BY GLORIA NAKAJUBI
The church across the world was recently saddened by news of the death of international televangelist Paul Crouch. Paul Crouch founded Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) in 1973, which is the largest Christian broadcast network in the world.
It is reported that Crouch died after a 10-year battle with degenerative heart disease.
Born in Missouri, Paul Franklin Crouch was a son of Assemblies of God missionaries. His father died when he was just seven years old. He was raised by a single mother with the help of his grandparents.
He graduated with a degree in theology from the Central Bible Institute and Seminary in Springfi eld Missouri in 1955.
Crouch received three honorary doctorates: a Doctor of Litterarum (D.Litt) in 1981, from the California Graduate School of Theology, Doctor of Divinity on May 29, 1983, from the American Christian Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Laws degree on May 5, 1985, from Oral Roberts University, Oklahoma.
Crouch met his wife Janice (Jan) in 1957. They have two sons: Paul Crouch Jr and Matthew Crouch.
Paul Crouch started by spreading the Gospel through a small television station in California, but the vision changed his business plan. He bought more television stations, then piled on cable channels and eventually, satellites, until he had built the world’s largest Christian television system, TBN.
Crouch is said to have channelled much of the revenue into charity, funding soup kitchens, homeless shelters and an international humanitarian organisation, Smile of a Child, founded by his wife, Janice.
In 2011, he donated more than 150 low-power TV stations to the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council, which helps minorities, women and others to own and operate TV and radio stations.
The 24-hour family of networks broadcasts prominent independent ministers such as Pat Robertson, Jimmy Swaggart, Robert Schuller and Billy Graham’s crusades.
Crouch has long been hosting the Praise the Lord talk show together with, Jan. In Uganda, Crouch will be remembered by many as his television changed so many people’s lives.
Bhosa Nelson Kataza, a banker in Kampala says he got saved on November 20, 2004, after listening to a preacher on TBN.
“I was in my Senior Six vacation and I was seated at home relaxing. I was going through the different channels on TV and landed on TBN. Out of curiosity, I decided to listen to the preacher and since then, I have never looked back. I am a Christian,” Kataza says.
He adds that most times, the channel enables you to get full church service in the comfort of your home incase you miss church and more so the different preachers that are hosted on the channel give someone a variety of God’s messages.
“I believe in sowing seeds and just as Crouch used to emphasise, I have seen God reward me,” he says. Paul Crouch was also present in Uganda at the opening of Lighthouse Television (LTV) in August 1997. Lighthouse Television depends mainly on relaying programmes from TBN, which constitutes 80% of its programming.