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Pat Robertson Steps Down After 55 Years as Daily Host of The 700 Club

Robertson’s wife, Dede, recounted the transformation she began to see in Robertson after that day. According to Dede, Robertson poured all their liquor down the drain and began spending hours reading the Bible, which she thought “was strange.” Soon later, Robertson quit his job to begin attending seminary. 

CBN’s humble beginnings

After spending time ministering in a poor neighborhood in Brooklyn, Robertson said that one pastor spoke a prophecy over him: “You have spoken to handfuls of people. Soon, you will speak to millions.” 

Not long after, Robertson and his friend George Lauderdale set their sights on a dilapidated television studio in Portsmouth, Virginia. Though Robertson didn’t know anything about the television industry and didn’t even own a television set himself, Lauderdale convinced Robertson that God was calling him to start a broadcasting network. 

Though he didn’t have the money to purchase the broadcast facility, Robertson convinced the owner to make it the first charitable gift to the newly incorporated nonprofit Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc. CBN became the first television station in America licensed to broadcast 50 percent or more religious broadcasting.

The 700 Club launches as a fundraising telethon

In the early days of the network, budgets were often tight. Robertson began to realize that if CBN was going to survive, let alone be successful, he needed to begin investing in fundraising efforts. So in 1962, he created a telethon program called The 700 Club. Robertson named the program based on his goal to recruit 700 people to give 10 dollars a month to give the network a $7,000 monthly operating budget. 

Robertson held the telethon annually until 1966, when The 700 Club transitioned into a nightly Christian variety show with music, preaching, prayer, and interviews. As the first Christian program of its kind, The 700 Club soon became the flagship program of the network.

Reflecting on his father’s legacy and his new position as the daily host of The 700 Club, Gordon Robertson said, “ ‘Good and faithful’ doesn’t even begin to describe my father’s service to CBN for 60 years. His legacy and the example of his prayer life will continue to lead The 700 Club in the years to come.” 

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