Veteran NRB Member Pat Robertson Leaves a Lasting Legacy as Christian Broadcasting Pioneer
WASHINGTON, D.C. (NRB) — National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), the world’s leading association of Christian communicators, mourns the passing of celebrated Christian broadcaster, evangelist, humanitarian, and founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), Pat Robertson, on June 8.
“Pat Robertson’s influence on the field of Christian television broadcasting cannot be overstated, and we commend his lifetime of leadership in global media ministry and humanitarian outreach,” said NRB President & CEO Troy A. Miller. “We were blessed to have Robertson and CBN as veteran members of the NRB. We send our heartfelt condolences to the Robertson family, and while we mourn his passing, we know that Pat Robertson is now with our Lord and Savior.”
M. G. “Pat” Robertson achieved national and international recognition as a religious broadcaster, philanthropist, educator, religious leader, businessman, and author. He was the founder and chairman of The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) Inc., and founder of International Family Entertainment Inc., Regent University, Operation Blessing International Relief and Development Corporation, American Center for Law and Justice, The Flying Hospital, Inc. and several other organizations and broadcast entities.
Founded in 1960, CBN was the first Christian television network established in the United States. Today CBN is one of the world’s largest television ministries and produces programming seen in 200 nations and heard in 70 languages including Russian, Arabic, Spanish, French and Chinese. CBN’s flagship program, The 700 Club, can be seen in 97 percent of television markets across the United States and is one of the longest running religious television shows.
Marion Gordon “Pat” Robertson was born on March 22, 1930, in Lexington, Virginia, to A. Willis Robertson and Gladys Churchill Robertson. After graduating with honors from McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, a military prep school, Robertson entered Washington and Lee University in 1946, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. In 1948 he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. After graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington and Lee in 1950, Robertson served as the assistant adjutant of the First Marine Division in combat in Korea. He was promoted to first lieutenant in 1952 upon his return to the United States. Robertson received a juris doctor degree from Yale University Law School in 1955 and a master of divinity degree from New York Theological Seminary in 1959.
In November 1959 Robertson left New York with his wife, Adelia “Dede” Robertson, and their three children and drove to Tidewater, Virginia, where he planned to buy a bankrupt UHF television station in Portsmouth. Arriving with only seventy dollars in his pocket, Robertson proceeded to raise the finances to purchase the station. CBN was formed January 11, 1960, and on October 1, 1961, CBN went on the air for the first time.
Throughout his lifetime, Robertson was the recipient of numerous awards for his broadcasting accomplishments and humanitarian efforts, including NRB’s Award of Merit (1974) and Christian Broadcaster of the Year (1989). In 1986, Robertson was inducted into the NRB Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame award is NRB’s most prestigious award and is presented to an individual NRB member for invaluable contributions to the field of Christian communications, exhibition of the highest standards of excellence, and evidence of faithfulness to Christ. Robertson served on the NRB Board of Directors from 2003-2006.
Robertson’s beloved wife Dede went to be with the Lord on April 19, 2022, at the age of 94.
NRB is a nonpartisan, international association of Christian communicators whose member organizations represent millions of listeners, viewers, and readers. NRB’s mission is twofold: To protect the free speech rights of our members to speak Biblical truth, by advocating those rights in governmental, corporate, and media sectors; and to foster excellence, integrity, and accountability in our membership by providing networking, educational, ministry, and relational opportunities. Learn more at www.nrb.org.
About the NRB Convention
The annual NRB International Christian Media Convention is the largest nationally and internationally recognized event dedicated solely to assisting those in the field of Christian communications. The dynamic and award-winning Exposition consists of dozens of organizations and is an active marketplace for those seeking products and services to enhance their organization. The next Convention will be held February 20-23, 2024, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, Nashville, Tenn. For more information, go to www.nrbconvention.org.