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Thirty-Nine Years After Miracle Launch, TBN’s Global Impact Leads Christian Television
LOS ANGELES (May 30, 2012) — Trinity Broadcasting Network, the world leader in faith and family television, celebrated a major milestone May 28 as founder Dr. Paul Crouch recalled TBN’s miraculous launch 39 years ago. “This precious network, so wonderfully blessed by God over the years, began in obscurity, much like the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ,” said Dr. Crouch. “No, it wasn’t in a manger, but it was just about as humble, and the miracle that put TBN on the air reminds us that God alone deserves the glory for this global outreach.”
The date was May 27, 1973, and the place was a small UHF television station in Santa Ana, California, where Dr. Crouch had purchased a couple of hours of air time each night. The station actually wasn’t even on the air, and FCC rules required that it sign back on no later than May 28. But TBN’s engineers were having a hard time getting the station’s transmitter up and running.
“We had worked fruitlessly that whole week trying to transmit a signal up to Mount Wilson, where most of the area’s TV stations were located,” Dr. Crouch recounted. “From that 6,000 foot height, TV signals could cover the vast Los Angeles valley of over ten million souls! Over and over we frantically checked the equipment — but our signal simply would not reach that imposing mountain.”
Finally the small TBN team realized that a part of Mount Wilson was blocking the transmission, and their hearts sank with the thought that this obstacle was, most likely, insurmountable. They had come so far, and had carried such faith in their hearts for what they knew God wanted to accomplish. With the help of many volunteers Dr. Crouch and his wife Jan had worked for months to launch the fledgling Christian television ministry. Now they were being told that a mountain was blocking their way.
But something deep inside would not allow the Christian television pioneer to give up. “I was not sure then, but now I know it was the Holy Spirit that inspired me to climb the ladder to the roof of that tiny television station and pray over the microwave satellite dish,” recalled Dr. Crouch. With boldness he laid his hands on the unresponsive equipment and prayed: “Lord, You promised in Mark 11:23 that if I would command this mountain to be removed, and would not doubt in my heart, you would hear and answer.” With that simple, faith-filled petition Dr. Crouch climbed down the ladder with the assurance that his prayer had reached the throne of His heavenly Father.
By then, however, the discouraged engineers were preparing to leave the little UHF station, and it was only with great difficulty that Dr. Crouch persuaded them to return for one more try the next morning — Sunday, May 28, 1973.
Of course, by morning nothing visible had changed, and as the doubtful engineers threw the switches on the transmitter the little TBN team listened to the microwave warming up. “My heart was pounding double time,” recalled Dr. Crouch. “I knew that this was the moment of destiny. Either we would go on the air that day, or the FCC would shut down the little station — and our dream.”
The engineers on site telephoned a lone technician 38 miles away at the top of Mount Wilson, as TBN’s founder waited with anticipation. “Suddenly from across the room I heard the voice of the Mount Wilson engineer,” recalled Dr. Crouch. “He was as excited as we were as he shouted, ‘We got it, we got the signal! And it’s as clear as crystal!”
Thus was born the miracle of Trinity Broadcasting Network, that with the help of an army of faithful friends and partners has grown from that one small station in Southern California to the third largest broadcast group in America with 16 distinct Christian networks. Today, through 76 satellites and over 20,000 television and cable affiliates, TBN reaches over one billion viewers worldwide with life-changing programming. And now through its iTBN online access, TBN’s family of networks is making a life-changing impact on more viewers worldwide through streaming broadcasts and Video on Demand anytime day or night.
“We’re truly thankful for every individual and family that has stood with us through the mountains and the valleys of this wondrous, God-ordained adventure,” said Dr. Crouch. “If there is one thing we’ve learned as TBN enter its 40th year of broadcasting the good news of Jesus Christi to the nations of the world, it is this: There is no mountain, no obstacle, too great for God to remove so that His salvation and healing will go forth. We give Him all the glory.”
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