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TBN’s Holy Land Theme Park in Orlando, Which Cost $130 Million, Demolished

por Barry Bowen
holy land experience
The Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Fla., a $130 million project of Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), has been demolished. (Public domain / Video screengrab)

The Holy Land Experience, one of America’s largest biblical theme parks, lies in ruins, after Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) spent more than $130 million on the project.

AdventHealth purchased the Orlando, Fla., property from TBN in 2021 for $32 million. According to Orlando TV station WESH, AdventHealth submitted plans to build a hospital on the site.

Demolition is currently underway. Adam, host of TheDailyWoo YouTube channel, recently visited Holy Land Experience and documented the theme park’s destruction.

Purchase and operation of theme park proved costly

Religion News Blog reported in 2007 that TBN spent $37 million to acquire Holy Land Experience.

The purchase involved three financial transactions: TBN paid off an $8 million loan from Grace Foundation to Holy Land Ministries, spent $12 million to acquire land from Sola Scriptura, and donated $17 million to Master’s Gate Foundation.

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According to Trinity Foundation sources, The Holy Land Experience became TBN co-founder Jan Crouch’s pet project. Jan oversaw remodels and new exhibits as the theme park produced Broadway-style musicals.

TBN co-founder Jan Crouch (right) and actor Les Cheveldayoff, who played Jesus at the theme park, are pictured in an interview. (Video screengrab)

The Holy Land Experience became a money pit and was subsidized by donations from TBN.

A review of The Holy Land Experience financial disclosure documents (Form 990) shows that from 2007 to 2020, TBN made $96,764,685 worth of donations to Holy Land Experience Ministries, which included $28,530,154 in non-cash donations in 2010.

holy land theme park
Analysis: TBN funds transferred to Holy Land Experience and related entities (Source: Trinity Foundation)

Holy Land Experience sold in 2021

Matthew Crouch became president of TBN in 2016, the year Jan died. In addition to discontinuing TBN’s annual Praise-A-Thon fundraisers, Matthew made programming changes to appeal to a younger and more diverse TV audience.

As the network relied less on donations, TBN sold assets. The network’s Costa Mesa, Calif., studio was acquired by a real estate developer.

When Covid forced Holy Land Experience to close in 2020, TBN began searching for a buyer. The sale of Holy Land Experience would help TBN streamline its operations and allow the Crouches to spend more time at other TBN facilities.

holy land theme park
The Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Florida. (Video screengrab)

Though their private jet is owned by Trinity Broadcasting of Florida, Matthew and his wife Laurie Crouch rarely fly to Florida.

Trinity Foundation’s Pastor Planes project (Instagram y Gorjeo) tracks church and ministry aircraft daily since 2021. The project revealed that the Crouches spend most of their time in four locations: southern California (TBN studio located in Santa Ana), Texas (TBN offices in Fort Worth and Irving), Colorado (TBN-owned Little Papoose Ranch) and Italy (home of Televisione Cristiana in Italia and Trinity Broadcasting Network Europe).

Este artículo fue publicado originalmente por Trinity Foundation.

Barry Bowen es un miembro del personal de Fundación Trinidad, una organización pública sin fines de lucro con sede en Dallas, Texas, que ha estado rastreando el fraude religioso y ayudando a las víctimas durante más de 30 años. 



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30 pensamientos sobre “TBN’s Holy Land Theme Park in Orlando, Which Cost $130 Million, Demolished”

  1. Note to victims of evangelical good ideas. We don’t need any more money pits. If you’re ever asked to fund a wonderful, super inspiring godly place to learn about god, walk away. 130 million in mostly “tithed” money just was flushed down the drain. Let’s see TBN and baker and few others using your money for their glorification. Yeah. Right. I’m 68YO and have been listening to every con job err godly endeavors since the seventies. Ya wanna get people excited about god? It’s called church and small group Bible studies. Word of advice. If anybody uses any form of guilt or informs you they heard a word from the lord to get you to follow their plans!!! It ain’t from god. Anyone can say god spoke to them a word of knowledge, assume unless god gives you the same discernment, it’s their voices there hearing. If you have to tell me or convince me you’re right merely on saying god spoke to so and so it’s false. Now let’s get them rocks out for some OT method of dealing with false prophets. Class dismissed.

  2. cynthia norbeck

    …”When Covid forced Holy Land Experience to close in 2020..”

