Posted by: Jeremy | August 21, 2008

Paul and Jan Crouch of TBN

In 1998, the Crouches showed a combined income of nearly $600,000… (OC Weekly) The Crouches occupy two of three seats on the TBN board of directors and earning six-figure incomes. He is paid $159,500 a year as president, while she gets $165,100 as vice president, IRS records show.

    “Crouch’s earnings went from $159,500 in 1997 to $262,915 the following year. Jan, the organization’s vice president, also received a big raise. Her earnings more than doubled, going from $159,500 to $321,375 during the same time period”. (Mike Oppenheimer. Let Us Reason Ministries).

According to 2001 IRS income tax statements, (990 forms)

    “Paul Crouch, president of California-based Trinity Christian Center of Santa Ana, received $403,700. His wife, Janice Crouch, earned $347,500 as the vice president for the organization, which broadcasts sermons nationally on the Trinity Broadcasting Network”. (www.rickross.com)

But it gets worse..  information reported on the organization’s most recent Form 990 has Paul Crouch’s compensation package at $419,000. The compensation package includes salary, cash bonuses, and unusually large expense accounts and other allowances. (www.charitynavigator.org).

“Trinity Christian City International is a dazzling 65,000-square-foot building that houses a new studio, bookstore and theater, and a richly appointed suite of offices for TBN founder Paul Crouch. It is an office building, but its TV studios are designed to look like the inside of a Gothic cathedral, complete with stained-glass windows and padded pews for the audience.

The building was designed and decorated at the direction of the Crouches, from the main lobby’s baroque marble staircase and 15-foot-high, molded polymer statue of Michael the Archangel, to the velvet settees in the executive suite.

When TBN purchased the building for $6 million, it was a drab, brown stucco-and-glass box, the former home of the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International, and the Crouches planned only minor changes. A new $1 million face was put on the building using an “exterior foam insulation system,” Hubble (whose Fort Worth, Texas, construction company put a new facade on the building) said. Balustrades, columns and other architectural features were made from styrofoam, then covered with fiberglass mesh, coated with plaster and painted.

The main fountain in front of the building is used for full-immersion baptisms and is patterned after one in New York’s Central Park. It is fed by a small aqueduct the Crouches call “the River of Life.” Hubble said it cost about $1 million, and landscaping the property tacked on about $400,000.

Much of the interior features gleaming marble floors and intricately detailed ceilings. The lobby ceiling is covered with 217 hand-painted cherubs, many depicting the faces of TBN employees’ children. The cherubs on the lobby ceiling were done by portrait artist Jane Garrison, who spent 10 months on it. She worked atop a scissors lift, a week at a time, eight to 10 hours a day, and then went home to Arkansas to rest before resuming. “By the end of the week, I kept thinking, ‘If I have to climb this ladder and do one more cherub …,’ ” she said. “But then I’d get down and think, ‘Yes, I’d like to do another.’ ” Garrison, who charges $3,000 apiece for full-length portraits at her Fayetteville studio, would not say how much she was paid for her work at TBN.

The exterior features elaborate Corinthian columns, colonial balustrades, French wrought iron and Greek colonnades with dental molding and egg-and-dart detailing. The faux brass ceilings in the bookstore and bathrooms are polished to a mirror finish. Austrian-style drapes plunge three stories from ceiling to floor. Everywhere are hand-painted gold moldings, beveled glass and portraits of cherubs.

The building also features the “Via Dolorosa,” where visitors can stroll a movie set-like replica of the Jerusalem street over which Christ carried his cross to Calvary, complete with thunder and lightning effects.

A trio of water-spewing lion heads near the main entrance are fashioned after those at William K. Vanderbilt’s Marble House in Newport, R.I. Frank McGervey, a Trabuco Canyon painting contractor who worked on other TBN projects, said the new headquarters was one “to die for.” He noted that a laborious technique was used to apply several coats of paint to interior walls, giving them a richness much like fine furniture. (Kim Christensen and Carol McGraw. The Orange County Register. June 2, 1998).

TBN’s Private Suites

Visitors may stroll the manicured grounds, browse the Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh Gift Shop and relax in a state-of-the-art Virtual Reality Theater to watch high-definition videos of the life of Christ. But what most won’t see at Trinity Broadcasting Network’s new world headquarters is founder Paul Crouch’s 8,000-square-foot executive suite, which occupies half of the top floor of the three-story building and is strictly off-limits to the public.

Behind doors kept locked throughout construction are a wet bar and sauna, a personal gym, meticulously handcrafted black walnut woodwork and ornate velvet furniture.

