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I Have Walked with the Living God

I Have Walked with the Living God

by Pat Robertson


Learn More | Meet Pat Robertson

Preface

My name is Pat Robertson. I am now ninety years old. During my lifetime, I have been privileged to found a major international broadcasting company called the Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc., otherwise known as CBN, which has been responsible for the salvation of hundreds of millions of people throughout the globe.

Our Lord has led me to start a humanitarian organization called Operation Blessing, which has brought food, clothing, shelter, and medical assistance to at least 300 million people around the world.

Our Lord has also led me to start a graduate and undergraduate university that was first called CBN University and is now known as Regent University. This splendid school now has nearly 11,000 students studying multiple disciplines ranging from nursing to computer analytics to cybersecurity as well as other important courses that should be available found in a major liberal arts institution.

In my lifetime, I’ve seen prayer and Bible reading taken from the schools and cherished evidences of our Christian faith removed from the public square. As I prayed about what to do, the Lord led me to start the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ), which has a distinguished record of trying and winning cases before the United States Supreme Court and United States District Courts and Circuit Courts. This organization is one of the leading appellate advocacy groups in America.

During my lifetime, our Lord led me to start the Family Channel, which grew to an amazing 80 million paying subscribers. Later taken public on the New York Stock Exchange as International Family Entertainment (IFE), the company was acquired in a joint venture between Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and Saban Entertainment for the sum of $1.8 billion.

Because of my involvement in the political life of this country, I ran for the Republican nomination for the president of the United States in 1988. Although I did not win that election, I placed third, and from that came a grassroots movement called the Christian Coalition, which played a significant role in national and state elections throughout the 1990s and especially in the 2000 presidential election.

As I look back, there has been an ongoing life of excitement as the love of God for the world and His people has poured through these effective organizations and me. In I Have Walked with the Living God, I want to tell you about some of the wonderful things that have happened to me. I hope the experiences and stories I share will build your faith. I hope what has happened in my life will lead you to a deeper understanding of God and inspire you as you set forth on a course to serve Him.

On these pages, I will share many of the things that God has spoken to me and the miracles that He has accomplished. At one time, He said to me, “Do not fear the future, for I am the future.” I want to say to each of those who read this that when you step out into the future, you step out into the hands of a loving God who you can trust not only for tomorrow but for the next day and forever. He is all-powerful and all-knowing, and I can testify that the God I serve and have known is very present with each of us. If we listen to His voice, He will say, “This is the way; walk ye in it.”

I pray that the events I am about to describe will prove a blessing to you and will bring forth glory to Almighty God.

    PAT ROBERTSON
    VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA


1

From Commune to Broadcaster

“Sell your possessions and give to the poor and come follow me.” Little did I know that this verse of Scripture from Luke 12:33 would call me into Christian broadcasting. Perhaps God in His wisdom knew I couldn’t handle the full picture all at once. It would take me some time to understand where He was leading me. Time is something with which the Lord has blessed me. I turned ninety in the spring of 2020, grateful that I still have my mental faculties but keenly aware that the sands of time have nearly run out of the top half of the hourglass.

A man my age is allowed a certain amount of introspection as well as a recollection of past events. This seems to be as good a time as any to get started. I Have Walked With the Living God will likely be my final memoir of the incredible life that God has allowed me to experience over the last nine decades.

During my lifetime, I have walked with God along a supernatural path. It has been my privilege to behold extraordinary miracles. I have spoken to large crowds of people. I have seen unusual healings. I have encountered demonic possession. I have listened to God’s direction. I have been led by the hand of God in supernatural ways, and without question, what I have seen proves the existence of the God of the Bible. He is real and powerful and available to those who trust Him.

You probably know me as the founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, more commonly known as CBN. Our faith-affirming programming is seen in 96 percent of U.S. homes and broadcast internationally in 159 countries. Quite often, when I’m in public, people ask me, “How did you get started?”

It’s a story that only God could orchestrate, using the tools of mass communication at a time when modern television was in its infancy. I know because I was there, but at the same time, as I look back, I’m well aware that I was swept along by events and needed to rely upon the Lord every day of this incredible journey.

Many people are not aware that I grew up the son of a U.S. senator, graduated from Yale Law School, served in the Marine Corps as a 2nd lieutenant, and had plans to make it big in the business world until the Lord got a hold of my life in my mid-twenties.

