|Trinity Broadcasting Network founder Paul Crouch dies at 79|
|Written by Christine D. Johnson|
|Monday, 02 December 2013 10:29 AM EST|
Paul Crouch, founder and president of the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), the world's largest Christian television network, died Nov. 30, at 79. Crouch battled degenerative heart disease for more than a decade.
Crouch and his wife, Jan, founded TBN in 1973 with one small low-power station in Southern California. Under his leadership of more than 40 years, TBN has grown into 26 global networks and affiliates, reaching every inhabited continent.
Crouch was born in 1934 in St. Joseph, Mo., to Assemblies of God missionaries. He graduated with a theology degree from the Central Bible Institute and Seminary in Springfield, Mo., in 1955.
Two years ago, Crouch was hospitalized for congestive heart failure, and last year, doctors installed a pacemaker. In November, he returned to the hospital, but was dismissed after treatment.
Matthew Crouch assumed day-to-day operations of TBN because of his father’s failing health. Paul Crouch Jr. had left TBN in 2011 to work for The Word Network.
TBN’s official statement on Crouch’s life reads:
“Paul’s first love, the call he received as a young man, why he and his wife Jan founded TBN in 1973, and his life’s work, was the Great Commission first given by Jesus to His disciples in the Gospel of Matthew 28:18-20:
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, [even] unto the end of the world.
“Today heaven is a loud and joyous place where Paul has been greeted by the countless souls he led, and helped so many others to lead, to Christ. He hated cant, insincerity and giving less than one’s all. Paul never tried to be anyone else, but was just himself in all his rugged reality, frankness and humor. He loved mankind, and longed to introduce everyone to the Best Friend he and humanity ever had, Christ Jesus. We mourn Paul’s passing and he will be greatly missed. But we know, as the old hymn reminds us, soon enough we will see him again in that great ‘meeting in the air.’
“During Paul’s last days, TBN, Jan, and the Crouch family have been humbled and comforted by the innumerable words of prayer and expressions of support and love they received. As we noted when we first announced Paul had been taken to the hospital, God is truly manifest through love, and the love and kindness so many have expressed has been a great blessing.”
Christian authors, artists and ministries have expanded their reach and influence through partnerships with TBN.
Author Myles Munroe posted this on TBN’s Facebook page: “HONORING PAUL CROUCH – A BRIDGE FOR MANY! Many of this generation’s spiritual world leaders and influencers owe the success and impact of their ministries and organizations to the Vision and Work of Paul and Jan Crouch. It was his vision and passion that created the platform for old, emerging and aspiring spiritual leaders to share their Messages and Music with the world. I remember the first time I appeared on TBN Live in 1990 from the Mabee Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma during the AZUSA Conference when it was the only night TBN decided to carry the event live! The rest was history!”
Evangelist and author Steve Hill requested prayer for the Crouch family and said: “The legacy of this ministry lives on forever.”
John Hagee also reflected on Crouch as someone who “changed the course of Christian history by building a Christian network that spreads that gospel of Jesus Christ to the nations of the world everyday. Our deepest sympathies for his loved ones today.”
T.D. Jakes spoke highly of Crouch: “If you felt the ground shake under your feet, it was likely because a giant fell. The clarion call of the grave must be answered. Paul Crouch was a giant amongst men whose trail blazed television ministry for the 21st century. His brilliant faith and business acumen brought Christ to many who wouldn't have been otherwise exposed. His legacy lives on through his family, TBN partners everywhere and the many people that he gave an opportunity. I am numbered amongst those beneficiaries. He may be gone, but he will not be forgotten!”
The Crouches anchored the network’s flagship program, Praise the Lord, for several years. Crouch and TBN received many broadcast awards, including the Gold Angel Award from Excellence in Media and the Parents Television Council Entertainment Seal of Approval.
Following Crouch's personal wishes, there will be no public memorial service. TBN will celebrate his life with an edited special airing Sunday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m. PST and at 11 p.m. PST and also Monday, Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. PST on all TBN Networks.