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By Catholic Online

10/19/2010 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Announcement comes after years of financial difficulty

The fact that the Crystal Cathedral in Orange County, California was in dire financial straits had been apparent over the past several years. Event cancellations, several employee layoffs and a noticeable drop in revenue were all seen as ominous signs. The church's recent filing for bankruptcy protection will leave the church's creditors from $50 to $100 million in unpaid debt.

In spite of bankruptcy filings, the Crystal Cathedral will conduct business as usual.

In spite of bankruptcy filings, the Crystal Cathedral will conduct business as usual.


By Catholic Online

Catholic Online (

10/19/2010 (4 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Crystal Cathedral, bankruptcy, Schuller

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The church decided to file for Chapter 11 after some of its creditors sued for payment, according to church officials. "Our ministry will continue as usual," Senior Pastor Sheila Schuller Coleman said. She later said that if anything, the church's recent troubles will give the church's messages more meaning. Schuller reiterated her father's popular proverb, "Tough times never last, but tough people do." She also assured viewers that the church's "message of hope will continue," and that in spite of the economic hardships, the most recent financial reports for the ministries indicate the best cash flow in 10 years. The church's humble beginnings began when the Rev. Robert H. Schuller rented a drive-in movie theater in 1955. Schuller later came to prominence through the "Hour of Power" television show. However -- last January, faced with a $55-million budget deficit and a 27% drop in revenue over the last two years, it eliminated some of its signature offerings and sold property. In addition, the church cut dozens of positions pulled the "Hour of Power" from seven stations and canceled its annual Christmas and Easter pageants, which drew thousands of people. "We want to pay our vendors back," Jim Penner, the executive producer of the "Hour of Power" show says. Penner said the church couldn't cut costs fast enough to deal with the economic downturn, decline in donations and aging congregation. He estimated the national audience for the show at between 800,000 and 1 million. The Crystal Cathedral is currently paying cash for everything with the main goal to "stay out of credit card debt," Penner said. In 2006, Coleman's brother, Robert A. Schuller, succeeded his father to head the ministry. But by fall of 2008, the father and son decided to part ways in a messy family dispute. Last summer, the elder Schuller told congregants that he would return to a prominent role at the church for two years and that his daughter would be his co-leader. All programming, services and education, including the Crystal Cathedral Academy and High School, will go on as usual.


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