James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International and the founder and publisher of The Stream.
Since 1968, James has presented the Gospel on television. He launched the daily television program LIFE Today with his wife, Betty, in 1995. James has preached in over 600 citywide evangelistic crusades attended by more than 20 million people and personally inspired religious, political and social leaders across five decades.
James’ early childhood fits the classic description of “dysfunctional.” In 1943, his mother was serving as a home health nurse, caring for an elderly man, when she was raped by his alcoholic son. She conceived her first and only child and sought an abortion. A doctor with courage and compassion refused to abort the unexpected child. On October 9, 1943, James was born in the charity ward of a Houston hospital. His 41-year-old mother placed a newspaper ad for a Christian couple to take care of him.
Rev. and Mrs. H.D. Hale — who lived in nearby Pasadena, Texas, and pastored Memorial Baptist Church — answered that call and raised James for the first five years of his life. Unexpectedly, his mother came to get him at age 5, and they lived together in Austin for the next 10 years. As a shy 14-year-old, James had a life-changing encounter with Christ while visiting the Hales. Following that experience, he was given the opportunity to live with them during his last two years of high school. Two significant milestones happened while living in Pasadena: James was called by God to preach as an evangelist, and he met Betty Freeman, the love of his life. They married in 1963.
James’s childhood experiences undoubtedly gave him a heart for the downtrodden. Today, LIFE provides numerous resources for the homeless and needy in the United States and 50+ other nations on six continents. Mission Feeding, one of the ministry’s longest-running programs, has helped save millions of lives in African villages, where more than 350,000 children are fed daily in crisis areas. In places such as Southeast Asia, India and Greece, LIFE has joined forces with ministries to battle sex trafficking and provide hope, healing and restoration for the victims involved.
Other lifesaving outreaches include medical clinics, orphanages and food-processing plants. One of the most far-reaching programs is Water for LIFE, launched in 2000. Supporters have helped drill more than 6500 wells in 40 nations. In addition, LIFE’s practical Christmas Shoe Project has provided more than 2 million pairs of shoes since the project began in 2008.
Evangelism is at the heart of LIFE Outreach, and media is LIFE’s most effective way to deliver the Gospel. Although James set attendance records at coliseums and introduced countless people to Christ through his powerful sermons, sharing God’s love via the air waves has been much more far-reaching. The LIFE Today television program now has a potential viewing audience of 1 billion people worldwide, generating approximately 55,000 prayer calls each month.
In 2015, James launched a rich source for breaking news, editorial commentary, inspiration and cultural analysis. Called The Stream, the site is designed to give people “understanding of the times” so freedom will not “perish for lack of the knowledge” of truth that transforms hearts and minds.
James is the author of Living Amazed, The Stream, the New York Times bestseller Indivisible (with Jay W. Richards), God of All Creation (with Randy Robison), Living in Love, The Absolutes, True Prosperity and A Dad’s Blessing.