Paul F. Crouch, founder of Trinity Broadcast Network, dies at age 79

COSTA MESA, Calif.

In 1973, the Missouri native founded TBN with his wife and parlayed the television station into the world's largest Christian TV network.

TBN grew from little-watched KLXA Channel 40 in Costa Mesa to a worldwide operation with 84 satellite channels offering targeting specific demographic groups in their native languages around the globe.

Crouch had been treated for chronic heart problems in the past and had received a pacemaker in 2012.

On Oct. 22, the former religious broadcaster was hospitalized in Dallas, Texas due to "heart and health-related issues," but was later released.

Trinity Broadcasting Network released the following statement Saturday: "Dr. Paul F. Crouch passed into the presence of the Lord on November 30, 2013. We are grateful for the life of this amazing servant of God. Please pray for the Crouch family during this time. #paulcrouch #tbn"

No further details on Crouch's death were immediately available.

CNS contributed to this report.

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