    Um….Covid didn’t actually close anything. People did. As in, The Biden Administration and his “experts.”

    1. Well, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a political agenda of Biden to shut down Bibleland. It was the low attendance and interest before Covid that did Bibleland in.

      Not everything is a victim of the so-called “cancel culture” of the Woke left.

      1. I am no really sure why Trump along with all things political is being blamed for covid 19
        The democrats might feel happy when they remember that Trump kept saying to appease everyone that he was bringing out a vacine against covid at lighting speed and he did. He also pointed out that he had covid and survived due to taking the “Trump drug”. Buy the way I ring up sales all day next to a hospital. Had a really tired customer.She said she had recently tested positive for covid. In her delirium someone whispered in her ear to “ask for the Trump drug”. She did, and felt progressively better until she survived, and was standing before me. To bad covid is so political that a random Dr has to whisper that into a random patients ear. Please haters take note.

        1. Well let’s go back and remember it correctly, he denied it being in America for months, refused to listen to medical experts, even when a vaccine was made and HE got the shot (wouldn’t do it on camera) he continued to doubt the vaccine to his followers. There is a reason most deaths of covid were in Trump districts across the country.

          1. Actually during the first Covid press conference late Feb 2020 Trump said there are only a few cases here. He didn’t deny it was in the U.S. With respect to the vaccine, it has now been proven and acknowledged by CDC that it made little difference in who came down with it. They also admitted that masking had zero effect.

    2. Um….Biden took office in 2021, so I guess you will now blame The Trump Administration and his “experts” for this one, right?

      1. Absolutely. The same experts employed by Joe Biden when he became President. He didn’t enter office and immediately begin dismantling the Covid lockdown protocols. He doubled down, keeping us in masks and closures for another year and 1/2. In fact, he only lifted the strictures of Covid emergency procedures in April…of 2023. A month ago.

        So, absolutely Trump allowed himself to get conned into closing the country, but Joe KEPT the country closed LONG after it was obvious that Covid was a scam.

        1. Over a million dead people would argue that it was a scam. Except, they’re dead. You Trump evangelicals make a mockery of christianity.

        2. Jason, Trump saved millions of lives by closing down the country. How do we know that? Trump himself has stated that. Plus he said he would do it again.

          “I don’t think so,” Trump told George Stephanopoulos during a Tuesday night town hall with ABC when asked if he would do anything different regarding his response to the pandemic. “I think what I did by closing up the country, I think I saved two, maybe two and a half [million], maybe more than that, lives.”

          Combine those lives saved with lives he saved with the speediness of the vaccine and we are over 100 million lives saved in total. Hardly a scam.

          Compare that to 65 million abortions in the 50 years since 1973, Trump saved *35 million more* lives in less than one year than all the lives lost to abortion in half a century.

          His response was without a doubt the most prolife action his administration ever took.

          Donald Trump- “And it could have been billions of people if we had not done what we did”

          1. Brenda Ann Sauls

            Trump was a awesome president. He did more for our country in the 4 years he was in office then most did in 8 years. COVID wasn’t a scam but cost me precious time with my husband. I had COVID 3 time’s. My daughter and her family had COVID as well. Biden is a joke. He needs a nap. As far as people donating to the cause of things that are important to them they have that right. If you really want to be close to God then take time to pray and just talk to him as if he’s your best friend. After all he is our loving heavenly father. How many people do you know that will allow their only child to be sacrificed to save every person on earth? God’s love is unconditional to all of us.

          2. How many people do you think have been saved if he didn’t lie about knowing how bad it was months in advance. Don’t forget the recorded phone calls

          3. Irene,

            No I do not believe Trump.

            He called Covid a hoax and a scam, then was pulled kicking and screaming into action and sought to discredit everything the government did to slow down its spread.

            Then when it’s over he claims that he saved 100 million Americans and billions worldwide.

    3. Biden didn’t close anything for Covid. And he didn’t have an administration in 2020. He was a private citizen then.

      You must be aware that the Trump administration initiated the shut down. Right?

      1. Trump being conned, now that’s funny!

        The King of Gaslighting and con job’s is what put the country in the mess it was and has been throughout Covid. He made it politicalized and in return split in half.

        Bibleland was a failure before it opened. Its overhead cost were enormous. The elaborate sets and costumes alone would make the Roman Empire go broke.

      1. cynthia norbeck


        …”When Covid forced Holy Land Experience to close in 2020..”

