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Crystal Cathedral founder Schuller bounced from the board
Rev Robert H. Schuller preaches on March 11, 1998.
July 4th, 2011
06:23 PM ET

Crystal Cathedral founder Schuller bounced from the board

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) – The Rev. Robert H. Schuller built the Crystal Cathedral, one of America's first megachurches, from the ground up but now the 84-year-old has been voted out by the church's board.

In a statement issued by the church Monday, church officials said Schuller's role with the board was merely changing.

"Now 84 years old, Dr. Schuller has been working toward semi-retirement, since total retirement is not an option for this pastor who is still just as passionate about his calling," the statement said. "Recently, the board of directors of Crystal Cathedral Ministries voted to change Dr. Schuller's position from that of a voting board member to the honorary Chairman of the Board Emeritus, a non-voting position," the statement added.

It continued to say the move would allow more time for speaking engagements and writing opportunities for Schuller.

"He will also continue to speak in the pulpit of the Crystal Cathedral and on the Hour of Power, and meet with staff in creative and vision-casting meetings," the church release read. "Hour of Power" is a weekly television program that was started by Schuller.

Schuller's granddaughter, Angie Schuller Wyatt, said the vote took place several days ago. "He was ousted by the board in the same way my father was. It was surprising, but not completely unexpected," she said.

In 2006, the elder Schuller stepped down from the pulpit as senior pastor, but continued to preach and be on the the board. His son Robert A. Schuller stepped in as senior pastor. Two years later after a dispute with the board the younger Schuller was voted out by the board.

Today, Sheila Schuller Coleman, Schuller's eldest daughter, has the reins of the ministry, carrying the title of executive director of ministries and missions.

Coleman released a statement, included with the church's, on her father's change on the board:

"Dad will continue to provide leadership for this ministry through me for as long as possible," says Coleman. "I have and will continue to defer to his wisdom and honor him for his unprecedented accomplishments."

Coleman and her sister, Gretchen Schuller Penner, who has a leading role with the television ministry, have faced the brunt of criticism due to declining membership and financial woes for the church.

Schuller Wyatt said the church's board once had as many as 30 members but recently had shrunk to only five members.

Schuller had been advocating adding more members to the board, and Schuller Wyatt said that is what led to the board to vote him out. She said Schuller was not present at the board meeting.

"They did it behind his back, just like they did to my dad. They conspired behind his back and made this happen," Schuller Wyatt said. "This board is causing the demise and the destruction of the Crystal Cathedral."

"They weren't letting him do anything anyway. Those of us here see it as symbolically awful," said Pastor James Kok, who has been on staff with Crystal Cathedral Ministries for 28 years. "They had effectively stopped listening to him two or three years ago. It's symbolic, not functional. He was mostly put on the shelf by his daughters."

"I'm very invested in the people of the church. That's what I'm concerned with," Kok said. "Especially the old people. The ministry has changed from a traditional worship service to a loud music, contemporary type, service to keep up with the other churches."

He said with the Schuller sisters now in charge, voting their father out followed a similar patter, "That is the way the church has been managed ever since Robert Schuller stepped down. They just do things. They don't ask anybody."

"They have no experience in ministry and no care for the people of the church. They have no theological experience. Zero. Those of us who bothered to go to seminary for five years are left on the shelf," Kok said.

Schuller Wyatt said she has remained at an arm's length from the Crystal Cathedral for some time. She has her own ministry called Spiritual Wellness.

The Orange County, California, church has been hit hard by financial woes and last year sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. A spokesman at the time told CNN the church was being sued by a small number of creditors.

The gleaming glass building still hosts the weekly "Hour of Power" telecast, that since 1970 beamed Schuller's smiling face and folksy preaching into millions of American homes. The church said the show has a worldwide audience of 20 million viewers to go along with 10,000 congregants who fill the pews in Garden Grove, California. The church was founded by the elder Schuller in 1955 as part of the Reformed Church in America.

"All we've been told for 25 years was how wonderful this family is, and now it's shattered," Kok said.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • California • Christianity • Church • Faith Now • TV • United States

