Crystal Cathedral Continues Without Schuller, Senior Pastor

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Despite recent disagreements between its Board of Directors and the family of ministry founder Rev. Robert H. Schuller, worship services will continue every Sunday at Crystal Cathedral, the church clarified Wednesday.

Crystal Cathedral Senior Pastor Sheila Schuller Coleman said March 10 that she will be resigning from the ministry to start a new church, Hope Center of Christ.

Also Saturday, founder Robert H. Schuller and his wife, Arvella, announced they were stepping down from the church board.

The couple's daughter, Carol Schuller Milner, explained that her parents have been embroiled in a legal conflict with the board over copyright infringement and back payment for services.

With that shake up, and ongoing financial problems, some wondered about the ministry's future.

But the board assured this past Sunday that services would continue at the iconic glass-walled sanctuary each week.

“We invite everyone to join us next Sunday for worship in the Crystal Cathedral,” John Charles, chairman of the Crystal Cathedral Ministries’ Board of Directors, said in a statement March 13. 

He added that the ministry has received "encouragement from numerous members of the congregation" about the decision to "return to the traditional worship style on which the ministry was founded.”

Last week, the Crystal Cathedral also fired Schuller's daughter, Gretcher Penner, producer of the "Hour of Power," and her husband Jim Penner, the show's executive producer.

Church officials explained the move was part of an effort to revamp the television program, which reached millions of American viewers on a weekly basis.

Crystal Cathedral confirmed in Tuesday's statement that the program would continue to air "both domestically and internationally."

The Schullers had made numerous offers to settle their claims, but the board informed the couple that they "had no interest in continuing their dialogue."

"We cannot continue to serve on the Board in what has become an adversarial and negative atmosphere, especially since it now seems that it will not be ending anytime soon," Arvella Schuller said Saturday in response to the board's decision.

"We were optimistic that a solution was close at hand which would be mutually beneficial to the Schullers and the ministry," she added.

The changes come as little surprise to those familiar with the ministry's drawn out financial and legal struggles.

Two years after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the main campus in Garden Grove, Calif., is now owned by Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange County.

"No matter what, God is still God," Arvella Schuller said. "No matter what, God is still a good God. God loves you and so do I."

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