        Um….Covid didn’t actually close anything. People did. As in, The Biden Administration and his “experts.”

        You’re right – President Trump was President up until Biden took office in 2021. However, President Trump consistently argued for opening up our country ASAP after the initial shut-down. He continued to state that schools should remain open while Biden kept them closed because of…..?

        Even today, it boggles the mind that so many people thought children were at risk of dying due to Covid. Statistically, the risks were miniscule. The academic damage is now showing up in public schools across the country.

        One other quick point: There is a difference between dying due to Covid and dying WITH Covid. We still don’t know exactly how many people died in the USA due to Covid and how many people died WITH Covid.

        It is likely we will never know. So, to try and use any numbers at all to justify closing our country down is just…dumb.

      2. The blame should go to the Chinese Government for covering up. But when Biden took office he had the benefit of information previously not known by the Trump administration.

        Joe Biden doubled down on shutdowns and mandates because it deflected attention from bis family’s indebtedness to the Chinese Government.

  3. Jonathan Swift

    The problem with “The Holy Land Experience” was that it was the kind of place that people “might” go to once. I lived less than 2 hours away and never went once, since it was built long after my kids grew up and moved out.

    If every person in Florida went once in their life (or had an out-of-state visitor take their place), they “might” have broken even.

    At least AdventHealth was able to get a reasonable deal on the property for a hospital rather than other less desirable developments for the community.

  4. I was saddened to hear that the Holy Land closed. Our family enjoyed not only the theme park but the amazing Christmas and holiday displays related to purpose of the Theme Park. Mrs. Jan Crouch was very creative in designing a park that helped to teach you about the Bible and had many church services on the property weekly and I believe daily services were provided as well. Tourist would come on Sundays for church services while being away from home. They gave back to the community yearly by not charging to attend one or maybe two days out of the year. To God be the glory for how many people were able to have a “Holy Land” experience. You could feel the peace and joy of God on the property and I pray that the hospital will also serve the community well in its place, since Advent Health is a faith based facility.

  5. All of you are arguing over who closed a theme park that WASN’T GETTING VISITORS EVEN BEFORE COVID.
    And let’s be real, rhey weren’t even following the Bible, tou saw who they had playing Jesus? Sorry to tell all of you Jesus didn’t have blue eyes, wasn’t white and didn’t have long flowing brown or blond hair.
    If you are worshiping the name described above then you have been worshiping a FAKE idol and you’re all sinners.

    1. Let me guess, you think you know what He looked like?
      I have a better question for you, why does it even matter what his appearance was??

  6. Interesting that Barry Bowen, reporting on this, is a staff member at Trinity Foundation. Trinity Foundation itself has been called a cultic organization. I had never heard it until Julie Roys did a podcast with the Duncans on recovering from spiritual abuse. They also wrote a book detailing alleged spiritual abuse by the former leader of Trinity Foundation, Ole Anthony, now deceased.

    Scrolling down to the very end of that link, you can read rinity International’s response to the Roys Report asking for comment regarding the Duncans’ claims of spiritual abuse. It is a lengthy and detailed response but offers no real clarification except that Ole Anthony decided not to defend himself by responding to the Duncans’ allegations, and that he was “colorful” and “self-taught” on the Bible.

    Does Trinity Foundation suffers from the same structural problems so many evangelical organizations do: charismatic leader, lack of accountability to members or followers, and autocratic, authoritative leadership style requiring allegiance or abusive behavior results. It’s clear Ole Anthony and Trinity Foundation were transparent about their finances etc. But financial abuses are only area where spiritual abuse occurs. And now we have a staff member at Trinity Foundation reporting on abuses by another organization, TBN (albeit financial abuses / overspending of tithes).

    I’d love some clarification of this apparent conflict of one allegedly spiritually abusive organization, Trinity Foundation, reporting on the excesses / financial abuses of another, TBN.

    1. Thank you for your question. It’s our understanding that The Trinity Foundation is no longer a part of the church Ole Anthony founded, and I don’t believe Barry Bowen attends that church either. So, there’s been a separation between the watchdog organization and the church. And TRR has determined that it’s enough of a separation to allow our collaboration from time to time.

  7. Interesting how the commenters here want to place blame on either Trump or Biden. How about people were just not visiting the joint and therefore no receipts = no money = money pit.

    It happens!

    Plus the current leadership had no interest in investing in the place to make it more profitable.

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