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Crystal Cathedral board endorses offer from Diocese of Orange

November 17, 2011 |  1:20 pm

This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.

The board of the bankrupt Crystal Cathedral has endorsed the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange as the preferred buyer of the Garden Grove campus for $57.5 million.

In a statement released by the church, Senior Pastor Sheila Schuller Coleman said, "Escrow takes time to close. Nothing is final until the escrow closes. Although this decision breaks my heart, I still believe there is still plenty of time for God to do his miracle."

She said if escrow on the property "actually" closes, the ministry, including the trademark "Hour of Power" program will continue, but from a different location three years hence.

The Catholic church would purchase the property and allow the Crystal Cathedral to lease back core buildings for a limited time. After three years the cathedral's ministry would have to find a new home, possibly at St. Callistus, a diocesan church down the street.

In the statement, Coleman said, "Crystal Cathedral church is not a building."

The board also said in the statement that it appreciated efforts by Chapman University to craft a deal for the property. Chapman proposed several options for the church, including a $59-million offer.

The church filed for bankruptcy over one year ago, citing more than $50 million in debt.

A judge was to decide which buyer can purchase the property in a hearing scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Thursday in Santa Ana.

"I'm devastated," said Pastor James Richards, who has been with the cathedral for 10 years. He said the congregants want to continue to worship in their church.

For the record 2:02 p.m. Nov. 17: A previous version of this post stated that the Diocese of Orange had offered $57.1 million for the Crystal Cathedral property. The diocese's latest offer is $57.5 million.


Chapman ups its bid to $59 million

Chapman University sweetens offer for Crystal Cathedral

Diocese of Orange raises offer for Crystal Cathedral: $57.5 million

-- Nicole Santa Cruz in Santa Ana