PAT ROBERTSON MINISTRIES
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Pat Robertson of Pat Robertson Ministries was born Marion Gordon on March 22, 1930 to A. Willis Robertson and Gladys Churchill Robertson.
His father served for 34 years in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.
Robertson's ancestry includes Benjamin Harrison, a signer of
the Declaration of
Robertson also shares ancestry with Winston Churchill.
including the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), the Christian Coalition, Flying Hospital, International Family Entertainment, Operation Blessing International Relief and Development Corporation, and Regent University. He is the host of The 700 Club, a Christian TV program airing on channels throughout the United States and on CBN affiliates worldwide.
Robertson is a Southern Baptist and was active as an ordained minister with that denomination for many years, but holds to a charismatic theology not traditionally common among Southern Baptists. He unsuccessfully campaigned to become the Republican Party's nominee in the 1988 presidential election.
As a result of his seeking political office, he no longer serves in an official role for any church. His media and financial resources make him a recognized, influential, and controversial public voice for conservative Christianity in the United States.
Robertson of Pat Robertson Ministries was born in Lexington, Virginia, into a prominent political family. His parents were Absalom Willis Robertson, a conservative Democratic United States Senator, and his wife Gladys Churchill (née Willis). He married Adelia "Dede" Elmer on August 26, 1954. His family includes four children, among them Gordon P. Robertson, and fourteen grandchildren.
At a young age, Robertson was given the nickname of Pat by his six-year-old brother, Willis Robertson, Jr., who enjoyed patting him on the cheeks when he was a baby while saying "pat, pat, pat". As he got older, Robertson thought about which first name he would like people to use. He considered "Marion" to be effeminate, and "M. Gordon" to be affected, so he opted for his childhood nickname "Pat".
His strong awareness for the importance of names in the creation of a public image showed itself again during his presidential run when he threatened to sue NBC news for calling him a "television evangelist", which later became "televangelist", at a time when Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker were objects of scandal. He insisted upon being called a "religious broadcaster".
From 1940 until 1946 he attended The McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He graduated with honors and enrolled at Washington and Lee University, where he majored in history. The claim that he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, a prestigious national honor society, is not substantiated by the Phi Beta Kappa membership directory. He also joined Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
In 1948, the draft was reinstated and Robertson was given the option of joining the Marine Corps or being drafted into the army. He opted for the former, which allowed him to finish college under the condition that he attend Officer Candidates School (OCS) in Quantico, Virginia during the summer.
He graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree and was the first person to be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant at a graduation ceremony at Washington and Lee. In January 1951, Robertson served four months in Japan, "doing rehabilitation training for Marines wounded in Korea."
In his words, "We did long, grueling marches to toughen the men, plus refresher training in firearms and bayonet combat." In the same year, he transferred to Korea, "I ended up at the headquarters command of the First Marine Division," says Robertson.
The Division was in combat in the hot and dusty, then bitterly cold portion of North Korea just above the 38th Parallel later identified as the Punchbowl and Heartbreak Ridge. For that service in the Korean War, the Marine Corps awarded me three battle stars for action against the enemy.
Robertson was promoted to First Lieutenant in 1952 upon his return to the United States. He then went on to receive a Bachelor of Laws degree from Yale University Law School in 1955. However, he failed to pass the bar exam, shortly thereafter underwent his religious conversion, and decided against pursuing a career in law. Instead, Robertson attended the New York Theological Seminary, and was awarded a Master of Divinity degree in 1959.
In 1956 Robertson found his faith through Dutch missionary Cornelius Vanderbreggen, who impressed Robertson both by his lifestyle and his message. Vanderbreggen quoted Proverbs (3:5, 6),
In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths", which Robertson considers to be the "guiding principle" of his life. Soon afterwards, he was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues for the first time. He was ordained as a minister of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1961.
The beginning of Pat Robertson Ministries was in 1960, when Robertson established the Christian Broadcasting Network in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He started it by buying a small UHF station in nearby Portsmouth. Later in 1977 he purchased a local-access cable channel in the Hampton Roads area and called it CBN. Originally he went door-to-door in Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads, and other surrounding areas asking Christians to buy cable boxes so that they could receive his new channel.
He also canvassed local churches in the Virginia Beach area to do the same and solicited donations through public speaking engagements at local churches and on CBN. One of his friends, the pastor of Rock Church Virginia Beach John Giminez was influential in helping Robertson establish Pat Robertson Ministries with donations, as well as offering the services of volunteers from his church.
