Miracle on the 73: TBN Personality Turns Wine into a Double DUI
It's telling about the sad state of religion reporting in Orange County, one of the founts of American Christianity, that no one has yet to report this: a major Trinity Broadcasting Company personality has pleaded guilty to two felony DUIs that put a 70-year-old man in the hospital with serious injuries.
On April 26, around 10 p.m., one Stephen Eugene Galiher was speeding at least over 85 miles per hour in his company-owned BMW on the 73 Freeway near the 55 Freeway interchange when he smashed into a car, causing it to overturn twice. Galiher--the head pastor at Trinity Music City Church, the main place of worship at TBN's Christian music theme park in Hendersonville, Tennessee--was in town after appearing four days earlier on Behind the Scenes, a show where TBN head Paul Crouch checks in with his many ministers. A California Highway Patrol report obtained by the Weekly shows that the officer on hand "smell[ed] a very strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Galiher's breath and, his eyes were red and bloodshot." When asked what he drank, the pastor admitted to "2 glasses of red wine at the Newport Beach Island Hotel." Either Galiher's a lightweight, or he's a big liar--when was the last time drinking too much wine created bloodshot eyes?
Steve Galiher (as he more commonly goes by) told the CHP officer he was heading to "the company house off Bear Street" before crashing. He then failed all the field sobriety tests, at which point the officer arrested him for a DUI. His actual blood-alcohol content is still unknown, as it's not listed in the field report.
On May 22 in Orange County Superior Court, Galiher pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and causing injury and DUI over .08 BAC causing injury. But Galiher isn't scheduled for sentencing until Dec. 18 and is free on $100,000 bail. He remains on TBN's roster; his victim, on the other hand (whom the Weekly is not identifying but we've spoken with his family), remains in the hospital with four broken ribs, a broken arm and leg, and had to get pins put in his vertebrae. He cannot currently walk due to the injuries caused by Galiher.
Here is Galiher and Crouch trying to fleece poor Christians out of more cash with TBN's nefarious Prosperity Gospel. How about a prayer for the poor man whom Galiher nearly killed, Crouch?
*Working on getting mug shot and accurate BAC level...
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss OC Weekly's biggest stories. Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts