Private University Buys Bankrupt Crystal Cathedral

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Chapman University will soon own the 40-acre Garden Grove, Calif., property belonging to Crystal Cathedral Ministries.

The megachurch, which was founded by televangelist Robert Schuller, is about $50 million in debt and filed for bankruptcy in October 2010.

The university offered $50 million for the campus as part of a bankruptcy deal.

Crystal Cathedal's ministry board approved the offer this week. The school will be officially designated the buyer by Oct. 31.

Chapman plans to allow Crystal Cathedral to "continue serving its mission" by letting the ministry lease and eventually buy back some of its buildings.

Schuller wrote on his Facebook page Wednesday that he and his wife have "tremendous respect" for Chapman University.

"[We] will welcome the future students and faculty with all that our positive faith has to offer," he said. "In the meantime, we look forward to focusing on our new dream: buying the core campus back."

Hobby Lobby and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange were among others who put in a bid on the property, which includes its landmark glass-walled sanctuary.

Schuller's daughter Sheila Schuller Coleman, now senior pastor, said the board "reluctantly" voted in favor of the deal to meet court deadlines.

A hearing is set for Nov. 14 to finalize the ministry's reorganization plan.

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