Robert H. Schuller, 82, the founder of the Crystal Cathedral and patriarch of the Sunday morning Hour of Power broadcast, has removed his only son Robert A. Schuller, 54 from his preaching duties on the weekly televised program.
In a prepared statement that was read by church president Jim Coleman to the 450 member congregation, it appears father and son have had a serious falling out.
"Robert H. Schuler and Robert A. Schuler have different ideas as to the direction and the vision for this ministry. For this lack of shared vision and the jeopardy in which this is placing this entire ministry, it has become necessary for them to part ways."
The Hour of Power will move away from just one or two voices and will now "serve as a platform for the greatest preachers in the world."
The elder Schuller turned over the Hour of Power and the Crystal Cathedral church ministry to his son Robert A. Schuller in January 2006. The father and son have always had divergent preaching styles. The senior Schuller is said to be heavier on psychological reference and lighter on scriptural reference. The younger Schuller emphasizes scripture as a 'primary teaching' that often veers from Christian to secular.
He founded his own church in Orange County before joining his father at the Crystal Cathedral seven years ago. It is yet to be determined if Robert A. Schuller will continue in his role as senior pastor of the Crystal Cathedral church ministry in Garden Grove, California.
John Charles, a church spokesman, was asked what had happened to create the rift between father and son. He responded, "I tried to get that answered today and there's really no answer. The two principals would have to explain that and they're not."
UPDATE January 31, 2010 -- The Hour of Power has been canceled in some areas of the country as part of a cost cutting measure by Crystal Cathedral.
UPDATE July 11, 2010 -- Rev. Robert H. Schuller retires again - turning things over to daughter Rev. Sheila Schuller Coleman.
UPDATE: October 17, 2010: The Crystal Cathedral has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, after struggling with debt for the past two years. The church is estimated to be $50-$100 million in debt. Their immediate problems involve $7.5 million owed vendors for advertising and services. They have attempted to make repayment arrangements but many have filed lawsuits.
According to a church spokesman, Crystal Cathedral's Sunday services and weekly-telecast Hour of Power will continue for now.