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TBN Founder, Missouri Native Paul Crouch Dies

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Television evangelist Paul Crouch (photo courtesy TBN)

Television evangelist Paul Crouch (photo courtesy TBN)

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COSTA MESA, Calif. (KMOX/AP) - Paul Crouch, who built what has been called the world’s largest Christian broadcasting network, has died. He was 79.

Trinity Broadcasting Network reported Saturday that Crouch died after a decade-long fight with degenerative heart disease.

Crouch was born in St. Joseph, Mo. then attended Central Bible Institute and Seminary in Springfield. It was there that he got his start in broadcasting, by buiding a campus radio station.

Crouch and his wife Jan founded TBN in 1973 and grew it 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.

Based in Costa Mesa, Calif., the network says it has 84 satellite channels and more than 18,000 television and cable affiliates as well as a Christian amusement park in Orlando.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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