Paul Franklin Crouch (March 29, 1934 - November 30, 2013) was the co-founder, chairman, and president of the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), the world's largest Christian television network. The network has grown to 47 satellite stations and 12,500 affiliates, reaching nearly 100,000,000 households globally.
Brother Crouch, raised in Missouri, was the son of Pentecostal missionaries. He became interested in amateur radio at a young age and the Lord inspired young Paul to use such technology to "send the Gospel around the world." He attended the Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri. He began his missionary career as a lowly film librarian for the Assemblies of God in the early 1950s. In 1958, he married his wife, Jan. The couple raised two sons, Matt and Paul, Jr. In 1961, Brother Crouch was hired to run the Assemblies of God's broadcast production facility in Burbank, California. Twelve years later, the Lord led him to leave his position and start TBN. In 1975, a vision from God led him to move the network into satellite transmission. Today, TBN programming is watched by millions of viewers worldwide.
He died of congestive heart failure on November 30, 2013 at age 79.
During his lifetime Crouch was the subject of considerable criticism, both inside and outside of Christian circles. Crouch was a proponent of the Prosperity Gospel movement which is in and of itself a controversial teaching within Christianity. He was also accused of excessive personal spending, plagiarism in the creation of a TBN film (which was settled out of court), and of paying hush money to keep a homosexual relationship quiet.
- Eckholm, Eric Family Battle Offers Look Inside Lavish TV Ministry New York Times May 4, 2012
- Coker, Matt (11 January 2002) "A Clockwork Orange" OC Weekly (Orange County, California) page 10