Controversial TBN Founder Paul Crouch Dies at 79

crouchSANTA ANA, Calif. — Dr. Paul F. Crouch, the controversial founder of the global Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) has died. He was 79.

Crouch was born in 1934 in St. Joseph, Missouri and was the son of Assemblies of God missionaries. His father died when he was just seven years old and was raised by his widowed mother with the support of his grandparents.

In 1957, Crouch married Janice Bethany, the daughter of Assemblies of God Pastor Edgar W. Bethany, after the two met while attending Evangel College in Missouri. The Crouch’s had two sons, Paul Jr. and Matthew, both of whom became involved in their parents’ ministry.

In 1973, Crouch partnered with Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker to found the Trinity Broadcasting Network and soon obtained their first television station. Crouch and his wife Jan hosted their flagship broadcast, Praise the Lord, a two-hour talk  and Bible teaching program that also featured musical entertainment.

Over the past 30 years, the network has grown to over 18,000 cable affiliates and over 70 satellite providers. It is estimated as having over 100 million viewers in just the United States alone.

In addition to the network’s main station, TBN, the Crouch’s have also launched niche channels, such as The Smile of a Child, The Church Channel, JCTV, and the Spanish station TBN Enlace. In 2007, TBN also purchased The Holy Land Experience in Orlando for $37 million, an Israeli replica that presents live musical and theatrical productions, religious shops, historical displays and other faith-based attractions for Christians.

However, TBN and its founders have also been at the center of controversy over the past 40 years as many have expressed disapproval of the theology presented on the network. Kenneth Copeland, Jesse Duplantis, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer and other prosperity preachers have had airtime on TBN for many years, and have often been featured guests during fundraisers and/or the Praise the Lord broadcast. Joel Osteen, Robert Schuller, Benny Hinn and TD Jakes have also been mainstays on the network.

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In 2012, Brittany Koper, daughter of Paul Crouch Jr., filed suit after claiming that the ministry was abusing donations by funneling a significant amount to the network’s directors to fund their alleged lavish lifestyles. Koper had worked as the director of finance and human resources for her grandparents.

“My job as finance director was to find ways to label extravagant personal spending as ministry expenses,” she told the New York Times.

Legal matters were still being battled in the courts when Crouch became ill last month. According to reports, Crouch was visiting one of his television stations in Texas in October when he was transported to a Dallas-area hospital, where it was discovered that his chronic heart problems had once again flared up. He had been hospitalized in 2011 for congestive heart failure.

Earlier this month, Crouch was sent back to California for treatment, and seemed to be improving—at least in being removed from the ventilator—when it was announced by the network today that Crouch had died.

“Dr. Paul F. Crouch passed into the presence of the Lord on November 30, 2013,” TBN posted on its website Saturday. “We are grateful for the life of this amazing servant of God. Please pray for the Crouch family during this time.”

Funeral services have not yet been announced.

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  • Melisa McCann

    What a an awesome, genuine servant, and man of faith. It is never easy to live a life in the lime- light, especially in Christian ministry. He did it well!! Thank you, Lord, for the walk of faith of this man. Tears in my eyes, as we will no longer view live broadcasts with Dr. Paul. Praying for the family and for Matt Crouch as he assumes his new leadership role.

  • lyl

    Weather you’re a believer, Christ follower or not, only God has the final say & judgment. so don’t hate or judge lest you be judged with the same measure you dish out.

  • George

    He was truly a deceived man that along with his brothers lead many people down the broad road of destruction.
    No doubt sadly many who will try to defend him will go the same path he did because they are following a man

  • Tommy Colang

    God have mercy on Paul Crouch’s soul. Let’s all pray for peace throughout his family and let us all ask for understanding and wisdom in our own search here on earth!

  • Stephanie

    May God have mercy on all those deceived souls who believe that Paul Crouch was actually a Christian. May the Lord draw them to His Word, and give them ears to hear, eyes to see, and a heart of understanding. Amen!

