- (Photo: TBN)
Trinity Broadcasting Network is set to air a TV special to honor the life of its co-founder, Dr. Paul Crouch, who died on Saturday, but there will be no public memorial service, as per his wishes.
"TBN will broadcast a special celebration of Dr. Paul Crouch's life and legacy Sunday, December 8th, at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. (Pacific) and Monday, December 9th, at 2 p.m. (Pacific)," a TBN announced on Monday.
Crouch was 79 when he died on Saturday, following a decade-long battle with degenerative heart disease. He was born in 1934 in St. Joseph, Mo., the son of Assemblies of God missionaries, and earned a degree in theology from Central Bible Institute and Seminary in Springfield, Mo., and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla.
He founded TBN, the world's largest Christian-owned cable station, with his wife, Janice Bethany Crouch, whom he met in 1957 and later married. Together, they have two sons: Paul Crouch Jr. and Matthew Crouch.
A number of notable leaders in the Christian community have sent their condolences to TBN and Crouch's family, some of which were shared by TBN.
"Everyone at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association extend our condolences to the family of Paul Crouch, Sr., who, along with his wife, Jan, founded the Trinity Broadcast Network in 1973.... He and the TBN family have been longtime friends and supporters of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse," BGEA said.
"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," said Bishop T.D. Jakes.
In recent years, however, the Crouch family and TBN have been embroiled in a number of lawsuits. Their granddaughter, Brittany Koper, former director of finance and human resources, legally accused the Crouch family and TBN of illegally using tens of millions of dollars from the non-profit to support their luxurious lifestyle that includes jets, estates, and vehicles. Koper's uncle, Joseph McVeigh, also filed a lawsuit against TBN in 2012, saying the broadcaster was maliciously targeting him as part of a "campaign of retaliation."
A representative for TBN was unable to provide The Christian Post with further details about the upcoming TV special at the time of press.