After attending Biblical Seminary on East 59th Street in downtown Manhattan in the mid-1950s, I got my start in Christian ministry as a youth pastor at Bayside Community Church in Long Island. As I walked more each day with the Lord, the Holy Spirit began directing my path more and more. I was learning the clear truth of the words of the prophet Isaiah, “You will hear a voice in your ear when you turn to the right or left. This is the way, walk ye in it.”

A young family man—I had married the former Dede Elmer several years earlier in 1954, and we were raising two children, Timothy and Elizabeth—I took my role as provider seriously. I began an earnest quest to know God’s plan for my future and received several attractive offers to serve in large churches along the Eastern Seaboard. Each offer represented a good opportunity for my family and me; however, as I looked more deeply, I discovered doctrinal differences that in my mind did not square with clear, biblical teaching. A comfortable income with a pleasant parsonage and a friendly congregation would have provided a nice life, but I felt in my heart that God had something else for me.

At that time, Dede took our two children to her childhood home in Columbus, Ohio. I was left alone praying in our apartment in New York. A strong feeling came over me that I needed to be free of any encumbrances to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. As I prayed, I felt led to the twelfth chapter of Luke’s Gospel and the thirty-third verse, which reads, “Sell your possessions and give to the poor and come follow me.”

I wrote a long letter to Dede and described to her that God was speaking to me out of Luke 12:33. She immediately wrote back, “Dear, do whatever the Lord leads you to do.”

With that in mind, I put an ad in the local newspaper advertising that our early American furniture was for sale. Of course, at the time, we owned no antiques, but it was attractive factory-made sofas, chairs, etc. Right after the ad appeared, a number of people visited me and bought all of our possessions except the baby beds and our eating utensils. I took the proceeds of the sale, some $600, canceled our apartment lease, transferred the telephone, and moved in with Dick Simmons, an ordained Presbyterian minister, in a parsonage owned by the Clausen Avenue Presbyterian Church in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, New York.

This prompts me to recall what the founder of another “superstation,” Ted Turner of Atlanta-based CNN, once said: “I was cable before cable was cool.” With what Dick Simmons had set up in his parsonage, I can honestly say, “I lived in a hippie commune before communes were cool.”

Dick’s parsonage was an old brownstone in a neighborhood where crime and muggings were relatively commonplace. Residents included a former pimp who had been delivered from demon possession, a Jamaican woman who was slightly demented, and the protégé of a well-known Broadway singer who was afflicted with a serious congenital disorder.

Shortly after I moved in, Dede called me at the parsonage number and said, “Why are you taking calls in Brooklyn?”

I said, “I’ve sold our furniture and have moved to Dick Simmons’ parsonage at the Clausen Avenue Presbyterian Church.”

“You what?!?” she exclaimed.

“I told you that God was speaking to me out of Luke 12, and you said go ahead.”

“I guess I should have read your letter more closely.”

“From now on you should. It’s too late to turn back now.”

Dede had signed on for better or for worse. This part was now the worse. Dede and I and our two children shared one and a half rooms in the parsonage. We strolled to the Fulton Street Market in downtown Manhattan and purchased leftover vegetables at bargain prices after the vendors had sold a majority of their produce.

I remember buying a case of rutabagas for $1, which we had as a staple day after day until I hoped I would never see another rutabaga in my life. We stored our stock of vegetables in a pantry behind the dining room where we kept large traps to catch the rats that came to feed on our produce. Many dinners were interrupted by the snap of rat traps exploding to catch our unwanted visitors.

One day, Dick Simmons grandly announced that we would begin a “Daniel fast.”

“What is a Daniel fast?” Dede asked.

To which Dick replied, “We won’t eat meat or dessert.”

Dede spoke up angrily. “We haven’t been eating meat or dessert for some time, so what’s the big deal?”

In our worship service, we prayed to be led by the Holy Spirit. As we waited on the Lord, we would feel led to read a Psalm and sing a song out of the Presbyterian hymnal. We were delighted to find many times that the Psalms we had received by revelation were already set to music in the hymnals that the Lord led us to. This was a great training ground for walking with the Lord.

Obviously, if we felt led to sing a particular song and we were wrong, there was no great consequence. Later in life, God’s leading would have enormous consequences when we entered into major ministry.


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