On May 14, Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) will release a new show called “This Month in Christian History,” which focuses on things that happened during that month in the history of Christianity. Its host is Cody Crouch, who is the grandson of TBN founders Paul and Jan Crouch.
TBN describes Cody as a “new-generation Christian trailblazer making an impact for God’s Kingdom.” He is the son of Matt, who is the president of the network, and Laurie Crouch. He’s spent much of his time behind the scenes but is now stepping in front of the camera for two new shows, “This Month in Christian History” and “Centuries Collide,” which “looks at some unique historical figures, exploring their lives from a Christian perspective and how the history they made impacts the world today.”
Recently, The Daily Citizen had the opportunity to interview Cody about his new shows and the importance of history.
“I’m a big nerd, first of all, I love comic books and action figures, but the past year and a half has been pretty crazy,” Cody shared. “I got married to my wife, Audrey, we moved and I really started on my first project.”
Though Cody grew up in Hollywood, where his father was a film producer who developed projects for TBN but didn’t necessarily work for the network, he didn’t foresee himself joining the family business. In fact, Cody has a passion for drawing and wanted to work for Disney Animation. That changed when his grandfather, Paul Crouch, asked Cody’s father Matt to come back and work for the ministry.
“It wasn’t until then that I started to think, ‘One day I might be working here at TBN.’ I was 17 or 18 at the time,” he shared. “So basically, I would travel with my parents. I learned a lot being behind the camera, starting out with photography, getting my feet wet with production stuff, and I ran the camera as well. I did that for several years until I felt like it was time for me start creating my own content.”
His first inspiration came from doing a rather simple task, air dropping content between his phone and computer. It was during that process that Cody became fascinated with Bluetooth and its little icon, which is derived from the initials of Harald Bluetooth, King of Denmark (958-986). He wanted to unite all the Danes into a single kingdom, and the Bluetooth symbol on technology across the world is a rune of his initials H (ᚼ) and B (ᛒ).
“I started reading about him and it turns out that he is responsible for the Christianization of Scandinavia,” Cody explained. “So, I started creating this documentary and wrote this outline for this thing I wanted to do and showed it to my dad. He said, ‘Well that’s great, go make a bunch more episodes.’ So, it’s been a few months doing a bunch of research and putting together nine episodes of a show I call ‘Centuries Collide.’
“Basically, it takes a modern-day technology, concept or idea. For instance, social media influencers, Bluetooth technology and a bunch of modern stuff that we know about, and I trace it back through a historical figure that kind of started it in a way,” he explained.
One of the episodes will focus on Martin Luther and his “posting” of his 95 Theses on the wall of the Wittenberg Church in Germany that started the Reformation. Today, of course, we use the term posting all the time when it comes to things on social media and websites.
“Let’s go back in history and look at one of the most significant posts of all time,” he said. “I created the show, but, unfortunately, it’s still in production due to COVID.”
In the meantime, a producer at TBN approached Cody about another show related to history called “This Month in Christian History.”
“I said of course. I took this idea, a very simple idea, finding significant Christian events that happened in a particular month, create a theme around them and there is the show. I spend three months doing the research and wrote 12 one-hour episodes, one for each month of the year. We wrote, shot and are currently editing as we speak,” Cody explained.
“It was a really fun project to work on.”
Scheduled to launch on May 14, it will be slated to air on every second Friday of each month.
“This project is a lot less about the history lesson of what these episodes contain, it’s more about showing how God used people throughout history to change the world,” Cody explained. “History is important to me—it shows how far we’ve come, and I don’t really think there is a respect for history. I think viewers can expect a fun way to learn about actual Christian history through the storytelling and the fun animation pieces that we’ve built.”
Each episode will begin with Cody sharing the theme for the show and four or five stories from people who have impacted history for Christ.
For example, in April 2022 the theme will be “sacrifice” and one of the stories that the team will highlight is that of Eric Liddle, an Olympic athlete who helped inspire the film “Chariots of Fire.”
“He won gold in the Olympics, and at 22 years old gave up his fame and glory to return to his birth country of China and served the rest of his life there as a missionary and got caught up in the Japanese occupation of China. He was in an internment camp taking care of other people, and, in fact, gave up his spot in a prisoner of war exchange so that a pregnant woman could take his place and leave. He ended up dying before the camp was liberated.
“When you hear stories like that, it really puts life into perspective.”
Overall, there are about 55-60 stories throughout the entire series, each taking up about 15-20 minutes of screen time.
“It’s so important for kids to understand the past, and kids don’t know why we can practice our faith. Being able to practice our faith and worship freely is an amazing thing, and it didn’t come free. Our ancestors left religious oppression to come to a new world so that we can freely worship. We just take that for granted and we don’t recognize and respect those people whose convictions came before their comfort that allowed us to be able to practice our faith on a daily basis,” he said.
For Cody, the opportunity to learn more about history is something he doesn’t take for granted and it’s a subject he’s developed something of a passion for as he’s taken on these projects.
“I never grew up loving history, but I recently realized how important it is. I love reading and I love learning about these things,” Cody explained.
“If I had a banner to wave, so to speak, it would be, ‘How can I present history in a way that is fun so that kids can appreciate what has come before us.’ There is so much significance in the past, and so much that we can pull from the past. If we model our lives after some of history’s greatest figures, God just might use us to change the world.”
Photo from TBN