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Crystal Cathedral vows to continue without Robert Schuller

The Crystal Cathedral vowed to continue its tradition of holding Sunday services at the church and airing its trademark "Hour of Power" television show, despite the very-public exit of founder Robert H. Schuller
The Crystal Cathedral vowed Tuesday to continue its tradition of holding Sunday services at the church and airing its trademark "Hour of Power" television show, despite the very-public exit of founder Robert H. Schuller.

"We invite everyone to join us next Sunday for worship in the Crystal Cathedral," John Charles, chairman of the ministry's board of directors, said in the statement.

The "Hour of Power," which has gone into reruns, will continue to be taped, with a new episode scheduled to air in two weeks, officials said.

A senior pastor at Crystal Cathedral has not been named to replace Sheila Schuller Coleman, the founder's daughter who announced Sunday that she would be starting a breakaway church. In the interim, a spokeswoman said, sermons at the church will be provided by staff ministers and visiting speakers.

The spokeswoman said the church will return to a "traditional" style of worship, with hymns, a full choir and an orchestra. For the last year, the music has been of a more contemporary style, featuring guitars and drums.

"Since sharing this news with our congregation, we have received an outpouring of assistance and encouragement from numerous members of the congregation about their excitement over the return to the traditional worship style on which the ministry was founded," Charles said in the statement.

Over the weekend, Robert Schuller and his wife, Arvella, resigned from the board of directors of the Crystal Cathedral, which oversees the television show.

Schuller, in a statement earlier this week, commended his daughter's decision to leave the ministry he founded and start her own church. However, Schuller and his wife said they would not be moving with their daughter to her new ministry, nor would they be active participants in the Crystal Cathedral.

"How we express ourselves in worship remains up in the air," they said.

The Schullers, along with another daughter, Carol Schuller Milner, and son-in-law Timothy Milner have filed various monetary claims in bankruptcy court for copyright infringement and intellectual property and contract violations.

According to the church's statement, the board of directors sided with a creditors' committee in objecting to the claims, which could total more than $5.5 million. Various proposals have been considered, it said, including a Schuller settlement for $3.5 million, which "if paid, would leave the Crystal Cathedral Ministries with virtually no funds to continue its ministry."

According to the statement, the Crystal Cathedral board "hopes to see these matters settled soon and will be praying as the legal system continues to a resolution."


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Photo: The sun sets over the Crystal Cathedral campus in Garden Grove. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

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