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Crystal Cathedral's supporters are still praying for a miracle

October 30, 2011 |  2:12 pm

Sunday's worship service at the bankrupt Crystal Cathedral was about praying for a miracle.

The choir sang, "Lord, we need a miracle, a miracle today," and after the song, Senior Pastor Sheila Schuller Coleman said, "I don't know about you, but I end up hearing those words over and over, even in my sleep."

Last week the church board endorsed a bankruptcy exit plan that calls for the sale of the church building to Chapman University for $50 million, yet church officials have made clear that they are still praying to raise the same amount to avoid selling the campus in a "Miracle Faith" campaign. Attorneys for the creditors committee in the case are expected to file documents designating Chapman as the buyer Monday.

In a statement released by the church last week, Schuller Coleman, the daughter of founder Robert H. Schuller, said, "Nothing is final until November 14!"

That is the day a judge could approve the Chapman University plan. The school would allow the ministry to lease and eventually buy back its core buildings, such as the main church and the 134-foot prayer spire.

According to financial statements, the church has raised $172,775.50 through the end of September.

Bob Hines, an organist for a Sunday school class at the church, said he was pleased that the campus could be sold to Chapman. A separate option called for the sale of the church to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, which would require the ministry to move in three years.

"I think it's a miracle from God," said Hines, 72.

Brian Muma, 52, said it is "heartening" to see that the church board endorsed the Chapman proposal.
"We can continue to work on our miracle," he said. He said he was happy with the direction the church is going, even though it's "been traumatic."

"The financial aspect of it is not what the church is made of," he said.

Robert Schuller was due to speak in church Sunday, but he stayed home to care for his wife, Arvella, who was recently ill with pneumonia, Schuller Coleman told the congregation. Schuller Coleman said her mother was recovering well.


Creditors: Crystal Cathedral’s Schullers used influence for gain

Schuller fires back over lawsuit filed by Crystal Cathedral creditors

Crystal Cathedral board OKs Chapman University as preferred buyer

-- Nicole Santa Cruz in Garden Grove