soundoff (659 Responses)
  1. neowaypit

    «Демократия несовершенна, но ничего лучше человечество пока не придумало», – сказал Уинстон Черчилль.
    Так ли это?
    У птицы два крыла... У планеты два полюса... Вы можете представить себе птицу с одним крылом или планету с одним полюсом? Нет? Но именно в таком асимметричном обществе мы живем и именно такой однокрылый мир мы строим! Не верите? Судите сами.
    Наука развивается семимильными шагами и современное человечество знает то, чего не знал английский премьер-министр. Он не знал, например, о Законе Тождества Противоположного. Между тем этот Закон позволяет понять, в чем ошибались в свое время коммунисты и в чем ошибаются в наше время демократы. Главной их ошибкой является ПРОТИВОРЕЧИЕ между ПРОТИВОПОЛОЖНЫМИ формами собственности и власти. Нужно понимать, что речь идет о Частной и Государственной Собственности и, соответственно, о Личной и Общественной Власти. Если бы политики не придумывали свои законы, а ПОЗНАВАЛИ и вместо термина "законотворчество" вооружились термином ЗАКОНОПОЗНАНИЕ (объективный закон нельзя придумать – его можно только познать), то дело пошло бы на лад.
    Так вот, согласно Закону Тождества Противоположного, который пока, к сожалению, не преподают в школах, коммунисты совершили трагическую ошибку, поставив государственную собственность НАД частной, а общественную власть над личной. Результат – социально-экономический кризис. Причина – нарушение Закона Тождества (РАВНОВЕСИЯ) Противоположного. По сути, они национализировали частную собственность и обобществили личность. Что делают сегодня демократы? Они делают то же самое, что делали коммунисты, только с точностью до наоборот. Они приватизировали государственную собственность и личность сегодня фактически игнорирует общественные нормы и устои. Другими словами, современная демократия – это форменный произвол личности по отношению к обществу. Результат – социально-экономический кризис.
    Пора, наконец, уяснить раз и навсегда – у птицы должно быть ДВА КРЫЛА, а у нашей экономики должно быть ДВЕ СОБСТВЕННОСТИ – Частная и Государственная.
    Причем Частная Собственность не подлежит национализации, а Государственная Собственность – приватизации, а тот, кто это сделал, совершил тем самым экономическое Преступление, отрубив одно крыло экономической птице.
    Если же руководствоваться ОБЪЕКТИВНЫМ Законом Тождества Противоположного, на котором, между прочим, СТОИТ ВСЕЛЕННАЯ, то не нужно национализировать частную собственность и не нужно приватизировать государственную. Нужно просто сесть и разобраться, наконец, что есть частная собственность и что есть государственная, а затем передать Частную Собственность в руки Личности (ТОВАРОПРОИЗВОДСТВО), а Государственную Собственность – в руки Общества (СЫРЬЕ). При этом даже можно отказаться от системы налогообложения (придуманной господами для своих холопов), поскольку производить частную собственность и, следовательно, обогащаться можно будет только через производство материальных и духовных ценностей, не обкладывая налогом Творца этих самых ценностей, а продавая ему сырье для производства его товаров. Если же допустить к общественной собственности личность, то мы превратим людей не в творцов, а паразитов, которые будут жить за счет эксплуатации наших природных богатств, а не за счет производства товаров и услуг (так называемый феномен олигархов).
    Может, хватит смешить Вселенную и пора, наконец, построить что-то получше демократии?

    October 9, 2013 at 1:15 am |
  2. frances mills

    I have wondered for a long time what happened to Dr.'s Robert H., and Robert A. Schuller. But until I recently got on line could not find out why this blonde headed lady had taken over "the Hour Of Power".Was concerned and had a huge QUESTION mark in my head and spirit,until now.Dr's Schuller Robert H.and A. without you sirs, the program will not be the same.My prayers go with you all, and thank you for the knowledge about God's Word you have taught me. Love in Christ.F G M .

    March 31, 2013 at 3:08 am |
  3. Atromogow

    Good day people! How are you presently nowadays?

    January 20, 2013 at 10:48 am |
  4. Madalyn Staupe Traun

    Dr. Robert Schuler is/was a dedicated man of doing good for everyone and a positive thinker. It is truly very sad that he is not compensated for founding the Garden City church as he deserves that. It is also sad that better legal terms were not implemented by Dr. Schuler and his wife so they could retire with what they very obviously have earned. It is too sad to read what has happened in the family as proper legal procedures could have prevented all of this.

    December 30, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  5. bemarkingsbevordering

    You will have to consider aspect inside an important challenge for one from all of the most beneficial blog sites for all of the net. I actually can suggest newspulse.cnn.com.af.mk.gd !

    May 10, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  6. Michelleudsy

    Hi every person I simply desired to expose personally. When you have any questions don't hesitate to inquire. I'm sorry regarding my bad language

    December 28, 2011 at 8:26 am |
  7. Lynne

    Looks like it's not that important now (the ousting of Schuller Sr.), since the Catholics have bought the Crystal Cathedral. The congregation can worship there for the next three years, then must move. Churches all over America are changing, big and little ones. Traditional worship is giving way to twitching, moaning, raising of hands, and swaying back and forth to discordant music. Lord have mercy, I'd rather stay home and clean the bathroom.

    December 11, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  8. fran

    My church is my porch. Every evening I sit along with whomever wants to join and we quietly watch the sun setting, or the rain coming down; or watch the wind blowing the trees and we discuss the beauty of our surroundings and each in their own quiet thoughts give thanks to whomever or whatever they feel thanks are due....There are no collection plates, no sermons..only the peace that comes at the end of the day if you are intelligent enough to enjoy it. Listen, if you will to the words of the song 'Imagine' . It so beautifully says it all.

    November 2, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
  9. Sam17257

    I just to introduce myself to everyone. I am a very nice person which enjoys helping to others. So... hiya every body! See you around!

