Board: Crystal Cathedral No Longer for Sale

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Plans to sell the main facility of the Crystal Cathedral have been cancelled.
    
The announcement that the Orange County, Calif. campus is no longer for sale came during the church's Sunday morning services, followed by a vote of the board of directors.

The board said that the ministry will raise the money to help pay the church's $36 million mortgage and nearly $10 million in unsecured debt.

"It's time to focus on rescue, not abandonment," church founder Rev. Robert Schuller said in a statement. "It's time to face our mountain."
          
Organizations that had offered to buy the church's campus included the Roman Catholic diocese, another local church, Chapman University, and a real estate investment firm.
      
The Crystal Cathedral, which filed for bankruptcy protection last fall, is just one of many churches to be hit by hard economic times.  Congregations across the nation have been losing their properties at an alarming rate. 

Despite Sunday's announcement, Cathedral member Jim McDonald has doubts that his church will not end up as another economic statistic.

"If you haven't been able to raise the money in 10 months, how are you going to do it now?" he asked.

At a hearing scheduled for Monday, board members say they plan to ask a court for permission to collect donations to get out of bankruptcy.      

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