COSTA MESA, Calif Televangelist and founder of Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), Paul Crouch, has died at the age of 79 after chronic heart problems.
A statement posted on the evangelist's website states: "Dr. Paul F. Crouch passed into the presence of the Lord on November 30, 2013. We are grateful for the life of this amazing servant of God. Please pray for the Crouch family during this time."
In October Crouch was hospitalized in Dallas due to shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Over the past decade, Crouch has been treated for a chronic heart condition.
Brandon Crouch, grandson to Crouch, Sr., wrote on his Facebook page Saturday, "Today, my grandfather, #PaulCrouchSr went home to be with Jesus in heaven. Thank you for your prayers in this heavy season."
"Paul Crouch changed the course of Christian history by building a Christian network that spreads that Gospel of Jesus Christ to the nations of the world everyday," said John Hagee founder and Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas. "Our deepest sympathies for his loved ones today."
In recent years the ministry has been plagued by questions of financial accountability about use of donated funds.
Born in St. Joseph, Missouri, Crouch graduated from the Central Bible Institute and Seminary in Springfield, Mo., in 1955 with a degree in theology.
TBN reaches every major continent via 84 satellite channels and over 18,000 television and cable affiliates around the world. It has 84 satellite channels and more than 18,000 TV and cable affiliates. He celebrated 40 years of TBN ministry this year, according to the TBN website.
Crouch is survived by his wife, Jan, and sons Paul Crouch, Jr. and Matthew Crouch, who has since been named as the new president of TBN.
Funeral arrangements are pending.