Paul Crouch

paul crouch

Who is Paul Crouch?

Paul Crouch (born 1934) is a 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 has 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.

Awards and citations

Crouch and the Trinity Broadcasting Network have been the recipients of numerous awards and citations of appreciation by both local and national leaders including the Golden Angel award from the Excellence in Media organization and the Parents Television Council Entertainment Seal of Approval, given to both the TBN and Smile of a Child networks for producing and promoting programming that reflects their values. Crouch was also 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 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 who is a convicted felon, with crimes ranging from child sexual molestation to using illegal drugs such as crack cocaine.

Ford became involved with TBN through a drug-rehabilitation program conducted on TBN’s property. Upon his successful completion of the program, TBN offered him employment. Ford was arrested while employed by TBN for drug-related violations, and was found guilty of violating his probation and was returned to prison for a year.

Upon his release from incarceration in 1997, Ford again sought employment with TBN and, when TBN declined, he threatened to sue TBN by alleging wrongful termination and sexual harassment.

In late 2003, Ford threatened to release an autobiographical manuscript to the media should TBN and Dr. Crouch not agree to buy the manuscript for $10 million. TBN refused to pay Ford, calling his actions extortion. In October 2004, Judge Robert J. O'Neill awarded Paul Crouch $136,000 in legal fees to be paid by Ford for his violation of the terms of the settlement agreement, specifically the prohibition of discussing the settlement's details.

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. 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.

  1. "Paul Crouch" Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (with minor edits), under GFDL.