I own a small part of TBN in a sense, TBN is my station. Let me explain.
In May of 1973 my boss at the time, Tony Meston of SonShine Electric told me about a fantastic faith enterprise being initiated in Santa Ana. He suggested that we go down there and help out.
Apparently someone was attempting to do the impossible, they were going to get a television station started for the Lord up and running! I was excited about the thought of an all Christian television station. I knew of none. I did know of a radio station, "The Kings Herald of Faith" KHOF, which I listened to in my truck while driving.
Now, having been a part of the birth of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa and having helped to build the current home of Calvary in Santa Ana California, I knew how awesome it can be to watch God at work. I wanted in on this new venture of faith.
We showed up at TRINITY BROADCASTING NETWORK on the corner of Dyer and Main street in Santa Ana, 111 West Dyer to be exact. We helped by putting in the fluorescent lighting. Every time TBN shows their early start days, you will see them flash a quick picture of me up on a ladder installing the lights, at least I think it is me. We also helped to remove some old linoleum tile that was laid with some awful tar it seemed. All of us were working for the Lord, so we put our heart into the task.
I can still look back in my memory of Tony Meston helping to run the black and white camera. We were doing this for the Lord.
Paul was an amazing man as I recall, he oozed faith. Jim Bakker and his wife Tammy were there with Paul and Jan Crouch. They all seemed so enthusiastic about what was happening.
I can recall the tech dudes fussing with the stuff, trying to get everything to work correctly. It was a battle field as all of us were trying to get the Lords TV station up and running. Something that the enemy of our souls did not want.
My next time of being in on a major event of TBN was in the early 90's. At the time I had no idea that Paul Toberty or Demos Shakarian had anything to do with one another or Paul Crouch.
I was living down the street from the original Dyer street commercial building in Santa Ana. I knew there was a building that I had helped Roy Laney do some painting on, located on Bear Street in Costa Mesa, across the freeway from South Coast Plaza. It originally was one of the locations of the Full Gospel Business Mens Associations. It had been vacated for a long while at this point in time.
One day I felt the Lord telling me to go visit that empty property. So I did. As I walked around it, a deep sadness filled my heart. I was recalling all the activity and commotion when Roy and I were there painting. Everyone was aware that they were working on a project for the Lord when I first worked on this property. And now here I was years later walking around an abandoned site. I wondered to myself, "What in the world could have happened?"
As I was noticing the brass top of the flagpole sitting in some weeds, the Lord suddenly showed up and manifested His presence upon me. He told me to prophesy over the property. So I once again walked the property prophesying anything that came to my mind from my spirit man.
As I did this the Holy Spirit filled my heart with an unction and an urgency. I felt a righteous anger rising up in my heart and I began to do spiritual warfare while walking around.
God was leading me to take back what had been stolen away. He was telling me to call out to Him for restoration.
I went home. But I could not get that property off my mind. So I frequently visited that ghost of a building. Walking around and around it, shouting out to the Lord. Tears streamed down my face as I recalled how it was built for the Lord and here it was in such disrepair and completely abandoned.
I was angry and jealous for the place to once again be a place known for the Lord. Finally I told my roommate about the place, he was interested. So I took him there and we both prophesied over the place as we walked every square foot of it. Each time I looked at the things just lying around on the ground and all of the over grown weeds and such, an anger rose up in my spirit man. I would shout loudly what came to mind prophetically. And each time that I did, the presence of the Lord would manifest and I would end up with tears streaming down my face.
Then one day I knew my task was finished and never went back.
I don't recall how much later but one day I drive by the place and someone was working on it. WOW was I amazed to see that it was going to be a location of TBN. So you see I had a small behind the scenes part to play in TBN once again...
Now you can see how I fit in to the picture as far as TBN. Not to mention that Brant Baker and Shekinah Fellowship was one of the original programs on TBN.
Pastor Leroy Saunders of North Hollywood Assembly of God had opened his church to Brant Baker to have televised prayer meetings there. Pastor Saunders I am sure had a lot to do with Brant getting on TBN since he believed in the vision of Paul and Jan.
It often times trips me out to think of how intertwined everything I have been involved with is. Even though some people don't like how Paul has run the show, the Lord installed him as the steward none the less.
Let me share a small thought on this. Do you think that Jesus would be any good in His choice as to who will do what? You know He prayed a long time before choosing his twelve apostles. And wow, we wouldn't have chosen some of them. Judas was a thief of the kitty and a betrayer!
Mark 14:10And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them.
Simon Peter was a fair weather friend who cursed and was a liar.
Matthew 26:74Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.
These were faulty everyday men and yet Jesus choose them anyway. You see, God does not call who you think He would. God does not call the capable, he makes those who He calls capable!
While most do not agree with me around these parts, I seriously believe that Paul and Jan Crouch were hand picked by God to build TBN. It takes a certain personalty type with a tough skin to accomplish what they have done. Sure you may not like what comes through TBN. But Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel and Pastor Greg Laurie have been on along with a few others that you would agree walk down the middle of the road in their Christian perspective.
Paul and Jan did not just walk into a wonderful up and running popular ministry. They went through all of the hard knocks and the heart breaks and the warfare to make what we all see today.
I have seen Paul alone in the malls at South Coast Plaza and Fashion Island. No body guards, all by himself. I have seen Jan with one of her son's at Fry's Electronics, no body guards.
They are both disliked by a lot of people, and yet they still trust in the Lord. I have talked with Paul in one of my chance encounters with him in South Coast Plaza and Fashion Island. I found him to be very open and friendly, I detected not the slightest bit of apprehension in him.
You know Benny Hinn never goes anywhere without his entourage of Navy Seal bodyguards, what does that tell you? How do I know this? I have worked in his neighborhood within a stones throw of his home for about thirteen years now. Just last week I had two Benny sightings...LOL.
Even if you don't like TBN you have to admit that it is a miracle that it even exists. If you knew the half of what it took to build TBN and maintain it, you would know that it is a miracle.
Of course Brant was very upset at being dropped from TBN. But what did he expect they would do when they found out about his hidden struggles. What could they do? Albeit they did not even say anything to him at all...they just dropped him!
Brant imploded progressively after that, even to the point of speaking against TBN in a "Talking to the door to address the window" fashion from his pulpit. His pain was evident.
Sure Paul is one tough German man, but God did tap him and tell him to build an all Christian television network. And ya, there have been abuse of power and position sort of things, but don't you think God knew that was gonna happen?
It honestly is none of my business with how God's steward takes care of what God requires of him. What he is accountable for is between him and the Lord.
One thing I do know is that the fruit of TBN can not be ignored. Millions of souls have been saved from just watching television because of the vision of Paul and Jan Crouch. How many millions of souls have been saved through your personal vision?
When I compare my fruit with their fruit, mine is all tile and tar.
Also in the 90's I walked another plot of land in Costa Mesa, on Newport Blvd, just above the 55 freeway. I would visit the laundry mat next to this field. While my laundry was in the machines I would walk this plot of land. The Spirit of God would come on me and I would lay claim to the land for His service. This would happen every laundry day...LOL
Eventually a church purchased the land and built a wonderful place for God's people to come together. They are currently expanding their building on the site. They are a true asset to Costa Mesa! I have heard nothing but good things about this portion of the Body of Christ.