James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International. He co-hosts the daily television program LIFE Today with his wife, Betty. He also serves as the founder and publisher of The Stream, a website launched in January 2015 that contains breaking news, commentary, inspiration and cultural analysis for people of faith.
Since entering public ministry in the 1960s, James has spoken to more than 20 million people in several hundred city-wide evangelistic outreaches and has personally inspired religious, political and social leaders across five decades.
James is known for relating to the masses – poor and privileged, young and old, theologians and lay workers. While his leadership skills are typical of a nationally known inspirational leader, his upbringing is not . . . underscoring the call God placed on him as a young man.
In October 1943, James was born in Houston, Texas, to a 41-year-old woman – the result of a forced sexual experience. His mother placed a newspaper ad for a Christian couple to take care of him. Rev. and Mrs. H.D. Hale responded to the call and raised him for the first five years of his life. James’s mother came to see him on occasion and, when he was 5, took him to live with her in Austin, Texas. He spent the next 10 years with her – loved, but living in extreme poverty.
When he was 14, James was permitted to visit the Hales, and during that visit, he had a life-changing encounter with Christ. He was fortunate to spend his last two years of high school with the Hales. There, in Pasadena, Texas, he met Betty Freeman, who attended his high school and church youth group. James and Betty married in 1963 and today have three adult children and 11 grandchildren.
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 more than 40 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 hundreds of thousands of children in crisis areas are fed daily. In countries such as Cambodia, Thailand and India, LIFE has joined forces with ministries to battle sex trafficking and provide hope for the victims involved.
Other life-saving outreaches include medical clinics, orphanages, fruit and vegetable farms and food processing plants. One of the most far-reaching programs is “Water for LIFE,” launched in 2001. Since then, LIFE has drilled more than 4,000 fresh water wells in over 40 nations. In addition, LIFE’s practical “Christmas Shoe Project” has provided more than 1.5 million pairs of shoes in 40 nations.
While meeting diverse physical needs, LIFE is able to meet many spiritual needs, as well. Missionary reports from Africa, India and other areas indicate that more than 20 million people have accepted Christ since 1990 as a result of LIFE-sponsored mission crusades and ministry.
Evangelism is at the heart of LIFE Outreach, and media is LIFE’s most effective way to deliver the Gospel. The ministry’s 30-minute television program, LIFE TODAY, reaches an estimated 300 million households in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia. Guests have included sports figures such as Josh Hamilton, Tim Brown, Brian Bosworth, Bethany Hamilton (Soul Surfer) and Dave Dravecky; popular female speakers such as Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Christine Caine and Sheila Walsh; political leaders like Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sen. Rick Santorum, Dr. Ben Carson, Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Rick Perry; entertainers such as Tim Conway, Chonda Pierce and Michael Jr.; musicians including Steven Curtis Chapman, Tammy Trent, Anthony Evans; and well-known authors and pastors such as Bishop Harry Jackson, Robert Morris, Jimmy Evans, John Eldredge, Dr. Tony Evans, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, Robert Jeffress, Philip Yancey, Ravi Zacharias and Max Lucado.