Paul F. Crouch, co-founder of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, died Saturday at age 79

(CNN) -- Paul F. Crouch, co-founder of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, died Saturday at age 79, according to his website and the network's Facebook page.

"We are grateful for the life of this amazing servant of God. Please pray for the Crouch family during this time," said the announcement.

No further details on the televangelist's death were immediately available.

On November 5, TBN said Crouch fell ill and was hospitalized in Texas in late October. He returned to California for treatment of "his heart and related health issues," a network spokesman said. Crouch received a pacemaker in 2012.

TBN, based in Orange County, California, bills itself as the most-watched faith channel in the United States.

Kenneth Thomas, a commenter on the TBN Facebook page, said of Crouch: "He was a great blessing to the body of Christ and to the world!"

Crouch, a native of St. Joseph, Missouri, began his broadcasting career in the 1950s, working at commercial stations. The pastor worked for the Assemblies of God in Burbank, California, during the early 1960s, operating its TV and film production.

In 1973, he and his wife, Jan, founded TBN, according to his website biography.

Among the TBN programs they hosted is "Praise the Lord," known for its ornate sets and diverse programming.

The network has a substantial international following; Crouch appeared on the show from Madrid, Spain, in October.

A network tribute posted Saturday afternoon said Crouch was a "television visionary" committed to spreading the gospel.

TBN has 84 satellite channels and thousands of television and cable affiliates around the world, according to the website.

"In a world filled with wars, disasters, plagues, and political turmoil TBN helps viewers understand major world events," it says.

Crouch served on the board of The Holy Land Experience, a biblical museum and experience in Orlando, Florida.

™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.


Comments