LOS ANGELES, Feb. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Forty years ago broadcast pioneer Paul Crouch blazed an innovative trail across the television landscape when he began forging relationships with pastors and Christian leaders, inviting them to air their worship services and ministry programming on his newly launched Trinity Broadcasting Network. Dr. Crouch's vision was to partner with churches and the Christian community to develop a nationwide — and ultimately international — television network broadcasting what Dr. Crouch termed "100 percent Christian" programming.
His invitation peaked the interest of a number of forward-thinking ministers, who signed on as early broadcast partners with TBN. Many would go on to become influential figures in Christian broadcasting, including Calvary Chapel founder Chuck Smith, Pastor Jack Hayford, Oral Roberts, Kenneth Copeland, and Marilyn Hickey, to name just a few. Dr. Billy Graham was also an enthusiastic supporter, as he partnered with TBN to broadcast many of his nationwide crusades.
Dr. Crouch's Christian broadcasting platform proved so successful that in 2002 TBN launched another 24-hour ministry network, the Church Channel, to accommodate the many congregations, pastors, and ministries wanting to get their programming on Christian television. TBN Vice President Matthew Crouch noted that adding the second network, devoted solely to church and ministry programming, "has allowed us to broaden our family friendly entertainment programming, while still giving more ministry partners than ever an opportunity to get their programs on Christian television."
Today TBN and the Church Channel host programs by some of the most popular pastors and Christian leaders from a wide variety of denominations and worship traditions, including David Jeremiah, Charles Stanley, Michael Yousseff, Father Cedric Pisegna, Joel Osteen, Greg Laurie, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer, T.D. Jakes, Jack Graham, Max Lucado, and many others.
Changing viewer demographics also mean the regular addition of new ministry programs to the TBN and Church Channel schedules. Among the most exciting recent additions are programs by such dynamic pastors as Bob Coy of Calvary Chapel in Fort Lauderdale; Jerry Dirmann of the Rock Church in Anaheim, California; Mike and Dee Dee Freeman of Maryland's Spirit of Faith Christian Center; and Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.
And TBN's global reach has prompted the addition of a number of popular international ministry leaders, including Pastor Joseph Prince, leader of the 30,000-member New Creation Church in Singapore; international evangelist Reinhard Bonnke; and one of TBN's newest ministry partners, Pastor Kong Hee, whose weekly program originates from another mega-congregation in Singapore, the 20,000-member City Harvest Church.
"Just as my father did at TBN's very start, we're blessed to partner with many of the world's brightest and most dedicated pastors and Christian leaders," said TBN's Matthew Crouch. "That means we can offer our TBN and Church Channel viewers programming that inspires, challenges, and changes lives. It's a forty-year tradition we're happy to continue."
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SOURCE Trinity Broadcasting Network