Paul Crouch Sr
Updated: January 3, 2014 6:16AM
COSTA MESA, Calif. — Paul Crouch, the televangelist who built what’s been called the world’s largest Christian broadcasting network, has died. He was 79.
Mr. Crouch died at his home in Orange, Calif., on Saturday after a decade-long fight with degenerative heart disease, his grandson Brandon Crouch told the Associated Press.
“He was an incredible businessman, entrepreneur, visionary; he built something that impacted the world,” he said.
Trinity Broadcast Network said in a statement Saturday: “We mourn Paul’s passing and he will be greatly missed. But we know, as the old hymn reminds us, soon enough we will see him again in that great ‘meeting in the air.’”
Mr. Crouch began his broadcasting career while studying theology at Central Bible Institute and Seminary in his native Missouri by helping build the campus’ radio station. He moved to California in the early 1960s to manage the movie and television unit of the Assemblies of God before founding Trinity Broadcast Network in 1973 with his wife, Jan.
They grew the network into an international Christian empire that beams prosperity gospel programming to every continent but Antarctica around the clock. The programming promises that if the faithful sacrifice for their belief, God will reward them with material wealth.
He was survived by his wife and their two sons, Matthew and Paul Jr.