Percy B. Crawford was the founder, chief architect and spiritual strategist of the Crawford Broadcasting Company.
Percy B. Crawford was born October 20, 1902 in Minnedosa, Manitoba Canada. He was raised in Vancouver, British Columbia the youngest of three boys. At an early age, he immigrated to the USA and finished his high school education at the YMCA school in Portland, Oregon. He then prepared to enter the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in the Fall of 1923. While in Los Angeles, he attended a Sunday morning service at Reuben A. Torrey’s Church of the Open Door and on September 23, 1923 was converted under the preaching of itinerant evangelist Willie Nicholson. He determined thereafter to devote his entire life to the service of his new Lord Jesus Christ.
He was educated at the Bible Institute of Los Angeles (BIOLA) during which time he identified his God-given gift for evangelism. He offered himself unstintingly to the service of his Lord stating:
I’ll give you every drop of blood I have.
Thereafter he went to Wheaton College earning a bachelor’s degree in 1929, became a United States citizen that very year and attended Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia where his evangelistic ministry began. In Philadelphia, he met, married and made his musical partner for life his wife Ruth Duvall and together their ministry began.
In 1931, they started the radio program The Young People’s Church of the Air on one station but soon the program was heard on over 400 radio stations on the mutual radio network. The newly married couple started the Pinebrook Bible Conference in 1933 followed by youth camps Shadowbrook and Mountainbrook thereafter. Percy Crawford founded the King’s College in 1936, a Christian liberal arts college in Belmar, New Jersey. The college now operates in Manhattan, New York City.
In 1949, the Crawford couple started the television program Youth on the March on the ABC television network, coast-to-coast, followed by a stint for two years on the Dumont television network in 1953 and 1954.
In 1958, Percy Crawford saw the ever-increasing difficulty of Christian programming in acquiring broadcast time on radio or television outlets. He therefore determined to own and operate his own radio and television stations and during the period 1958 to 1960, acquired six radio stations and a construction permit for a seventh which stations were located in Miami, Des Moines, Portland, Chicago, Lancaster and Detroit with a construction permit in Buffalo, New York. Dr. Crawford passed away in 1960 after having acquired Channel 17 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, owned and operated by the Young People’s Church of the Air.
Donald B. Crawford, the son of Dr. Percy Crawford, took over the company in 1961 and with strategic acquisitions grew the company into what it is today. In 1980, KBRT(AM) in Los Angeles was acquired. This station, along with the other five, formed the core of the Crawford Broadcasting Company from 1980 to 1991. An expansion program began in 1991, and key purchases were made in Portland, San Francisco, Denver, St. Louis, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany. Later acquisitions were made in Chicago, Rochester, Albany and Birmingham. The company’s rapid growth was accomplished almost entirely through its own resources and its considerable ability to generate cash flow.
Today, the Crawford Broadcasting Company owns and operates 9 FM radio stations and 13 AM radio stations in 10 different markets. The company strives to be local, relevant and current with its programming, presenting the very best in Christian programming and conservative talk programming. Donald Crawford has followed the philosophy of its founder and guiding light Dr. Percy B. Crawford. The company continues to build on the rich spiritual heritage and is determined to make a difference in an ever-growing secular America by serving and presenting programming which honors GOD AND COUNTRY.
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