Trinity Broadcasting has wealth and critics

Hendersonville Star News, Tennessee/March 5, 2006
By Anne Paine

The wealth of Trinity Broadcasting Network has raised eyebrows and added to criticism about its operation.

The most recently available IRS form shows TBN took in more than $184.3 million in 2003. After expenses, that left $71.1 million unspent, on top of at least $311.6 million invested in securities.

Paul F. Crouch Sr.’s pay was $408,562 as president and his wife Jan $361,000 as a vice president.

Wall Watchers, a Christian nonprofit group that monitors Christian organizations, says TBN is “hoarding too much cash” and is not open about its finances.

TBN has many different companies and doesn’t make a “consolidated audit report” available, said Rodney Pitzer, managing director for the group headquartered near Tampa, Fla.

“They’re only trying to do the minimum of whatever is legal and that’s it,” he said. “What’s unknown is how many other salaries do the Crouches get?”

TBN attorney John Casoria said thorough audits are done twice a year and the salaries in the IRS form are the only ones the Crouches have.

An independent board picked by IRS accountants set the salaries, which came only in their senior years after decades of work for much less, he said. Paul Crouch is 72 and Jan is about 68, he said.

The couple, dedicated to God, has earned what they get through hard work, he said.

“They’ve taken a single station and in 33 years turned it into the seventh largest broadcasting entity on the planet.”

Casoria said the Wall Watchers attack TBN because they are “anti-pentecostal” and have their own rules they want everyone to follow. One of those, he said, is to be on the brink of poverty.

“We do not believe that hand-to-mouth is the way God expects ministries to run,” he said. “We have substantial overhead. Our electrical bills alone are in the millions of dollars.”

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