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Bankrupt Crystal Cathedral ministry names choice for new home

May 16, 2012 | 10:16 pm

Crystal Cathedral campus

The Crystal Cathedral ministry, home of the "Hour of Power" broadcast, could be relocating to a Catholic church down the street sooner than originally expected.

In at meeting Wednesday night, Crystal Cathedral President John Charles announced that St. Callistus in Garden Grove was the only option the bankrupt ministry is considering when it has to relocate the congregation from the famed Crystal Cathedral campus within three years to make way for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange.

"We can move forward in a place, that for the first year, is rent-free," Charles said.

As part of a $57.5-million bankruptcy deal, the Catholic Church has offered the congregation, founded by the Rev. Robert H. Schuller, the other church property at a discounted rate. After the first year, the rent would be $25,000 per month.

Charles said he has to give six months' notice before leaving the Crystal Cathedral campus and said he'd like to stay at the current property through next year.

The announcement was part of an all-church meeting during which questions from the congregation were answered by the board. Finances (board members are not paid), the future (uncertain) and the Schuller family's relationship with the church were discussed.

In March, the founding family cut ties with the ministry over a financial dispute. When the board was asked if the Schuller family was escorted on and off campus, Charles said, "We're not a gestapo."

"They built this campus, they deserve the right to walk it," he said.

Bob Sarozek of Huntington Beach said he feels torn about a move to St. Callistus, which is less than a mile away. He said he started attending what is now known as the Crystal Cathedral when the Rev. Robert H. Schuller preached from the top of a drive-in snack bar. He said he will follow the congregation, but will always know the current site as the Crystal Cathedral, despite what the Catholic Church names it.

"There's something in the dirt here," he said.


Turmoil grips Crystal Cathedral as Schullers exit

Crystal Cathedral congregants ‘devastated’ by church sale

Schuller resignation from Crystal Cathedral board is end of era

-- Nicole Santa Cruz in Orange County

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