According to a news release from Global Pastors Network (GPN), the endeavor was the vision of the late Dr. Bill Bright, Founder of Campus Crusade for Christ International and co-founder of the Global Pastors Network.
Rev. Tom Mullins, pastor of Christ Fellowship in West Palm Beach, Fla., said "The Billion Soul Initiative is part of the ongoing legacy of Dr. Bill Bright, who (encouraged) us to carry on and finish the task of winning the world for Christ. Dr. Bright symbolized the global impact that can come through transcending boundaries to build partnerships and transform lives around the world. What is unique is that this is generating additional momentum and building new alliances more than two years after his death."
Presenters include James O. Davis, international evangelist Reinhard Bonnke, who regularly holds the largest evangelistic crusades in recorded Christian history, Sunday Adelaja, Pastor of Embassy of God in Kiev, Jim Garlow, Elmer Towns, and Sam Rijfkogel.
"The more we synergize together, the more we can evangelize together as we move forward to partnering together for five million new churches for a billion soul harvest," Davis said.
"We cannot think of a more effective use of time, than investing twelve hours with top church leaders, learning firsthand from them, and allowing them to help pastors climb to a new level of dynamic ministry," Davis added. "For more than 2000 years, the Church has worked to fulfill the Great Commission of our Lord. After all our collective work, in AD 1900, 45.69 percent of the world was evangelized. With another century behind us, more than 73.09 percent of the world has heard the Gospel. Yet today, more than 1.8 billion people have still never heard of Christ."
Pastor Billy Jo Daugherty of Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, Okla., said, "Evangelism, discipleship and church-planting are a worldwide effort. God is going to get it done with the people who are willing to do the work. These meetings reinforce the fact that we need each other to get the job done."
Reporter Jeremy Reynalds notes that an additional five regional summits are scheduled through 2006 around the country at major cities in the United States.