Paul Franklin Crouch, Sr.

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Paul Franklin Crouch, Sr.

Birthplace: Saint Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri, United States
Death: November 30, 2013 (79)
Orange, Orange County, California, United States (Heart Disease)
Place of Burial: Newport Beach, Orange County, California, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Andrew Franklin Crouch and Sarah Matilda Crouch
Husband of Janice Crouch
Father of Private and Private
Brother of Naomi Ruth Ridings; Philip Andrew Crouch; John Mark Crouch and Private

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Paul Franklin Crouch, Sr.

Paul Franklin Crouch (March 30, 1934 – November 30, 2013) was an American religious broadcaster who, along with his wife Jan, co-founded the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN).


Crouch was born in St. Joseph, Missouri, the son of Assemblies of God missionaries. Crouch, whose father died when he was seven years old, was mainly raised by his mother with the help of his grandparents. He soon became interested in amateur radio and announced he would use such technology to send the Gospel around the world. He graduated from the Central Bible Institute and Seminary in Springfield, Missouri in 1955 with a degree in theology.

He also received three honorary doctorates: a Doctor of Litterarum (D.Litt) on May 29, 1981, from the California Graduate School of Theology, Glendale, California; a Doctor of Divinity on May 29, 1983, from the American Christian Theological Seminary, Anaheim, California; and a Doctor of Laws degree on May 5, 1985, from Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Crouch and the former Janice Bethany (Crouch) met in 1957 and were married in Missouri. They have two sons, Paul Crouch Jr. and Matthew Crouch.

Early broadcasting career

Crouch began his career in broadcasting by helping to build an educational AM station (KCBI-AM) on campus while a student at Central Bible Institute and Seminary. In 1957 he became a radio announcer at KRSD in Rapid City, South Dakota and progressed rapidly to program director. Shortly thereafter he was promoted to manager of sister station KRSD-TV, the NBC affiliate in Rapid City.

In 1961, he was appointed by the general council of the Assemblies of God to organize and operate their newly formed Department of Television and Film Production in Burbank, California, a position he held for four years. Crouch was responsible for the ongoing production of films focusing largely on foreign missions and foreign missionary works, as well as the Assemblies of God’s large inventory of audiovisual materials and children’s teaching aids.

From 1965 to 1970 Crouch was general manager of KREL radio in Corona, California. In 1966, he purchased a minority stock interest in KREL. During his time at KREL, he successfully completed the station's application for an increase in power to 5,000 watts.

After leaving KREL in 1970, Crouch was invited to serve as general manager for KHOF-FM and KHOF-TV in San Bernardino, California.

Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) history

Crouch left KHOF in 1973 and with his wife, Jan, founded the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). In 1974, TBN purchased its first TV station, KLXA-TV (now KTBN-TV). Since then, TBN has grown to become the United States' largest Christian television network, and the third largest group owner of broadcast TV stations in the U.S., with CBS, FOX, and NBC holding fourth, fifth and sixth place, according to TV News Check's annual listing of the Top 30 Station Groups. indicated that Paul F. Crouch had compensation of $402,244 in the Fiscal Year ending on 12/31/08.

TBN is viewed globally on 70 satellites and over 18,000 TV and Cable affiliates. TBN is also seen on the internet globally. TBN is carried on over 287 television stations in the U.S. and on thousands of other cable television and satellite systems around the world in over 75 countries, where their programming is translated into over eleven languages.

In the US, TBN’s coverage grew through agreements with national cable operators. TBN is viewed on US satellite and cable subs, and affiliated with major cable and satellite companies such as Comcast, Cox, Time Warner, Verizon FIOS, DirecTV, AT&T, Dish Network and Charter.

In addition to TBN, Crouch and his wife developed and oversaw operations for TBN’s affiliated television networks: Smile of a Child - children’s channel, JCTV - youth network, The Church Channel, TBN Enlace USA - Spanish language network, TBNE-Italian, The Healing Channel - Arabic language network, TBN-Russia, TBN Nejat TV - Persian-language channel, and TBN-HD, TBN’s new high definition network.


Crouch died at his home in Orange, California, on November 30, 2013, after a decade-long fight with degenerative heart disease, his grandson Brandon Crouch told The Associated Press. Trinity Broadcast Network had reported that Crouch became ill and was taken to a Dallas area hospital in October while visiting the network's facility in Colleyville, Texas. Later he returned to California for continued treatment of "heart and related health issues."

Awards and citations

Crouch, the Trinity Broadcasting Network and Smile of a Child TV received the Parents Television Council Entertainment Seal of Approval, given to both the TBN and for producing and promoting programming that reflects their values.

Crouch was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the Private Sector Initiative Project.

In May, 2009, the United Nations officially recommended the Smile of a Child Foundation to receive special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council for the Democracy Coalition Project. The 19-member Committee recommends general, special or roster status with the Council in accordance with such criteria as the applicant’s mandate, governance and financial regime. Special consultative status was recommended for: Smile of a Child, a United States-based organization, seeking to help world leaders alleviate poverty and improve the lives of children.

Criticisms and controversies

In 2000, Crouch was sued for $40 million by author Sylvia Fleener, who accused Crouch of plagiarism in his popular end-times novel (and subsequent movie), The Omega Code. Fleener's lawsuit alleged that the movie's plot was taken from her own novel, The Omega Syndrome. A former Crouch personal assistant, Kelly Whitmore, revealed that she had encountered a loose-leaf binder in Jan Crouch's luggage that the Crouches referred to as "the End Times project" and that he often called it "The Omega" but said he disliked the working title, "especially the word 'Syndrome'. After the defendant's motion for summary judgment failed the case was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.

In September 2004 the Los Angeles Times reported that in 1998 Crouch paid Enoch Lonnie Ford, a former employee, a $425,000 formal settlement to end a wrongful termination lawsuit. At that time it was reported that Crouch had had a homosexual encounter with Ford. TBN officials acknowledge the settlement, but contested the credibility of Ford.

On March 15, 2005, Ford appeared at the taping of the ION Television show Lie Detector. The show's producers decided not to air the show, and the outcome of the lie detector test was never released.

Crouch family members control the boards of all TBN entities, which makes TBN "ineligible to join" the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, an evangelical self-regulating group.[citation needed] A May 2012 New York Times article noted the lavish personal spending of Paul and Janice Crouch, including "his-and-her mansions one street apart in a gated community" in Newport Beach, California. Paul Crouch received $400,000 in executive salary as president and his wife $365,000 as first vice president of TBN. Brittany Koper, a granddaughter of the Crouches who had authority over finances, claimed that TBN appeared to have violated the IRS ban on "excess compensation" by nonprofit organizations.

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Paul Franklin Crouch, Sr.'s Timeline

March 30, 1934
Saint Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri, United States
November 30, 2013
Age 79
Orange, Orange County, California, United States
Pacific View Memorial Park, Corona Del Mar, Newport Beach, Orange County, California, United States