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Crystal Cathedral in Financial Trouble, 'Hour of Power' Cut (PHOTOS)

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crystal cathedral megachurch cash strapped

Southern California's Crystal Cathedral, faced with financial hard times, has begun the process of selling property and laying off employees according to Sheila Schuller Coleman, daughter of founder Robert H. Schuller and the current leader of the church.

After a 27 percent decline in revenue in 2009, the Protestant megachurch  has begun to make some drastic changes as a result of the debilitating cash crunch.  The weekly Hour of Power telecast will go dark in some locations across the country as part of a series of "tough decisions" made by the Crystal Cathedral's International Board of Trustees.  A 20-acre retreat in Rancho Capistrano will be shuttered -- leaving 50 people without jobs.

The church's debt is close to $55 million.  On Saturday night, Robert H. Schuller, 83, and his wife, Arvella, 80, gave an emotional speech at an elders meeting, sometimes chocking up as they emphasized their commitment to the church they built from the ground up.  He said, "2010 is a great year.  This is the 60th anniversary of my ordination.  It's the 55th anniversary of this church and the 30th anniversary of the Crystal Cathedral."

Things took a turn in October 2008 when Robert H. Schuller fired his son Robert A. Schuler for what he described as a "lack of shared vision."   At the time of his dismissal, Robert A. Schuller had been Senior Pastor or the Crystal Cathedral and was leading the Hour of Power television ministry.

UPDATE July 11, 2010 -- Reverend Robert H. Schuller announced his retirement today.

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.

View more photos below.


Hour Of POWER was all we could get on our car radio when in a snow slide in the San Bernadino Mts. In approx. 1972 We were in our car all night not able to go forward or backwar, with 50 other cars. The positiveness of believing God was in charge and hearing Robet Shuller, kept us awake and positive. We were pulled out in the morning and Praise God none perished. Life hands us lemons, make lemonade. God is in Control, sometimes the evil of this world keeps us from going forward in Christ. Keep on praying this too will pass. God is in Control.


My question is. Did God lead THE HOUR OF POWER down the road
to financial bankruptsy??


It was wrong that Robert A Schuller was Fired............ I still am in much pain since that day................. Love and Peace always


I would like to watch the hour of power again


I hope that Robert A Schuller finds in his heart to return to the Hour of Power................ Love and Peace to all...................... Bob


CC used to be my favorite of many years ago. When Robert, Jr. came on the puplit - felt he was a nice additionon to CC. Now that he is gone - I do not have the enthusiasm for the sermons anymore. Shelia is just too "kind and gentle" to deliver the message straight from the Bible. There is nothing wrong with a pastor raising his voice at the congreation at times. Some people need a "wake-up" call! Personally - as far as their financial trouble - it did not start with Pastor Rob leaving - it started years back when greed, pride and show-off came on the grounds. People do not need a showy church building to hear the gospel of Jesus.


What if it "IS" true that "Crystal Cathedral" only has 3-5 years left? In those 3-5 years, there may be one more person or hundreds of thousands more people accept the Grace of "God" and give their life to Jesus because of the Chystal Catherdral's outreach. And if those people find their way to Jesus, they will be with us in Heaven with Our Lord. We're still going to send a substancial contribution to them. It doesn't matter if there is an end - what matters is all the good they did in the past and are still doing in the present. We'll continue to pray for God's blessing and his direction for the "Crystal Cathedral" & their Ministry.


As a child growing up in Newport Beach/Costa Mesa/Balboa in the 1950's I say with my own eyes the old car/organ and the drive in movie snack bar, people listen if you don't know your history the mistakes will be made again. Don't reinvent the wheel in 2010. Harold is not a megachurch/tele anything, the man is real,honest and thru the Grace of GOD still around. Children can and do make mistakes, GOD knows I have/did/will do again. GOD loves all of us and HATE grows out of fear. I now live/retired to Fairview,OR not Costa Mesa and believe me if I HAD a positive/believer based CHURCH to go to in Portland,OR area to go to I would, but up here the doors are locked outside of SUN. services and forget about the children right now the school(skyline elem) can't even tell you when/where/how the kids (7) got LOST. When you walk in my shoes for a day up here GOD knows you love Hour of Power/CC plus Harold, get your heart/head/religion/love of CHRIST JESUS back where it belongs inside CC/Hour of Power and you soul ie. $,time and love. Stop drinking, using, gambling and use your 10 pieces of silver to support GOD, JESUS and HOP/CC GOD be with you, we really do love all of you, worldwide.


I never enjoyed listening to the Hour of Power when the son was pastoring. Now that Sheila is pastor, I do enjoy the messages much more, and look forward to them every Sunday night. Also, it is the first TV ministry I have ever made a financial contribution to. I love my local church, but if I lived near Garden Grove, I would have to go to CC.


I have a different perspective from all the comments here. I never knew Robert A. or Robert H. or Sheila until the last couple months via TV.
The folks in Garden Grove are blessed to have such a wonderful church (and I don't just mean the building).
The music is glorious, the message is caring and genuine. Maybe all the critics should stop judging and rejoice in the Lord. I don't have a church like that where I am but I am very tempted to visit just to go to church at the Crystal Cathedral. Meanwhile, I enjoy the Hour of Power once in awhile and will donate to it. I also attend my local church regularly and am blessed with it in spite of its shortcomings. A very dynamic preacher was transferred away from my church too and his replacement seems dull in comparison but I am thankful the church is still going.
Churches these days are struggling all over the planet with the economic downturn. This is not just a "Robert A. vs. Robert H." problem.
Pray for them and support them. God will take care of the rest.