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Norco church signals interest in buying Crystal Cathedral

July 15, 2011 | 10:38 pm

My Father's House Church International is Crystal cathedralinterested in purchasing the bankrupt Crystal Cathedral for $50 million.

In a statement by the nondenominational church based in Norco, the Rev. Mark A. Thomas said he intends to "honor the history" of the Crystal Cathedral, the Garden Grove megachurch founded by the Rev. Robert H. Schuller.

This is the fourth buyer interested in the church campus.

Greenlaw Partners, an Orange County real estate investment group, offered to purchase the property for $46 million in May. The group would allow the church to lease back its core buildings and build apartments on other portions of the property.

Recently, Chapman University made a $46-million bid. That offer would also allow the church to lease back its cathedral and other core buildings and would call for the college to use the surrounding property for a health sciences center.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange has also expressed interest in the property but has not made an official offer.

My Father's House intends to pay creditors in full, according to the statement.

“We fully understand the importance of the Crystal Cathedral and the impact the church has had around the world, and of course to the city of Garden Grove," said Thomas in the statement. "In our vision, it will continue to be an effective, powerful ministry through My Father’s House Church International, and we’re excited about the new direction for the future of this wonderful church.”

The Crystal Cathedral filed for bankruptcy in October, citing more than $50 million in debt.


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Bankruptcy filings show generous pay for relatives of Crystal Cathedral founder

Crystal Cathedral to be sold as a way to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy

-- Nicole Santa Cruz in Orange County

Photo: The Crystal Cathedral Credit: Arkasha Stevenson / Los Angeles Times