The third-floor quarters will serve as Crouch’s executive suite. He broadcasts his “Praise the Lord” program from the second floor of the building, dubbed Trinity Christian City International. TBN officials described the quarters as “standard executive offices” and declined The Orange County Register’s request to view them. Crouch does not grant interviews and would not comment.

But others who have been inside or helped build the suite say it is more befitting a mansion than an office building. “This makes Hearst Castle look like a doghouse,” said Steve Oliver, a master journeyman carpenter.

While scores of hired hands worked on the exterior and other public areas of the building, Oliver and others in a crew of highly skilled carpenters spent several months last year on Crouch’s private third-floor quarters. The finished product is “really rich looking,” said Willa Bouwens-Killeen, a Costa Mesa senior planner.

    “The wood is the very best quality, and they used the best craftsmen,” she said. “It looks like something you’d expect in a mansion type of house rather than offices.”

Work on the third floor was kept “under lock and key,” said Oliver, whose account was verified by others involved in the project. He said as many as 40 carpenters worked on the project at any one time, while Richard Hubble, who owns a Fort Worth construction company that put a new facade on the building, put the number at about two dozen.

In either scenario, it required a lengthy and expensive process to install and finish top-quality black walnut columns and Corinthian columns, mantels, egg-and-dart moldings, lion’s head inlays and other accouterments.

    “There were probably 25 carpenters on that floor for six months,” Hubble said. “When you figure 25 carpenters for six months at the California rate of 30 bucks or so an hour, it costs a bunch.”

Adding substantially to the cost of Crouch’s quarters were a variety of expensive, handcrafted woodwork items, including $825-apiece lions that flank the massive fireplace, and an array of columns priced at $1,500 each and up. All of the items were crafted from black walnut, said Stephen Enkeboll, president of Raymond Enkeboll Designs Architectural Woodcarvings in Carson, which caters to upscale clients.

    “It is what is called veneer quality, the highest type of wood,” he said, declining to disclose how much TBN spent on his company’s products. Money seemed of little concern, Oliver and others said.

Doors were custom-made at a carpentry shop set up at the site. Walls were straight-lined with sophisticated laser equipment, and woodwork was installed in a painstaking fashion that eliminated visible joints or nail holes. A separate crew of furniture finishers spent about two months staining and polishing the woodwork, Hubble said.

Throughout the project, Oliver said, if anything was deemed to be less than perfect, it was ripped out and discarded. After he spent three weeks meticulously straight-lining the walls of a the executive suite dining room, Oliver said, TBN officials walked in one day and told him to start over.

    “They came in, changed their minds and moved everything over a half an inch,” he said. “They threw all that work away. There’s probably 10 grand in that, and they threw it all away.” The Crouches personally inspected the work, Oliver and others said. Jan, in particular, was quick to change or discard anything she didn’t like, Oliver said.

“She came through once and was terrorizing everybody,” he said. ” ‘Throw this out, throw that out.’ You could see the smoke coming out of her.” TBN officials defended the renovation project and disputed Oliver’s contention that it is a monument to excess. “I wouldn’t say they are lavish,” art director Doug Marsh said. TBN Vice President Terrence Hickey agreed. “We have stayed to the vision God has given us,” Hickey said. “We are careful with every penny.”

He said the woodwork and other appointments are in keeping with the building’s overall design theme. Inexpensive, ultramodern furnishings would be out of place, he said. “You don’t go to IKEA and throw it in there,” he said. (By Kim Christensen and Carol McGraw. The Orange County Register. June 2, 1998.

The Crouch’s Homes

Televangelists Jan and Paul Crouch of the Costa Mesa-based Trinity Broadcasting Network have purchased a Newport Beach house for close to $5 million, Orange County Realtors say. The home was described as “a palatial estate with ocean and city views.” The Crouches had been living in a smaller house in the same neighborhood. The house they bought has six bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a billiard room, a climate-controlled wine cellar, a sweeping staircase and a crystal chandelier. The three-story, nearly 9,500-square-foot house, which has an elevator, also has a six-car garage, a tennis court and a pool with a fountain. The house is on slightly more than an acre. Jan Crouch had been wanting a bigger yard for her dogs, sources said. (Los Angeles Times, Nov 4th. 2001).

One of the Crouch estates is TBN’s ranch in Colleyville, TX, just minutes away from the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The 80-plus acre ranch is located between the city limits of Colleyville and Southlake – two of the wealthiest cities in Texas. The ranch, which contains eight houses and horse stables, is estimated to be worth about $10 million.

“Hellooooo Woorld!” yells Paul, who has seen much of it in the past 25 years. He gets around nowadays in a Canadair Challenger 600 executive jet worth about $13 million. (Orange County Register, 1998)

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