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'700 Club' Co-Host Ben Kinchlow to Leave CBN Show

January 27, 1988|Associated Press

NORFOLK, Va. — Ben Kinchlow, co-host of the Christian Broadcast Network's "The 700 Club" and the network's executive vice president for ministry, resigned Tuesday, saying he is "going home to seek the Lord."

"Over the past several months, he has been speaking to me," Kinchlow said on Tuesday morning's program. "I believe he really wants me to spend some time searching for his direction.

"At this point, I need to set aside some time to seek his face."

His resignation is effective March 1. Benton Miller, a spokesman for the Virginia Beach-based network founded by Pat Robertson, said no decision has been made on Kinchlow's replacement.

Kinchlow, 49, joined "The 700 Club" in 1975. He and Robertson served as co-hosts until 1986, when Robertson left to campaign for the Republican presidential nomination and was replaced by Tim Robertson, his son.

Donations to "The 700 Club" and CBN have dropped since then.

USA Today reported in January that the PTL ministry founded by Jim and Tammy Bakker was attempting to hire Kinchlow for its program. Kinchlow denied that he would join PTL, which has been troubled since Bakker stepped down in a sex scandal last March.

"I'm not going to any organization, secular or sacred, at this point," he said Tuesday. "I'm going home to seek the Lord."

"The 700 Club" is seen by an estimated 16.3 million households monthly. As part of his duties, Kinchlow, a former black radical who says he wanted to make war on white America before his religious conversion, oversaw the network's Operation Blessing, which provides food, shelter and other necessities to low-income families.

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