Thirty-three years later, God Still Moving Mountains for TBN
WDC Media News Guest Commentary
By Dr. Paul Crouch
The date was May 27, 1973, and the place was a small UHF television station at 111 Dyer Road in Santa Ana, California. We had finally made a deal with the owner of the station, purchasing two hours of air time per night. The station was actually off the air because of financial problems, and since under FCC rules it could only be off the air for a certain number of days, it had to sign back on no later than May 28th.
Our engineers had worked fruitlessly that whole week trying to get our microwave TV picture up to Mount Wilson, where most of the translator stations were located. From that 6,000 foot mountain, TV signals could cover the vast Los Angeles valley of over ten million souls! Over and over again we frantically tried checking the equipment in every way possible, but the signal failed to reach the imposing mountain.
Finally the engineers gave up, and our hearts sank as we were informed that a portion of Mount Wilson was blocking our angle of transmission!
With the help of many volunteers Jan and I had worked for about three months to launch our fledgling Christian television ministry, renting a small building to house our studio and offices. Now we were being told that a mountain was blocking our way.
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 boldly pray over the microwave satellite dish. As I laid my hands on the cold steel of that dish I made Mark 11:23 my declaration to God.
“Lord, you said that ‘whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith’” (Mark 11:23). As I climbed down the ladder I knew in my spirit that my prayer had reached God’s throne and that everything was going to be just fine!
By then the engineers had stowed their tools and were preparing to leave. I pled with them to come back the next day -- which just happened to be a Sunday. They did not like the thought of coming back on a Sunday, since they’d already worked through a long and dismal Saturday. Finally, with the promise of “overtime,” they agreed to meet us at 8:00 a.m.— Sunday, May 28, 1973!
Everybody was there on time that Sunday. Nothing had been changed or checked from the night before. As I heard the switches being thrown and the sound of the microwave warming up, my heart was pounding double time! We knew that this was the moment of decision: Either we would go on the air or the FCC license would be lost.
The engineers on site were on the telephone with the lone engineer stationed 38 miles at the top of Mount Wilson. Suddenly I heard the voice of the Mount Wilson engineer, clear across the room, as he literally screamed, “We got it – and it is as clear as NBC!”
God moved the mountain in the path of TBN’s simple beginnings that night – and He hasn’t stopped since. In the 33 years since we signed on the air that first time He has raised TBN to over 6,500 stations, including all of our affiliated TV stations, cable stations, direct-to-home satellites, the Internet -- and now, 54 great satellites that literally leave footprints over 90 percent of planet Earth!
And let’s not forget TBN’s other great additions: the Church Channel, JC-TV youth network, the Healing Channel in Arabic, TBN Enlace USA for Hispanic viewers, Jan’s Smile of a Child all children’s network -- and our latest, the Farsi language channel covering Iran and several other Middle East nations.
If there is one thing we’ve learned as we celebrate TBN’s 33rd anniversary, it’s that there is no mountain, no obstacle, too great for God to remove for His glory.
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