Christian Broadcasting Network

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The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) is a Christian television network based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S., started by televangelist Pat Robertson in 1961 and known for its 700 Club program.

The mission of CBN and its affiliated organizations, according to its website, is to prepare the United States of America and the nations of the world for the coming of Jesus Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. Our ultimate goal is to achieve a time in history when "the knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea." [1]

Multi-millionaire heir Joseph Coors serves on the Regent University (formerly called CBN University) Board of Trustees. His wife Holly Coors is on the Regent University Board of Regents. The Coors Foundation has given money to the university (Foundation Grants Index, 15th edition, 1986.)

The National Committee to Draft Pat Robertson for President, which featured Roy Rogers and Dale Evans as spokespersons, held a big fundraiser at the Dallas ranch of millionaire Nelson Bunker Hunt. Joseph Coors supported this run as well.


According to the CBN website "History Of The Christian Broadcasting Network":

Forty years ago, Pat Robertson, named his broadcasting organization, located in a defunct Portsmouth, Virginia, TV station, The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). Not only was CBN the first Christian television station in Virginia, it was also the first in the nation. Forty years later, it is one of the largest television ministries in the world.
Founded on January 11, 1960, CBN first went on the air on October 1, 1961, on WYAH-TV (from Yahweh, the Hebrew name for God), a UHF television station with barely enough power to reach across the Portsmouth city limits. With a modest income from a few local supporters, CBN began broadcasting live half-hour programs from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. every night. Gradually, the broadcast day was expanded to 5:00 p.m. to midnight. Because Robertson refused to accept commercial advertisements, paying for programming was out of the question. A few free travelogue films were used to fill in the blank spots.
The first live broadcast of WYAH-TV was on Sunday, Oct. 1, 1961. The station had been broadcasting only a test pattern. There was a short live broadcast on that day. The first minister was Robert W. Garthwaite, a Portsmouth evangelist, along with his two sons, Nevin and Gregory who sang on the broadcast.
In the fall of 1963, CBN conducted its first telethon to raise the $7,000 per month needed for the following year's budget. Robertson told viewers that a "club" of 700 contributors, each giving $10 a month, would enable CBN to meet its expenses. As guests appeared to sing and share their religious experiences, Robertson invited the audience to pray for the 700 supporters who would help keep CBN going. Though its financial struggles continued, CBN had taken an important step in building community support for the ministry.
A year later, the 700 Club telethon was an important turning point for CBN. This telethon generated more contributions than the previous year's but not enough to meet CBN's growing budget. Then, in the final minutes of the broadcast, a remarkable outpouring of spiritual revival began to sweep through the viewing audience. Throughout the next several days, callers flooded CBN with prayer requests and pledges of financial support to CBN. A year later, Robertson added a program to the end of his station's broadcast day that followed the telethon format prayer and ministry coupled with telephone response. He named it The 700 Club, hoping to build on the audience that had become familiar with CBN's telethons. The program's audience grew as other stations began carrying the show.
Today CBN is a multifaceted nonprofit organization that provides programming by cable, broadcast and satellite to approximately 180 countries, with a 24-hour telephone prayer line. Chief among CBN's broadcasting components is The 700 Club, a daily television program featuring Pat Robertson, Terry Meeuswen, Lisa Ryan, Gordon Robertson, Kristi Watts and news anchor Lee Webb. On the air continuously since 1966, The 700 Club is one of the longest-running programs in broadcast history. Seen in 96% of the television markets across the United States, the show's news/magazine format presents a lively mix of information, interviews, and inspiration to an average daily audience of one million viewers.
CBN programs have aired in approximately 71 languages from Mandarin to Spanish and from Turkish to Welsh. In 1990 CBN International launched special projects in the Commonwealth of Independent States (formerly the Soviet Union) that included primetime specials and later The 700 Club and Superbook, an animated series of Bible stories. The broadcasts were followed by 190 rallies throughout the region that resulted in the establishment of 190 churches. Similar special projects were implemented in the Philippines and Romania in 1994. CBN International also distributes videos and literature and provides follow-up through international ministries around the world. In 1995, CBN launched CBN WorldReach with a mission of converting 500 million people to Christianity using Gospel programming to targeted international audiences.
Middle East Television (METV), a television station in Southern Lebanon, broadcasts news, sports, family entertainment, and religious programming by satellite to a potential audience of 200 million people in 15 nations including Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Cyprus. METV also distributes free videotapes and religious literature and provides food and clothing through CBN's humanitarian affiliate, Operation Blessing Internationalthroughout the Middle East. METV was sold to a like-minded ministry, LeSEA Broadcasting, in July 2001.