Pat Robertson Ministries is now seen in 180 countries and broadcast in 71 languages. He founded the CBN Cable Network, which was renamed the CBN Family Channel in 1988 and later simply the Family Channel. When the Family Channel became too profitable for Robertson to keep it under the CBN umbrella without endangering CBN's nonprofit status, he formed International Family Entertainment Inc. in 1990 with the Family Channel as its main subsidiary.
Pat Robertson Ministries sold the Family Channel to the News Corporation in 1997, which renamed it Fox Family. A condition of the sale was that the station would continue airing Robertson's television program, The 700 Club, twice a day in perpetuity, regardless of any changes of ownership. The channel is now owned by Disney and run as "ABC Family". On December 3, 2007, Robertson resigned as chief executive of CBN and was succeeded by his son, Gordon.
on CBN's Virginia Beach campus. It was renamed Regent University in 1989. Robertson serves as its chancellor. He is also founder and president of the American Center for Law and Justice, a public interest law firm that defends Christians whose First Amendment rights have allegedly been violated.
The law firm, headquartered in the same building that houses Regent's law school, focuses on "pro-family, pro-liberty and pro-life" cases nationwide. Robertson is also an advocate of Christian dominionism, the idea that Christians have a right to rule.
In 1994, he was a signer of the document Evangelicals and Catholics Together.
In September, 1986, Pat Robertson Ministries announced Robertson's intention to seek the Republican nomination for President of the United States. Robertson said he would pursue the nomination only if three million people signed up to volunteer for his campaign by September, 1987.
Three million responded, and by the time Robertson announced he'd be running in September 1987, he also had raised millions of dollars for his campaign fund. He surrendered his ministerial credentials and turned leadership of Pat Robertson Ministries over to his son, Tim. His campaign, however, against incumbent Vice President George H. W. Bush, was seen as a long shot.
Robertson ran on a very conservative platform. Among his policies, he wanted to ban pornography, reform the education system, and eliminate departments such as the Department of Education and the Department of Energy. He also supported a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget.
in early 1988, Robertson's campaign was attacked because of a statement he had made about his military service. In his campaign literature, he stated he was a combat Marine who served in the Korean War. Other Marines in his battalion contradicted Robertson's version, claiming he had never spent a day in a combat environment.
Robertson's campaign got off to a strong second-place finish in the Iowa caucus, ahead of Bush. Robertson did poorly in the subsequent New Hampshire primary, however, and was
He later spoke at the 1988 Republican National Convention in New Orleans and told his remaining supporters to cast their votes for Bush, who ended up winning the nomination and the election. He then returned to Pat Robertson Ministries and has remained there as a religious broadcaster.
Pat Robertson Ministries is also the founder of International Family Entertainment Inc., Regent University, Operation Blessing International Relief and Development Corporation and several other organizations and broadcast entities. Robertson was the founder and co-chairman of International Family Entertainment Inc.
Formed Pat Robertson Ministries in 1990, IFE produced and distributed family entertainment and information programming worldwide. IFE's principal business was The Family Channel, a satellite delivered cable-television network with 63 million U.S. subscribers. IFE, a publicly held company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, was sold in 1997 to Fox Kids Worldwide, Inc. for $1.9 billion, whereupon it was renamed Fox Family Channel. Disney acquired FFC in 2001 and its name was changed again, to ABC Family.
the United Kingdom, and Africa.. He struck a deal with Pittsburgh, PA-based General Nutrition Center to produce and market a weight-loss shake he created and promoted on the 700 Club TV show.
In 1999, Pat Robertson Ministries entered into a joint venture with the Bank of Scotland to provide financial services in the United States. However, the move was met with criticism in the UK due to Robertson's views on homosexuality. After Robertson commented that Scotland was "a dark land overrun by homosexuals", the Bank of Scotland canceled the venture.
Robertson's extensive business interests have earned him a net worth estimated between $200 million and $1 billion. After his unsuccessful presidential campaign, Pat Robertson Ministries started the Christian Coalition, a 1.7 million member Christian right organization that campaigned mostly for conservative candidates.
