Paul Crouch was one of America’s most famous televangelists and the founder of Trinity Broadcasting Network, and on Saturday he died after a long battle with heart disease.
Paul’s grandson Brandon Crouch announced the televangelist’s death on his Facebook page, writing, “Today, my grandfather, #PaulCrouchSr went home to be with Jesus in heaven. Thank you for your prayers in this heavy season.”
His death was also announced in a statement posted on the televangelist’s website:
“Dr. Paul F. Crouch passed into the presence of the Lord on November 30, 2013. We are grateful for the life of this amazing servant of God. Please pray for the Crouch family during this time.”
Crouch grew Trinity Broadcast Network from a small regional network to one that now reaches every major continent, with 84 satellite channels and more than 18,000 television and cable affiliates. The network has been plagued by financial problems and questions over the use of donations.
Paul Crouch was born in St. Joseph, Missouri, the son of Assemblies of God Ministries. He received a theology degree in 1955.
He is survived by his wife, Jan, who is the network’s co-founder and host of the show Praise the Lord. He also has two sons — Paul Crouch Jr. and Matthew Crouch, who is the new president of Trinity Broadcasting Network.
Paul Crouch had been in a Dallas hospital since October after reporting shortness of breath and other difficulty breathing. He has been treated many times in the last 10 yeas for a chronic heart condition.
After his death, he was remembered as a pioneer of the televangelist movement.
“Paul Crouch 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,” said John Hagee, founder and Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, in a statement. “Our deepest sympathies for his loved ones today.”
But Crouch’s death has brought a mixed picture of his life. The Orange County Weekly noted in its obituary that Crouch was a “titan of American Christianity,” but also one who became rich off the donations of his followers. He was also a proponent of the controversial “prosperity gospel,” which encourages followers to become rich.
Paul Crouch was 79.