‘Hour of Power’ Pastor Robert Schueller Loses Crystal Cathedral to Investors

‘Hour of Power’ Pastor Robert Schueller Loses Crystal Cathedral to Investors

Robert H. Schuller of The Crystal Cathedral of Garden Grove, California has submitted a plan for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 to get rid of $35 million dollars worth of debt. A spokesman of the church stated they then could repay vendors $7.5 millions that is owed.

The plan to do this would mean the ‘celebrity spot’ Crystal Cathedral property of 40-acres will be sold to a real estate company. The company would acquire the land and allow the church to lease it out for 15 years and an option to buy it back in 4 years at a fixed rate.

This is exactly what has happened. On Friday in bankruptcy court, the church has decided to sell the 40-acre church property for $46 million dollars to an Orange County developer. The developer now known  as Greenlaw Partners of Newport Beach will buy the property in Garden Grove, Calif., and plans to build apartments on the land.

Pastor Schuller will have to pay $212,000 a month for the next 15 years on lease to the developers according to the exclusive rights plan. After the leasing term, the church can buy back the property at $30 million within four years.

This news comes at a time when the ‘Hour of Power’ minister has been under fire in the recent past.

Longtime leader the Rev. Robert H. Schuller retired, followed by the very public ousting of his son and successor Robert Anthony Schuller in 2008. Sheila Schuller Coleman replaced her brother, but the congregation remains highly critical of church leadership. [Source]

In March, the church’s “Crystal Cathedral Worship Choir and Worship Team Covenant,” was handed out to choir  members to commit to Christianity in every way which included a stance against homosexuality. Many members were disturbed by this news because longtime members of the church had never heard the church’s stand on homosexuality.

The covenant stated: “I understand that in an era where images of family relationship and personal sexuality are often confused, Crystal Cathedral Ministries believes that it is important to teach and model the biblical view. I understand that Crystal Cathedral Ministries teaches that sexual intimacy is intended by God to only be within the bonds of marriage, between one man and one woman.”

Then a day later, the pastor of Crystal Cathedral issued an apology for the Choir sex covenant. Schuller’s daughter, Senior Pastor Sheila Schuller Coleman, issued an apology and stated they were clarifying expectations from the choir members.

“The church of Jesus Christ at large is grappling with the challenge of reconciling love and adherence to God’s word, even those passages that challenge us,” she said. “As the church has been engaging in this sensitive dialogue, people that we care for deeply have been hurt. We are sincerely sorry.”

Brazingly, the church’s founder Robert Schuller stated he disapproved of the covenant because it went against what the church was built upon.  In an arrogant tone he states:

“I have a reputation worldwide of being tolerant of all people and their views,” he told the Orange County Register. “I’m too well-educated to criticize a certain religion or group of people for what they believe in. It’s called freedom.”
Also, to add to the smeared controversy at the Crystal Cathedral, on Easter day, several members of the orchestra walked out one hour before their performance because they were short changed on their paychecks. But spokesman John Charles claims the 8 members that walked out were not missed at all. “No one would have ever known they were missing,” he said. When asked about paychecks being cut short, he stated they were ‘unintentional accounting errors’ and issued an apology.
With all of the issues piling against the church and its way of running things, we are not sure all of Crystal Cathedral’s problems were stemmed from hard times and a slow economy. The arrogance and ‘lifted-ness’ of the staff’s attitude toward many of these issues seems to show God may not have been pleased with their commitment to serving Him accordingly.