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The 700 Club

Humble Beginnings of the 700 Club

Jarrod Anderson - CBN Films Producer/Director

Pat Robertson realized that if CBN was going to survive and stay on the air, it was time to get serious about fundraising. So, he created a special telethon program asking viewers to call in and donate.

Pat remembers, “And I called it The 700 Club Telethon because I figured if we had 700 people who would give 10 dollars a month, I would have 7,000 dollars a month and I would be able to operate this thing. So, I went on the air asking for help. I got 330 people. Total. For 10 bucks a month. That's all! So, it wasn't exactly a cascade of cash.”

As he worked to build the new television network, Pat had also launched an FM radio station. The call letters were WXRI, the first three Greek letters of the name of Christ. At first, the station was broadcast through an antique transmitter in someone’s garage. But despite its small beginnings, this radio station was about to make a giant impact on the region.  

Pat recalls, “We had what we call Revival Prayer for Tidewater. And this announcer said, ‘Every day the staff of WRXI bows to pray for revival in Tidewater and around the world.’ So, we had a 15-minute prayer at noon every day praying for revival. And we did that day after day after day for about 7 years.”

In 1965, those prayers over the radio would be answered on television when Pat started taking prayer requests from viewers.

“God moved in, He moved in dramatically and people in the audience were being waked up out of a sound sleep and they would call in and say, ‘We can't go to sleep until we make a pledge.’ A woman called and said, ‘I am walking softly in my home because I feel the presence of God in my own home where your radio is playing.’ Some of the operators were sweet little Baptist ladies who had never prayed for a sick person in their life, who suddenly were on the phones praying and God began to heal the person. And these women were just excited saying, ‘God just healed somebody!’ Miracles began to happen all over Tidewater. The move of God, people sensed the presence of God. That was what God had intended us to do. And from that, we started a program called The 700 Club program.”

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