It became, almost instantly, one of the most influential organizations in American politics and one of the largest and most powerful lobbying groups in the United States. However, the organization's popularity has faded somewhat. It was sued by the Federal Election Commission "for coordinating its activities with Republican candidates for office in 1990, 1992 and 1994 and failing to report its expenditures"
In 1994, the Coalition was fined for "improperly aiding, then Representative Newt Gingrich (R-GA) and Oliver North, who was then the Republican Senate nominee in Virginia." Robertson left the Coalition in 2001.
his support extends beyond the Christian community. In 2002, Pat Robertson Ministries received the State of Israel Friendship Award from the Zionist Organization of America for his consistent support for a Greater Israel. In that year the Coalition for Jewish Concerns also expressed its gratitude to Robertson for "unwavering support for Israel" and "standing up to evil".
Pat Robertson Ministries has also been a governing member of the Council for National Policy (CNP). Seekgod.ca, which describes itself as "an independent Christian research and apologetics ministry" listed him on the CNP Board of Governors 1982, President Executive Committee 1985–86, member, 1984, 1988, 1998.
On November 7, 2007, Pat Robertson Ministries announced the endorsing of Rudy Giuliani to be the Republican nominee in the 2008 Presidential election.
While usually associated with the political right, Pat Robertson has recently begun endorsing environmental causes. He appears in a commercial with Al Sharpton, joking about this, and urging people to join the We can Solve it Campaign against global warming.
In January 2009, on a Pat Robertson Ministries broadcast of the 700 Club television show, Robertson stated that he is "adamantly opposed" to the division of Jerusalem between Israel and the Palestinians.
but will be the "battle of Jerusalem," when "the forces of all nations come together and try to take Jerusalem away from the Jews. The Jews are not going to give up Jerusalem but the rest of the world is going to insist they give it up."
Robertson added that Jerusalem is a "spiritual symbol that must not be given away" because "Jesus Christ the Messiah will come down to the part of Jerusalem that the Arabs want," and that's "not good."
Robertson is outspoken in both his faith and his politics and controversies surrounding him have often made headlines. Several times near New Year Robertson has announced that God told him several truths or events that would happen in the following year. "I have a relatively good track record," he said. "Sometimes I miss."
In late 1976, Robertson predicted that the end of the world was coming in November or October 1982. In a May 1980 broadcast of The 700 Club he stated, "I guarantee you by the end of 1982 there is going to be a judgment on the world."
In May 2006, Robertson of Pat Robertson Ministries declared that storms and possibly a tsunami would hit America's coastline sometime in 2006. Robertson supposedly received this revelation from God during an annual personal prayer retreat in January.
about 2006, the coasts of America will be lashed by storms." On May 17, 2006 he elaborated, "There well may be something as bad as a tsunami in the Pacific Northwest."
While this claim didn't garner the same level of controversy as some of his other statements, it was generally received with mild amusement by the Pacific Northwest media. The History Channel's initial airing of its new series, Mega Disasters: West Coast Tsunami, was broadcast the first week of May.
On the January 2, 2007 Pat Robertson Ministries broadcast of The 700 Club, Robertson said that God spoke to him and told him that "mass killings" were to come during 2007, due to a terrorist attack on the United States.
He added, "The Lord didn't say nuclear. But I do believe it will be something like that." When a terrorist attack failed to happen in 2007, Robertson said, in January 2008, "All I can think is that somehow the people of God prayed and God in his mercy spared us."
On the January 2, 2008 episode of The 700 Club, Pat Robertson predicted that 2008 would be a year of worldwide violence. He also predicted that a recession would occur in the United States that would be followed by a stock market crash by 2010.
In October 2008 Pat Robertson Ministries posted a press release on the Georgian Conflict speculating that the conflict is a Russian ploy to enter the Middle East, and that instability caused by a predicted pre-emptive strike by Israel on Iran would result in Syria and Iran launching nuclear strikes on other targets.
nuclear strikes on American soil are also pending. "We will suffer grave economic damage, but will not engage in military action to stop the conflict. However, we may not be spared nuclear strikes against coastal cities. In conclusion, it is my opinion that we have between 75 and 120 days before the Middle East starts spinning out of control."
Pat Robertson Ministries carry's twenty-one books that pastor Robertson authored.
"The Secret Kingdom" was number three on Time magazine’s national non-fiction list.
"The New World Order" was number four on the New York Times’ non-fiction list of America’s best selling books.
"Answers to 100 of Life’s Most Probing Questions," and "The New World Order" were each in their respective year of publication the number one religious book in America.
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