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Crystal Cathedral: Robert Schuller commends daughter for leaving church

March 12, 2012 | 12:55 pm


The Rev. Robert H. Schuller, the founder and former longtime voice of the Crystal Cathedral, commended his daughter’s decision to leave the ministry he founded decades ago and start her own church.

The elder Schuller and his wife, however, said in a statement that they would not be moving with their daughter to her new ministry, nor will they be active participants in the Crystal Cathedral.

“How we express ourselves in worship remains up in the air,” Schuller and his wife, Arvella, said in a statement.

Sheila Shuller Coleman told congregants during an 11 a.m. service at the Crystal Cathedral on Sunday that she was leaving, the latest movement in the widening divide between the Schuller family and the board of directors that oversees the church and its trademark “Hour of Power” television broadcast.

"My entire family has been experiencing a hostile work environment," Schuller Coleman told congregants Sunday.

Robert and Arvella Schuller resigned from the Crystal Cathedral's board of directors over the weekend, just days after another of their daughters and her husband were fired from the “Hour of Power.”

The future of the television show -- which is now in reruns -- and the bankrupt Crystal Cathedral Ministries is unclear and congregants may be torn between remaining at the Garden Grove church or following Schuller Coleman, who has yet to announce where her new ministry, Hope Center of Christ, will be located.

The Rev. Bill Bennett assured congregants that Crystal Cathedral Ministries would hold services next Sunday at the architecturally spectacular structure.

"The congregation can basically stay where they wish to stay," Bennett said.

He said the church would revert to what he called a more "traditional" style of service, with hymns and music. It is unknown who will take over as senior pastor.

The church building and campus were sold to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange in February for $57.5 million, and the ministry has three years to find a new home.


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-- Nicole Santa Cruz

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