East Texas Crusade For Christ: Kilgore Christians crusading for Christ in returning event

Published on Friday, 20 June 2014 23:59 - Written by Rebecca Hoeffner rhoeffner@tylerpaper.com

A group of Christians in Kilgore are bringing back an event that was a success three years ago.

The East Texas Crusade for Christ will be held at 7 p.m. nightly from June 22 to 25 in Kilgore.

“I needed to do whatever I could to improve life in Kilgore,” said Charles Whiteside, one of the head organizers of the event.

This year’s event will feature Christian evangelist Bill Glass. Glass was a popular football player at Baylor University, where he worked with Bill Bright to establish a Campus Crusade for Christ chapter, and then played for the Cleveland Browns.

According to the biography on his website, he was a member of the 1964 Cleveland Browns team who beat the Baltimore Colts to win the NFL World Championship two years prior to the first Super Bowl.

Glass was four-time All Pro and College and Texas Sports Hall of Fame. He retired in 1969 “after 22 years in amateur and professional football without missing a work out or game,” according to the website.

Bill spent the off-season of his football career attending Southwestern Seminary.

“As his football career was drawing to a close, Bill delivered his personal testimony of faith on television during several Billy Graham Crusades,” the website reads. “Graham urged Bill to consider taking on a new career as a city-wide evangelist.”

In 1969 he founded Bill Glass Ministries, which today is called Bill Glass Champions for Life.

“The highlight of his life has been sharing ‘The Healing Power of a Father’s Blessing’ message in and out of prisons all over the world,” according to the website.

Organizers are expecting up to 2,000, said Mark Fried, music minister for the event and at Forest Home Baptist Church in Kilgore.

The music will be mostly traditional hymns, Fried said. The event will feature a community choir and special guest singers.

Hundreds of churches are expected to participate in the event, Whiteside said.

“We want to see people come to know the Lord,” he said. “The sky’s the limit; we want whoever the Lord wants to send.”