Trinity Broadcasting Network, the world’s largest Christian broadcaster and America’s most watched faith channel, announced today that it has donated the personal library of Dr. C.M. Ward (1909-1996) to the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC), the official archives and research center of the Assemblies of God fellowship.
For 25 years, from 1953 to 1978, Dr. Ward was host of Revivaltime, the flagship weekly radio broadcast of the Assemblies of God. During its heyday Revivaltime was heard on hundreds of stations via the ABC radio network, and the program received from 12,000 to 15,000 letters each month from listeners around the world, including notes of appreciation from such well-known individuals as President Lyndon Johnson and Queen Juliana of Holland.
Thousands of listeners across the earth considered C.M. Ward their pastor, and many in the radio industry of the 1950s placed Revivaltime second in popularity only to Hour of Decision, the weekly radio program of the young evangelist Billy Graham.
A meticulous researcher who read voraciously in preparation for the weekly Revivaltime broadcasts, Dr. Ward was also a close personal friend of TBN founders Paul and Jan Crouch, and a regular guest on the network’s Praise the Lord show, where viewers looked forward to the warmth and practical approach to the gospel that made him such a popular radio pastor.
TBN Vice President Matthew Crouch recalled that in 1990 Dr. Ward donated a large portion of his personal library to TBN, including his collection of theology books, Bible commentaries, history volumes, biographies, and other Christian resources.
“My parents Paul and Jan Crouch realized the rich reservoir of Pentecostal history and heritage that Dr. Ward’s library represented,” explained Mr. Crouch, “and following the passing of my father in November of 2013, we decided to turn it over to the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center, where it will be used and enjoyed for generations to come.”
FPHC Director Darrin Rodgers said that Dr. Ward’s library represents a significant chapter in the Assemblies of God fellowship’s evangelistic outreach through media. “For 25 years C.M. Ward took a message of salvation, hope, and healing to countless thousands of radio listeners on behalf of the Assemblies of God,” he said. “We are thankful to TBN for this generous donation that will help to honor Dr. Ward’s legacy.”
One Hundred Years of Pentecostal Heritage
It is significant that the donation from TBN comes during the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Assemblies of God. Paul and Jan Crouch were both raised in the Assemblies of God, and the roots of that fellowship’s faith and spiritual passion ran deep in their lives. Among the many connections:
– Paul Crouch’s father, Andrew Crouch, was a founding member of the Assemblies of God. As a young child Paul lived in Egypt, where his parents served as Assemblies of God missionaries.
– Jan Crouch’s father, Edgar Bethany, was one of the principal founders of what is now Southeastern University, the Assemblies of God’s university in Lakeland, Florida, and served as the Assemblies of God’s Executive Presbyter for the Southeastern United States until his passing in 1975.
– Paul Crouch graduated from the fellowship’s Central Bible Institute in 1955, and in 1961 the Assemblies of God appointed him to organize its newly formed Department of Television and Film Production in Burbank, California, a position he held until 1965.
Matthew Crouch said that his parents’ close connection with the Assemblies of God was foundational when they launched TBN in 1973. “The flame of the Holy Spirit that burned deeply in the hearts of the men and women who started this great fellowship back in 1914, was the same fire that ignited the passion of Paul and Jan Crouch to take the gospel around the world through television.”
He noted that in 1964 while serving with the Assemblies of God, his parents produced an historical documentary, entitled Like a River, for the fiftieth anniversary of the fellowship. “This year my wife Laurie and I have had the honor of working with Dr. George Wood, General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, to produce a documentary to be aired on TBN for the fellowship’s centennial celebration.”
Added Mr. Crouch: “I think there is powerful significance that my grandfather was part of the founding of the Assemblies of God, my parents were there to document its first fifty years, and now as the third generation we are present to honor the hundredth anniversary of this continuing move of God. As with so many families, it’s one generation declaring God’s power to the next.”
Tune in to TBN Friday, August 15th, at 7 p.m. (Pacific Time) as Matthew and Laurie Crouch host a very special program celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Assemblies of God.
About the Trinity Broadcasting Family of Networks
With 28 networks and growing worldwide, the Trinity Broadcasting Family of Networks is the world’s largest faith-and-family television group, airing a broad range of church and ministry programming, Christian music, family friendly movies, children’s programming, and shows for teens and young adults 24 hours a day to every inhabited continent via 87 satellites and 20,000 television and cable affiliates. In addition, TBN’s most popular global networks are available on computers, smart phones, and other mobile devices, and over 25,000 hours of entertaining and inspiring On-Demand programming is accessible via TBN’s innovative online network, iTBN.org. To find out more about the Trinity Broadcasting Family of Networks, log on to www.tbn.org.
Do you have Pentecostal historical materials that should be preserved? Please consider depositing these materials at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC). The FPHC, located in the Assemblies of God national offices, is the largest Pentecostal archive in the world. We would like to preserve and make your treasures accessible to those who write the history books.
Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center
1445 North Boonville Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65802 USA
Phone: 417.862.1447 ext. 4400
Toll Free: 877.840.5200