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As Crystal Cathedral struggles, Robert Schuller's grandson starts a laid-back church

Three miles from the Crystal Cathedral in an American Legion Hall, a 29-year-old pastor in a purple sweater and blue jeans takes the pulpit. He rocks from heel to toe, casually joking with the congregants — today they almost had to meet at the park because a pancake breakfast threatened their rented space.

His message? "You are welcome here."

That pastor is Bobby Schuller, grandson of the Rev. Robert H. Schuller, 84, the televangelist pioneer who founded the TV ministry "Hour of Power" and the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove.

The third-generation Schuller hopes to do what the landmark — and now bankrupt — Crystal Cathedral has apparently failed to: evolve with the times.

Bobby's church, the Gathering, takes a low-key approach to worship. Sunday's services aren't in an opulent church. Young band members open the service, and it's intimate — people don paper name tags and shake hands. All of these elements represent a "post-boomer" style of worship popular with 20- to 40-year-old Christians, said Richard Flory, a sociologist of religion at USC.

The cathedral, on the other hand, is known for grand productions, robed pastors and traditional hymns. The age of its average congregant is 53.

"They are totally outdated," Flory said. "They are so committed to a plot of land and a building, and they've got a problem."

Read more: "The Schullers: a tale of two churches."

-- Nicole Santa Cruz


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Photo: The Crystal Catherdal in Garden Grove. Credit: Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (6)

Does Bobby really think he is any different from his grandfather? How long will it be before he has his own "Crystal Catherdal" and is just as corrupt?

The Crystal Cathedral is merely proof of justifying business with religion.

You obviously don't know Bobby..... you should stop by the legion hall in Orange and visit "The Gathering" at 11am

God doesn't have any grandkids. All of us will be accountable for choices we make in our own life. I hope Bobby's ministry reflects what really matters: grace, forgiveness, hope and true blessing that have nothing to do with money and possessions.

What a betrayal by both son and grandson. They were raised in the RCA and have all but abandoned God and Christ in their want to be worldly. God forgive them -and- when Robert A. (the son) abdicated because he couldn't cut the mustard, I still had some hope in the grandson who has his grandfather's gift.

The robe is symbolic of the mantle of God upon a human being "called and ordained." Why take it off? To "do what you want" with the Scripture? How hurtful and mean within Robert H.'s own bloodline. However, he would be the first to quote directly from The Word and not the first of international ministry to have family issues. Dr. Stanley's wife divorced him and BROKE his heart (God bless him) Dr. Kennedy's daughter is leading a group away from her father's Coral Ridge ministries in Florida, because she doesn't like the way Billy Graham's grandson (Tullian Tchividjian) does not want to 'preach politics' from the pulpit. Of course there are others that go on in infamy and the liberal media just loves it like the devil himself. It denigrates the witness of God becoming man, to die and be the only acceptable sacrifice for God to accept humankind back from death.

All the blab about being 'religiously correct', but our money still says In God We Trust (accepted by mosque builders and convenience stores everywhere) NOT in Allah We Trust or In Vishnu We Trust or In Buddha We Trust. This country would not be what it is today, even with the many errors, had GOD himself not made it so. That said, if ALL Christians who accept Christ as the ONLY WAY to heaven, The Holy Bible as the inspired and inerrant word of GOD and GOD's LAW over that of man, Jesus said he would HEAL our nation.

Let it begin in Garden Grove. Let it begin with ME.

Thank you Pastor Schuller Sr. You are respected and loved by the family of Our Lord.

Amen....God Bless Pastor Robert Harold Schuller and his life dedicated to the church, Jesus and God - and also the hardest working employee the Catheral ever had - Arvella Schuller - without whom there would not have been the Hour of Power broadcast all of those years.


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