land further up the mountain. Ruth personally oversaw the construction of a log cabin. She named the place Little Piney Cove. The home provided protection her young family needed from well-meaning yet intrusive tourists.
Ruth was also a resourceful Christian. She touched hundreds of lives one-on-one. She addressed various needs with Christian faith, from helping a poverty-stricken family on the mountain to visiting a convicted criminal in prison, to talking anonymously to people about their need for God while at her husband’s crusades.
To further share her faith, Ruth wrote 14 books. Her writings include memories of hard to forget experiences, journal entries, and poems she penned. Ruth infused many lessons from her life with scriptural insights.
One of her quotable observations is, “It takes more faith to be an atheist than to believe in God.” Another is, “A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.”
The same year her mother died, Ruth had a serious accident while playing with her grandchildren. She fell fifteen feet out of a tree, hitting her head on the ground. She lay in the hospital for a week, unconscious. When she came to, Ruth couldn’t recall any of the Bible verses she’d committed to memory over the years. She prayed, “Lord, you can have anything I’ve got, but please give me back my Bible verses.” Instantly, scriptures started popping into her mind.
Ruth died on June 14, 2007. She’d suffered for years from spinal meningitis, which was aggregated by her fall from the tree thirty-three years earlier.
William Franklin Graham Jr. (November 7, 1918 – February 21, 2018) was an American evangelist, a prominent evangelical Christian figure, and an ordained Southern Baptist minister who became well-known internationally in the late 1940s. One of his biographers has placed him "among the most influential Christian leaders" of the 20th century.
In his six decades on television, Graham hosted annual "Crusades", evangelistic campaigns that ran from 1947 until his retirement in 2005. He also hosted the radio show Hour of Decision from 1950 to 1954.
He repudiated racial segregation and insisted on racial integration for his revivals and crusades, starting in 1953; he also invited Martin Luther King Jr. to preach jointly at a revival in New York City in 1957.
In addition to his religious aims, he helped shape the worldview of a huge number of people who came from different backgrounds, leading them to find a relationship between the Bible and contemporary secular viewpoints.
According to his website, Graham preached to live audiences of 210 million people in more than 185 countries and territories through various meetings, including BMS World Mission and Global Mission.
Graham was a spiritual adviser to U.S. presidents, and he provided spiritual counsel for every president from Harry S. Truman (33rd) to Barack Obama (44th). He was particularly close to Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson (one of Graham's closest friends), and Richard Nixon. He was also lifelong friends with another televangelist, the founding pastor of the Crystal Cathedral, Robert Schuller, whom Graham talked into starting his own television ministry.
Graham operated a variety of media and publishing outlets. According to his staff, more than 3.2 million people have responded to the invitation at Billy Graham Crusades to "accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior".
As of 2008, Graham's estimated lifetime audience, including radio and television broadcasts, topped 2.2 billion. One special televised broadcast in 1996 alone may have reached a television audience of as many as 2.5 billion people worldwide. Because of his crusades, Graham preached the gospel to more people in person than anyone in the history of Christianity.
Grant Wacker writes that by the mid-1960s, he had become the "Great Legitimator": "By then his presence conferred status on presidents, acceptability on wars, shame on racial prejudice, desirability on decency, dishonor on indecency, and prestige on civic events".
Graham was raised on a family dairy farm with his two younger sisters, Catherine Morrow and Jean and a younger brother, Melvin Thomas. When he was eight years old in 1927, the family moved about 75 yards (69 m) from their white frame house to a newly built red brick home.
He was raised by his parents in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. Graham attended the Sharon Grammar School.He started to read books from an early age and loved to read novels for boys, especially Tarzan.
Graham had been turned down for membership in a local youth group for being "too worldly" when Albert McMakin, who worked on the Graham farm, persuaded him to go and see the evangelist Mordecai Ham. According to his autobiography, Graham was 16 in 1934 when he was converted during a series of revival meetings that Ham led in Charlotte.
On August 13, 1943, Graham married Wheaton classmate Ruth Bell, whose parents were Presbyterian missionaries in China. Her father, L. Nelson Bell, was a general surgeon. Ruth died on June 14, 2007, at the age of 87. The couple was married for almost 64 years.
"He became the friend and confidante of popes and presidents, queens and dictators, and yet, even in his 80s, he possesses the boyish charm and unprepossessing demeanor to communicate with the masses," said Columbia University historian Randall Balmer.
Sherwood Wirt, who for 17 years edited the Graham organization's Decision magazine, described one Scottish minister who made this observation about Graham: "My first impression of the man at close quarters was not of his good looks but of his goodness; not of his extraordinary range of commitments, but of his own 'committedness' to his Lord and Master. To be with him even for a short time is to get a sense of a single-minded man; it shames one and shakes one as no amount of ability and cleverness can do."
Graham was a model of integrity. Other leaders and ministers, including Graham's friend Richard Nixon and a succession of televangelists, in six decades of ministry fell from scandals; but no one ever leveled a serious accusation against Billy Graham. It can be said, "He walked the talk".
Perhaps Graham's lasting legacy was his ability to present the gospel in a simple and humble way fitting to the culture of the day. He did this making use of emerging technologies: radio, television, magazines, books, a newspaper column, motion pictures, satellite broadcasts, and the Internet, to spread his message.
He titled his autobiography "Just As I Am", a reflection of his humble spirit, taken from the hymn sung most often when he invited people to come forward and receive God's love.
And for millions, his humility before the Almighty encouraged them to approach with that same spirit.
and : Evangelist Billy Graham Has Died, 'America's pastor' shaped modern evangelicalism, by MARSHALL SHELLEY,Christianity Today © 2018 Christianity Today
Catherine Sarah Wood Marshall LeSourd (27 September 1914 – 18 March 1983) was an American author of nonfiction, inspirational, and fiction works. She was the wife of well-known minister Peter Marshall.
Marshall wrote a biography of her husband, A Man Called Peter, published in 1951. It became a nationwide success and was adapted as a film of the same name, released in 1955. Her success encouraged her to keep writing.
Marshall wrote or edited more than 30 books, which have sold over 16 million copies. They include edited collections of Peter Marshall's sermons and prayers, and her own inspirational writings.
Her most successful books were A Man Called Peter (1951); and her novel, Christy (1967), which was inspired by the story of her mother's time in the mountains teaching the impoverished children of Appalachia.
Christy was adapted as a CBS television series, starring Kellie Martin, beginning in 1994.