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'Hour of Power' goes to reruns as Crystal Cathedral tightens belt

March 6, 2012 | 11:03 am

Crystal cathedral

It's rerun season at the Crystal Cathedral.

As officials from Crystal Cathedral Ministries search for new worship space and ways to reverse a steep decline in donations, the future of “Hour of Power” -- the church’s signature television program -- is now up in the air.

A church spokesman said Tuesday that reruns of classic episodes of "Hour of Power" will be aired over the new few weeks while the Garden Grove-based ministry makes organizational changes.

Interim Chief Executive John Charles said in a statement that the television show has been “a source of hope for hurting people around the world for more than 40 years” and that the ministry’s board has a “God-given” responsibility to preserve it for future generations.

The oldest daughter of church founder the Rev. Robert H. Schuller, Sheila Schuller Coleman, has been the senior pastor of the church since 2009. She will remain as pastor of the local congregation, but her involvement with the “Hour of Power”is now undetermined

In addition, the board for Crystal Cathedral Ministries announced that the show's executive producer, Jim Penner, and producer, Gretchen Schuller Penner, had been dismissed.

Schuller Coleman’s husband, Jim Coleman, the director of creative services, was also terminated late last week.

“Organizational changes affecting ministry leaders are never easy to make, especially when it involves individuals who have devoted their lives to this ministry and have served with great distinction,” Charles said.

“This was a very difficult decision the Crystal Cathedral Ministries board of directors prayerfully deemed was necessary in order to make a change in direction for the ‘Hour of Power’ and reverse recent declining donations and viewership.”

Last month, the church’s campus was sold to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange for $57.5 million in a bankruptcy deal. The ministry has three years to find a new home. Church officials said they expect to release more details in the upcoming weeks.


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