Televangelist Marion Gordon “Pat” Robertson announced Friday that he would be stepping down as the host of his Christian Broadcasting Network’s flagship show “The 700 Club” after six decades on the program.
Robertson, 91, made the announcement on-air during the 60th anniversary of CBN’s first broadcast, saying he will be putting his focus on teaching at Regent University, the Virginia Beach private Christian school he founded in 1977, while still making occasional appearances on CBN broadcasts for special projects.
“Today’s show will be my final as host of ‘The 700 Club,’” Robertson said, as reported by CBN. “My replacement will be my very capable son, Gordon, who will take over as full-time host of the program.”
The younger Robertson already serves as co-host and executive producer of “The 700 Club,” so named for a 1963 telethon during which the elder Robertson asked 700 viewers to pledge $10 a month to support the network.
“‘Good and faithful’ doesn’t even begin to describe my father’s service to CBN for 60 years,” Gordon Robertson said in a statement.
“His legacy and the example of his prayer life will continue to lead ‘The 700 Club’ in the years to come,” he continued. “And the best part is, he is just going across the street to Regent University and will be on ‘The 700 Club’ regularly in the future.”
The longtime television host, who initially founded CBN in 1960 to promote conservative Christian content, is well known for interviewing high-profile political figures, including former presidents of the United States such as Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump.
That’s in addition to Robertson’s sometimes controversial commentary and predictions on current events.
One of his more infamous takes on an issue of the day occurred in 1985 when Robertson said his prayers helped deflect Hurricane Gloria from the Virginia coast, the location of his company’s headquarters. Gloria hit New York and New England.
Robertson has since made several dubious statements about hurricanes as instruments of God’s wrath. He did, however, credit Hurricane Gloria with spurring his unsuccessful campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in the 1988 election, launched exactly 34 years ago.
More recently, Roberts has backtracked on some of his predictions, including a claim that God told him Trump would win re-election.
Robertson has since acknowledged that President Joe Biden won the 2020 election, and told The Hill that Trump’s assertion that the election was stolen from him indicates he “lives in an alternate reality.”
He went on to say he thinks a second Trump run for the presidency in 2024 would “be a mistake,” adding his preferred candidate is former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.
A polarizing figure, Robertson’s announcement that he is stepping down as host of “The 700 Club” drew varied reactions on social media.
Liza Minnelli has outlived Pat Robertson's time as the host of “The 700 Club.” The anti-gay televangelist has previously blamed LGBT people for hurricanes and Covid.
— LizaMinnelliOutlives (@LiZaOutlives) October 1, 2021
In honor of Pat Robertson's retirement, we're gonna repost this 2013 clip where he claimed that gay people wear special rings to infect others with AIDS. CBN edited it out of the broadcast and then tried to take down our videos to hide it. They failed. https://t.co/7PllSbDn1F https://t.co/qREKV46oxx pic.twitter.com/u5Lnqwa1IA
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) October 1, 2021
Today on the 60th anniversary of the @700Club being on air, my wonderful grandfather Pat Robertson announced his retirement from TV. I’m so grateful for the years I’ve had working w/ him and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for him & CBN in this new season to come! ❤️🙌 pic.twitter.com/Q2wLgFTCE9
— Abigail Robertson (@AbigailCBN) October 1, 2021