Jan Crouch dead: Trinity Broadcasting Network co-founder dies after stroke, family announce

Televangelist Jan Crouch, co-founder of Trinity Broadcasting Network, had passed away at age 78, as announced by her son Matt and his wife Laurie on their website.

Screenshot taken from "Paul and Jan Crouch | Never Give Up" video. Aug. 25, 2011. | YouTube/Paul Crouch TBN

"Laurie and I have just watched the transition of our precious mother from this world to the next; watched her step into the presence of Jesus and into her heavenly reward," the couple said in a statement. "Jan Crouch, known around the world as Momma Jan, has gone home."

The post, showing a series a Crouch's photos, expressed what a fighter she was, a woman who was persistent in spreading the Gospel. She was quick to smile and offered words of encouragement to orphans and those "orphaned in spirit." Those few who knew her best did not see her as a television personality -- to them, she was an integral part of the family.

Janice Bethany was born on March 14, 1938 to Laurie and Edgar Bethany, a preacher and an Assemblies of God official. She met Paul Crouch at a church event, began dating, and married in 1957. Their sons Paul Jr. and Matthew were born in 1959 and 1961, respectively, and TBN was founded in 1973. From a single station, it had subsequently become the world's most successful religious broadcasting network.

The Crouches had had their share of controversy, mostly due to their lavish lifestyle, and have been accused of misappropriating network funds.  

"Janice Crouch, called 'Mama' on the air, is known for her pink-tinged wigs, which look like huge swirls of cotton candy, and for talking emotionally about the Lord's blessings," wrote Erik Eckholm wrote on The New York Times in 2012 . "Mr. Crouch, or 'Papa,' is relentlessly upbeat as he quotes flurries of Bible verses on signature programs like 'Praise the Lord.'"

Paul Sr. died in 2013. Jan had a stroke on May 25 for which she was hospitalized. She passed away on May 31 in Orlando, Florida.

"Jan Crouch loved many things, but most of all she loved Jesus, and now has seen Him face to face and has experienced His grace in fullness," the post, signed by the couple and their kids, Caylan and Cody, concludes. "She has taken a piece of our hearts with her, but it's so wonderful to know that Paul and Jan Crouch are together again, in the arms of Jesus."