Pat Robertson Steps Down From Longtime '700 Club' Role

(Facebook/CBN)

Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, announced today on the 60th anniversary of CBN's first broadcast (Oct.1, 1961), that he has stepped down as the host of the long-running The 700 Club program.

"Today's show will be my final as host of The 700 Club, "said Robertson. "My replacement will be my very capable son, Gordon, who will take over as full-time host of the program."

During his time as host of The 700 Club, which began production in 1966, Robertson searched the world to interview interesting guests for his audience. Highlights include:

— Exclusive interviews with United States Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, George H. Bush and Donald Trump

— In-depth interviews with a dozen prime ministers of the state of Israel, including Yitzhak Rabin Shimon Peres, Menachem Begin, Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert.

— An interview with nuclear scientist Khidir Hamza, who was in charge of Saddam Hussein's atomic research, during which he learned conclusively that Saddam was unable to manufacture a nuclear weapon, clearly disproving the claim of the existence of weapons of mass destruction by then-U.S. President George W. Bush.

— Robertson met in Africa with rebel warlord Jonas Savimbi. He also traveled by small airplane to rebel-held Mozambique to interview Afonso Dhlakama, leader of the Army known as RENAMO.

— He journeyed to Quetta, Pakistan, on the border of Afghanistan and sat on the floor of a tent to speak to leaders of a group known as the Mujahadin which later morphed into al-Qaida. Robertson went to hospitals and viewed the suffering caused in the civilian population by Russian atrocities. He was able to predict to his audience the decline of Soviet power resulting from their losses in Afghanistan.

— During the span of 1967-85, an intelligence official named John Walker leaked to the Soviets the war plans of the American Atlantic Fleet. No one knew of the source of the leak until a member of the family of John Walker contacted Robertson and appeared on The 700 Club with the identity of the spy who was her father.

— Robertson interviewed the presidents of South Africa, Zambia, Angola, Zaire, Vietnam and virtually all of the leaders of Latin America.

— He traveled to China and brought to his audience an exclusive interview with Prime Minister Zhu Rongji and on subsequent visits met with the minister of poverty alleviation in China to show the desperate plight of the poor in that nation.

— Robertson brought to his viewers fascinating guests such as physicist Edward Teller and futurist Alvin Toffler, and other scientists, authors, statesmen and composers, as well as providing spiritual teachings, insights, prayers and inspiration.

— Robertson was responsible for replacing the live band on The 700 Club with a segment featuring news and analysis presented by a dedicated news team bringing The 700 Club viewers insight into world events. Today, CBN News is a national/international, nonprofit news organization that provides programming 24 hours a day by cable, satellite and the internet. Staffed by a group of acclaimed news professionals, CBN News delivers stories from its headquarters in Virginia Beach and bureaus in Washington, D.C., Jerusalem and elsewhere around the world.

Starting in October, Robertson will appear on a monthly, interactive episode of The 700 Club to answer viewer emails. He will also remain available as a senior consultant on international affairs, appearing occasionally as news warrants.

Robertson looks forward to devoting his energy and experience full time to helping train and equip members of the 11,000-strong student body of Regent University as they are preparing to become "Christian Leaders to Change the World."

To commemorate the 60th anniversary, CBN today released a documentary, The CBN Story, available at CBNFamily.com. The documentary looks at the humble beginnings of CBN, from the early formative years and miraculous growth to today's global impact of the Christian Broadcasting Network. Narrated by Kevin Sorbo, The CBN Story is told through archival photographs, powerful interviews and newly discovered footage.

"'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," said Gordon Robertson, who has served as co-host and executive producer of The 700 Club for two decades. "And the best part is, he is just going across the street to Regent University and will be on The 700 Club regularly in the future."

The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) was founded in 1960. In 1961 CBN launched the first Christian television station in the U.S. authorized to broadcast Christian programming full time, based in Portsmouth, Virginia. Since then, CBN has become a major producer of Christian programs and content, broadcasting to 174 countries and territories and working in 70 languages and dialects. Superbook is CBN's ongoing series of animated Bible adventures, with home and Sunday school lessons, and a free children's Bible app. Also, CBN.com and related international websites carry inspirational and ministry content to millions. CBN News broadcasts 24/7 via the internet from studios in Virginia; Washington, D.C.; and Jerusalem. CBN donors help support humanitarian work including feeding, medical, orphan and disaster relief programs.

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