The glittering monument to Robert H. Schuller‘s ministry is being sold to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange. The Crystal Cathedral filed for bankruptcy last year and is being purchased by the diocese for $57.5 million.
After Robert H. Schuller retired in 2006, his son (Robert A.) tried to follow in his famous father’s footsteps as Senior Pastor. However, in 2008 Robert A. Schuller was removed as Senior Pastor by his father. Robert H. then made his daughter Sheila Interim Senior Pastor in 2009. Sheila became the permanent Senior Pastor in 2010. Three months after her elevation to permanent Senior Pastor the church filed for bankruptcy. During this transition period the church lost thousands of members and millions of dollars in revenue, causing layoffs, salary cuts and finally bankruptcy.
Chapman University had offered to buy the 40-acre complex and allow the congregants to continue worshipping in the cathedral. However, selling to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange will guarantee that the Crystal Cathedral will continue to be used as a house of worship. The diocese has plans to make the Crystal Cathedral the center for the Catholic community in Orange County.
In three years, the congregation at the Crystal Cathedral will need to move. There are some who fear the move will be too much for the remaining congregation. There is also concern that the Hour of Power television program viewers might disappear if the show is no longer broadcast from the Crystal Cathedral. 70% of the revenue for the Crystal Cathedral comes from Hour of Power viewers.
At one time, the Crystal Cathedral had 10,000 local members. Coincidentally, there are 10,000 panes of glass that make up the famous church, which was dedicated in 1980.