Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Retailer donates 170-acre ranch to Saddleback Church

August 3, 2011 |  7:39 pm

An arts and crafts retailer has donated the 170-acre Rancho Capistrano, previously owned by the Crystal Cathedral, to Saddleback Church.

The Lake Forest church, headed by the Rev. Rick Warren, has been leasing the property, used for retreats, conferences and worship services, from Hobby Lobby, based in Oklahoma City.

"Pastor Warren's contributions to the world are long and inspirational, and we hope this transaction adds to his church's legacy of producing good in the world and providing hope to many," David Green, chief executive of Hobby Lobby, said in a statement.

Last May, the retailer, which owns more than 485 stores in 40 states, purchased the center from the financially troubled Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove.

The ranch was a 1981 gift from Donna Crean and her late husband John, who founded Fleetwood Enterprises, a former recreational vehicle retailer. It is located 12 miles from Saddleback.  

Saddleback Church was founded in 1980 by Warren and his wife, Kay, and is now one of the largest churches in America.  

"We thank Hobby Lobby for this wonderful gift and look forward to seeing more lives changed through our ministry here," Warren said in a news release.

Hobby Lobby has one store in California, in Visalia, but is planning to open five more, including one in Temecula and another in Rancho Cucamonga.

Warren is expected to announce the gift during this weekend’s services, which start Saturday.


Court rules for San Diego State in suit by Christian groups

Bubba Smith's death: No signs of foul play, police say

California's whale tail plate gets makeover, fresh start

-- Nicole Santa Cruz