    October 26, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
  10. Dave in NYC

    story ... The Schuller story...

    July 21, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  11. Dave in NYC

    Tom is right, albeit sharp. There is no God, no Jesus-God, and the bible is just a book. If you want to believe in any God, bring out Dionysus and Zeus again! Gods with FLAIR! The Schuller sotyr is just apeak behind the curtain at the Wizard of Oz. It is all Oz.

    July 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  12. Tom Leykis

    He's NOT a "doctor" of ANYTHING, but theology. He and his family worship money, like every televangelist. There is no such thing as "god" or "jesus". The earth is 4.5 Billion years. Evolution is both a Scientific theory and a FACT. The bible was written in the 4th century A.D. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    July 13, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • Von Lombard

      Tom: I can understand your doubts. I have also been wounded by religious people. But God cannot be blamed for the ugly actions of people with free will. Give God your hurts and doubts and see what happens.

      July 15, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Hello Tom,
      Robert Schueller Is a Masterful Theologian and has every right to have monetary gain. Your stating that; “There is no such thing as god or Jesus" does little goodness for your mental upbringing and others who read your postings will either run away or disregard you as being but a person of lowly Principalities.
      Pray this I beg you each and every day for at least a week, “Our fathers who art within the heavens of Heaven, hallowed be Their Names. Their Kingdoms come, their Wills be done; Upon Earth as it is in their heavens. Give to us All, our Daily chores and Daily Bread and even help us in our thoughts. Forgive us our passed sins and lead us not into temptations of sinfulness; for GOD is the Power and the Glories Forever and Ever! Amen and Amen!"

      July 19, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
    • Cedarglen

      You got it just anout right, Tom. I spent a year or so working on his 'campus' as a technical contractor in the mid-70s. It was ALL about image and presentation and precious little God or faith. When work began on his Chrystal Cathedral, some of us dubbed it the Plexiglass Palace. The place (or palace) has a lot in common with Oz.

      September 5, 2011 at 2:06 am |
    • john myers

      Don't give up your day job,,,,get a real one.

      November 20, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • chicho

      all the creation is mathematical perfect look at the stars, look at the snow crystals. Besides you are going to die one day and you are going to see the truth but maybe is going to be too late. Only Jesus die for humanity spilling his blood with great pain when you hurt yourself you bleed.

      December 26, 2011 at 1:46 am |
  13. Truth Teller

    This Robert Schueller guy isn't from God, he's from Satan.

    Fact: Robert S is a 33 degree mason. What does that mean? Look it up on the internet.

    If you want to deceive religous people, you must pose as a religous figure. Satan holds his flaming torch of lies, from the pulpit. Wake up!! Start believeing your K.J. Bible Test every word with a Saith the Lord. 95% wont due. you'll be deceived.. Stand on the Word. Not the lies of men

    July 11, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
    • Tom Leykis

      PS: there is no such thing as "god" or "satan". Try taking your medication on time.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Truth Teller
      This Robert Schueller guy isn't from God, he's from Satan.

      “TT, Robert Schueller is a GOD-Fearing Christian and He Does His Very Best to Preach to Those That Follow Him!”

      Fact: Robert S is a 33 degree mason. What does that mean? Look it up on the internet.

      “You brought it up so Explain it Please because I do not Know what 33 degree mason truly means.”

      If you want to deceive religous people, you must pose as a religous figure. Satan holds his flaming torch of lies, from the pulpit.

      Dear TT, Religious People find Sultry Solstice through their Pastoral ship’s Word, and Nothing More. Satan does however clamor Himself with those that dare to complicate matters of Religious Diversities regardless of Faith and Faithfulness

      Wake up!! Start believeing your K.J. Bible Test every word with a Saith the Lord. 95% wont due. you'll be deceived.. Stand on the Word. Not the lies of men

      I oh TT , am a lowly Christian Fundamentalist who struggles Daily with my speaking and writing of the Word. I cling to most of Scripture within the KJVB as I use the blueletterbible.com for my daily endeavors in my writing of the Word. I am no saint.

      Here is a Prayer that I wrote and I keep writing it differently every Time.

      “Our fathers who art within the heavens of Heaven, Cherished be their Names, Their Wills be Done upon Earth as it is in their heavens, Give us all our daily needs and forgive us our Temptations as we forgive those who have Tempted us. Lead all away from past sins and help all to refrain from sinning. For, GOD is the Power and the Glory, Forever and Ever! Amen and Amen!”

      July 19, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
  14. ohsnap

    One thing the bible does say about religion: that soon ALL religions will be destroyed and its destruction will be championed by government. Can see it happening already.

    July 10, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
  15. Hank Roedell

    No matter how big and mighty you are, you will still fall. I feel sad for all the people who gave money to that church. The church is the house of God, but that church and all it's glitter, is daddy's church. Even though many folks gave money to the church, daddy got the benefits. Hank

    July 7, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.