Here in America, The 700 Club Prayer Counseling Center provides prayer, scriptural counsel, and literature to people who call CBN's toll free telephone prayer line. The center's phones are staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year by a staff of paid, volunteer, and "on call" workers who are trained in offering comfort and encouragement from a biblical perspective.
In 1977, CBN started the nation's first basic TV cable network with satellite transmissions of religious and syndicated family TV shows.
By 1981, CBN Cable reached nearly 10 million homes. Renamed the CBN Family Channel in 1988, the commercial cable operation continued to prosper and was sold in 1990 to International Family Entertainment Inc. (IFE), a publicly held company that trades on the New York Stock Exchange. IFE was sold in 1997 to Fox Kids Worldwide, Inc.. Disney acquired the Fox Family Channel and it was named ABC Family on November 10, 2001.
Operation Blessing International Relief and Development Corporation is an affiliate organization founded by Pat Robertson in 1978. Operation Blessing was originally set up to help disadvantaged people by matching their needs for clothing, appliances, vehicles and other items with articles donated by viewers of The 700 Club. However, as requests for assistance grew, Robertson and CBN's board of directors decided to make a financial commitment to Operation Blessing that reached $1 million in 1982. In 1992 a fleet of refrigerated tractor-trailer trucks was added to Operation Blessing and called the Hunger Strike Force (HSF). The HSF hauls millions of pounds of food and disaster relief across the U.S.. Operation Blessing later purchased and retrofitted an L-1011 airplane into a hospital. "The Flying Hospital" was commissioned in 1996 by former President George H. W. Bush and took its first medical mission to El Salvador. The Flying Hospital was sold to a charitable not-for-profit organization in 2000. However, the Flying Hospital will continue to be an integral part of evangelistic missions with Operation Blessing International.
Located in Virginia Beach, Va., Regent University was founded in 1977 by Robertson, who serves as its president and chancellor. Regent is a fully accredited graduate university that offers degrees in business, communication & the arts, divinity, education, government, law, organizational leadership and psychology & counseling. In addition, Regent offers a bachelor's degree completion program. Regent University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award the bachelor's, master's and doctor's degrees, and has enrollment of nearly 2,600 students. In addition to the main campus in Virginia Beach, Regent has a Graduate Center in Northern Virginia D.C. and offers programs online via their Worldwide Campus.
CBN Historical Highlights
1960: Pat Robertson opened bank account for CBN with $3.00. CBN was founded.
1961: CBN first went on the air on WYAH-TV, taken from YAHWEH, the Hebrew name of God.
1963: CBN's first telethon--700 viewers were asked to join "700 Club" by pledging $10 a month to meet CBN's monthly operating budget of $7,000.
1966: The 700 Club was born after a successful telethon.
1974: National Counseling Center opened, handling calls for prayer 24 hours a day.
1977: First Christian ministry to build and operate its own satellite earth station; first satellite broadcast from Jerusalem. CBN began transmitting Christian and family programming 24 hours daily (beginning of CBN Cable--later to become The Family Channel).
1978: Operation Blessing International (OBI), humanitarian arm of CBN, was founded.
1980: News added to The 700 Club format complete with a news bureau in Washington, D.C.
1981: CBN creates "Superbook," the animated, episodic children's tale for a Japanese audience This marks the beginning of CBN's award-winning collection of Christian animated tales used to share the Gospel internationally.
1982: Middle East Television (METV) begins operations in southern Lebanon and Israel.
1988: CBN receives an Emmy award for "Never Say Goodbye", an After-School Special produced for CBS.
1990: CBN sells The Family Channel to International Family Entertainment.
1994: OBI's Hunger Strike Force launches a food distribution campaign delivering more than four million pounds of food to 18 major U.S. cities.
1995: CBN WorldReach is launched with a torch lighting ceremony at Cape Henry, Virginia. Worldwide evangelism goal is to win 500 million to Christianity.
1996: The Flying Hospital is commissioned by former president George Bush. Virginia Governor George Allen launches the first inaugural mission to El Salvador.
1997: International Family Entertainment (owner of The Family Channel) sold to Fox Kids Worldwide, Inc.
1998: Pat Robertson is honorary co-chairman along with Bill Bright and Vonette Bright, with campus Crusade for Christ, for the 40 Days of Fasting and Prayer Campaign.
1999: CBN launches Book of Hope campaign which distributes 10 million books making it the largest Bible reading campaign in America-as well as the largest promotion of any secular or religious book.
2002: NorthStar Studios, state-of-the-art broadcast facility, opens its doors in May.
-- Pat Robertson presented with The State of Israel Friendship Award by the Chicago chapter of the Zionist Organization of America in July.

Support for Islamophobia

According to the Center for American Progress, the CBN promotes anti-Muslim hysteria in much of its programming. For example, on Pat Robertson's "700 Club" TV show, he claimed that Islam is "a violent political system bent on the overthrow of the governments of the world and world domination." [2]


  1. About page, Christian Broadcasting Network, accessed June 2008.
  2. Wajahat Ali, Eli Clifton, Matthew Duss, Lee Fang, Scott Keyes, and Faiz Shakir, Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America, CAB, August 2011.

Contact details

977 Centerville Turnpike
Virginia Beach, VA 23463
Phone: (757) 226-7000


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