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Crystal Cathedral board OKs Chapman University as preferred buyer

Crystal cathedral1

This post has been corrected. Please see the note below for details.

Chapman University has been picked by the board of the bankrupt Crystal Cathedral as the preferred buyer of the Garden Grove property.

Under the plan, Chapman University would purchase the campus for $50 million and allow the church ministry to lease and eventually buy back its core buildings.

The creditors committee will officially designate the school as the buyer in bankruptcy court filings due Monday.  

Chapman President Jim Doti said he has not spoken to the board about the decision but believes it is the right one for the church, founded by Robert H. Schuller.

“I think it’s appropriate and in the interest of the church for its ministry to continue,” he said.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange also placed a bid on the church and was seen as the top buyer, with a plan to purchase the campus for $53.6 million. Under the Catholic plan, the Crystal Cathedral ministry would have to find a new home.

A hearing to approve an exit plan is set for Nov. 14. The cathedral filed for bankruptcy last October, citing more than $50 million in debt.

[For the record, 11:38 p.m. Oct. 26: A previous version of this post incorrectly said Chapman would purchase the campus for $50.6 million.]


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Photo: The Crean Tower, the Crystal Cathedral, and the Tower of Hope form the core of the Garden Grove property. Credit: Geraldine Wilkins / Los Angeles Times

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