  • Daughter of the OneTrueKing

    We are commanded to be wise as serpents & gentle as doves; we are to take all our cares & concerns before the LORD and make our requests made known to Him! May YAHWEH [Creator of the Heavens & the Earth; Gen.1:1], be The Only Righteous One to weigh the life of Paul Crouch Sr., in His Crucible of Justice, Mercy & Judgement – we all fall short of the Glory of God, there is only One Righteous who sits on the Throne – to Him Alone be All Glory, Honor & Praise!
    We know Not the day nor the hour of our LORD & King (MESSIAH’s) return; so, we must be about our Heavenly Father’s business…that is to do as our Savior commanded – to go about preaching The Gospel & baptizing the Lost in the Name of The Father, The Son & The Holy Spirit – even unto the ends of the earth! His Righteousness Fills The Earth & His Word Shall Not Return Void! We are called to be Faithful Servants – may we all reflect the Radiant Hope of Glory – the indwelling Holy Spirit!

  • mary

    The Bible says you should not judge others so that God does not judge you,for God will judge you the same way you judge others and He will apply to you the same measure you apply to others,Matthew 7:1-3. The servant of God Paul Crouch Sr has done the work God assigned him to do and only He can judge him. The best you(the critics of the Gospel)can do is to remove the logs in your own eyes so that you see the speck in your brother’s eye. Let brother Paul rest in peace in God’s Glory. Shame on all of you saying nasty things and lies about him! You are the ones who are deceived because your eyes are blinded by the devil who doesn’t want you to know the truth. He specializes in twisting the word of God to mislead his followers.Paul has led many to the kingdom of God,how many have you led you self made judge? Repent,know the truth and be set free! in Jesus name!

  • Denise in Ohio

    Thank you Paul for your faith and steadfast love For Jesus that enabled the wonderful programs to go forth to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and reap souls for His kingdom.

    You will be missed so much. You are in the Kings presence in Glory now!

  • Dr Paul Crouch Discover his gift and his calling with his family to server the Lord our God Christ Jesus on earth as it is in the heaven, his reward it is in heaven with God the FATHER,SON,and the Holy Spirit,My heart reach out to the family of Dr Paul Crouch, continued in the Faith of God to carry on, the great Vision,Mission, and Value of the Gospel of Christ Jesus all around the world,. Until Christ Jesus Return. May God Bless. Pastor Sam Marino /

  • patrick reid

    TBN has been and continues to be a blessing to millions; even despite many erroneous doctrines. I have to thank Yahweh for the many times I have been encouraged by these networks and even the commentaries of both Paul and Jan. The alleged negative lifestyles certainly will be judged by Yahweh. It is therefore a warning to all that we must be careful while being a blessing to people, that as apostle Paul said, that I become a castaway. I have to thank Yahweh for the strength, courage, boldness, faith, longsuffering of Paul Crouch to manifest TBN from nothing but the vision Yahweh gave to him. May Yahweh strengthen Jan and Matt Crouch to continue to lead TBN.

  • Paul Crouch will be greatly missed.

  • Aderonke Tayo-Tiwo

    Goodnight and Goodbye Pastor Crouch;you have fought a good fight;you have won the race;God whom you serve diligently will reward you

  • Imogene Wiggs

    I cried when Paul passed. I still cry. He was a great man and I am sorry some are so quick to judge. Let God be Truth and every man a liar. You need to be out winning souls instead of criticizing Paul. I pray for the entire family. I grieve for Paul Crouch Jr. who worked so hard for this ministry. He has to be tired and ready for a change. I am thankful that Matt and Laurie hasn’t given up. Jan is a hard worker also and has made a beautiful place in Florida for all to really know Christ and the Bible as it is. Hush now and just pray!!!!!!

  • Ya’akovah Bourges

    The article said:
    What a farce … false teacher giving place to other false teachers, money grabbers etc.
    Don’t count on seeing Paul Crouch in Glory Land folks.
    WAKE UP….