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TBN televangelist Paul Crouch hospitalized

TBN televangelist Paul Crouch hospitalized
Paul and Jan Crouch during a recording of one of their television shows from the Cathedral of Light Church in Selma, Calif. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Paul Crouch Sr., founder and president of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, has been hospitalized near Dallas after experiencing shortness of breath.

He was taken to the hospital Oct. 22 and was listed as being in stable condition, according to a TBN spokesman.

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Over the last decade, Crouch has been treated for a chronic heart condition and last year he received a pacemaker, according to a news release.

"Everyone associated with TBN, and especially Jan and the Crouch family, want to express their deep and sincere appreciation for the countless prayers and expressions of support and encouragement offered by TBN's many friends and partners all over the world," the news release stated. Jan Crouch is Paul Crouch's wife.

TBN, based in Costa Mesa but with locations across the United States, touts itself as the world's largest Christian television network. It is carried by more than 5,000 stations.

The televangelist ministry has been embroiled in controversy during the last year, including a legal battle with Crouch's granddaughter, who alleges she was fired after uncovering "illegal financial schemes" amounting to tens of millions of dollars.

In a lawsuit, Brittany Koper alleged the ministry had committed financial fraud and engaged in lavish spending, including the purchase of a $100,000 motor home for family dogs.

Network lawyers countered in a separate lawsuit that the granddaughter used forged documents to embezzle funds to buy trucks, jewelry, a fishing boat, a motorcycle, a Lexus and life insurance.

TBN has been the subject of controversy before. In 2010, the network settled a suit on confidential terms with a broadcast engineer who alleged he was discriminated against because he was gay. In another case, the network paid a $425,000 settlement to a former employee who said he had a homosexual encounter with televangelist Crouch, who denied the accusation.

Network preachers have been aggressive advocates of the "prosperity gospel," the belief that God will bestow financial rewards on donors who give generously.

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Hannah Fry writes for Times Community News.

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