AMSTERDAM — Preacher and author Steve Douglass has been named president of Campus Crusade for Christ, one of the world's largest evangelical organizations.
Founder and current head William R. Bright, 78, who led the organization for almost five decades, announced the appointment in the Netherlands, site of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's Amsterdam 2000 Conference.
Douglass, 55, has worked for the group for three decades, most recently as executive vice president and director of U.S. ministries.
Started in 1951 at the University of California, Los Angeles to "show students how to know and experience God's love and plan for their lives," Campus Crusade for Christ has 22,000 full-time staff and more than 489,000 volunteers in 186 countries.
All employees, including the president, raise financial support to pay their salaries. For Bright and his wife, combined income in 1999 was $64,560, the organization said.
Now headquartered in Orlando, Fla., the organization's 68 ministries and projects include evangelizing to 15 million university students in the United States, developing Christian athletes and providing "biblical tools" to strengthen marriages and families. Among the group's more controversial projects: an ad campaign telling homosexuals "there is another way out."
Bright was the 1996 winner of the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.
He donated the $1.1 million prize toward training Christians about the spiritual benefits of fasting and prayer.