October 18th, 2010
09:18 PM ET

Megachurch Crystal Cathedral Ministries seeks bankruptcy

The Southern California megachurch Crystal Cathedral Ministries will enter bankruptcy as it faces lawsuit-filing creditors and a rapid decline in donations due to the recession, church officials announced Monday.

An unspecified small number of creditors have sued the church and obtained writs of attachment, said church spokesman John Charles.

The church had sought a voluntary moratorium with vendors to allow "an equitable repayment plan" under the oversight of the Credit Managers Association of California, but negotiations didn't move fast enough to satisfy creditors, Charles said.

The ministry in Garden Grove, California, is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: California • Christianity • Church • Houses of worship • Money & Faith • United States

soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. nitrous

    We ALL know the situation – they are greedy turds preaching the "word" of God, that mis-managed they're ill-gotten wealth and now they are FINALLY getting theirs. Nuff said.

    October 25, 2010 at 11:54 am |
  2. nitrous


    October 25, 2010 at 11:45 am |
  3. designer wedding shoes

    Sniff sniff! Too bad the house of hate is crumbling. This tax free hate haven has been taken down by "God" for preaching hate and stealing from the poor. I only hope the US tax payer will not have to bail them out.

    October 25, 2010 at 7:02 am |
  4. Tom

    Well at least this edifice may have inspired some folks.
    I wonder if the Crystal Cathedral was the inspiration for the Eddie Vaan Shaw song, "TV Preacher":


    "I'll take my millions, make me a church made out of glass...."

    October 19, 2010 at 9:42 pm |
  5. Mark from Middle River

    I do not want to jump on another church and the story of this church is amazing. The thing that I remember of this church was that it one, had an amazing Christmas pagent with flying angels and real animals, including camels. I also remember that this church had a small man made river going down the aisle and the doors were close to two stories tall on both ends.

    We are about to do another expansion on our church and the talk is that some are fearing that we might become not a mega church but something very substancially bigger than our roots. I still remember the section that we tore down for the new sanctuary was once the new and bigger sancutary of that replaced the orignal in the late 1800's. There is another denomination closer to my home that is amazingly big and I do not thnink that it has a school.

    Shame to hear about the crystal cathedrals issues but money and the economy but this causes the need for smart growth.

    October 19, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  6. cmchamb

    Flock Fleecing
    Greedy Materialism
    Showy Display of ones Way of Life
    Poor use of Contributed Funds...

    Luke 14:28
    For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?

    October 19, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  7. Doc Vestibule

    These Churches remind me of an old punk rock song by Bad Religion.

    "Neighbors, no one loves you like he loves you,
    And no one cares like he cares.
    Neighbors, let us join today in the holy love of God and money,
    Because neighbors, no one loves you like He loves you.
    And what better way to show your love than to dig deep into your pockets.
    Dig real deep, until it hurts. Alleviate your guilt,
    Free yourself once again, because he gave to you, brothers and sisters.
    Please give a 10, 25, or 50 dollar tax-deductible donation,
    And I assure you your modest pledge will be used to censor TV and radio,
    Ban questionable books, and contribute to many other Godly services.
    No longer will young Christian Americans hedonistically indulge
    In masochistic submission to rhythmic music, for with your monetary support,
    There is no end to what we can achieve in this country.

    The voice of God is government. In God we trust, sinners repent!

    October 19, 2010 at 11:39 am |
    • Frank

      I love Bad Religion. I also have a pin on my messanger bag that says "Je$us needs your money". And, yes – I am a Christian. These people shame themselves. But I know they have no shame.

      October 19, 2010 at 11:29 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Have you read Professor Graffin's new book?
      It's called "Anarchy Evolution: Faith, Science and Bad Religion in a World Without God" It's an autobiographical tome about punk rock, naturalism and evolution and definitely worth a read, especially for Bad Religion fans!

      October 20, 2010 at 8:31 am |
    • Frank

      I haven't yet but I just now put it on reserve at the library. Thanks for the reminder!

      October 21, 2010 at 1:37 am |
  8. JohnQuest

    Hard economic times, I wonder, why their God doesn't stepped in and simply write them a check to cover their debt? If someone steps in to help or the banks makes a deal with them it will have come from God, if it has to close it will be the work of the Devil. Being God must be the best job in the world, you don't ever have to do anything and all good things that happen you are praised for and all bad things are someone else fault.

    October 19, 2010 at 9:50 am |
    • Stephen P

      Maybe that is why some Republicans thing God is a Republican, since so many worship money and don't like being held accountable....

      October 19, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Stephen P, you say that like the Demarcates are better, at least can handles our money and are more accountable. Wish I could believe that, but I don't, that requires a very big leap of faith.

      October 19, 2010 at 1:47 pm |
  9. kix

    Mean, vicious comments posted by those who know nothing about the situation.

    "Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with you."

    October 19, 2010 at 9:02 am |
    • Raison


      It's about money being given to a religious organization without proper forethought on either end, leading to bankruptcy proceedings on the part of the religious organization.
      Is that nice enough for you?

      October 19, 2010 at 9:45 am |
  10. Jamiie

    Hi freinds, have a look i had more news to share you about the Crystal Cathedral....

    October 19, 2010 at 8:49 am |
  11. doctore0

    Nice, one scam down; Plenty more to go

    Praise humanity, shun religion AKA scam

    October 19, 2010 at 6:27 am |
  12. HotAirAce

    And, hopefully, another one bites the dust!!

    You have to wonder where god and jesus are – you would think they would want every church to stay open and prosper...

    October 18, 2010 at 11:45 pm |
    • Frank

      Not every 'church' is of God.

      October 19, 2010 at 12:42 am |
    • Peace2All


      Hey Frank..!

      Curious as to your post.... You said...." Not every 'church' is of God."

      Would you elaborate a bit more on that one... As their are many successful and.. failing churches with differing messages, sometimes very differing messages that are in conflict.

      So, what is your theory as to which " 'churches' are of God and which aren't..?"

      Thanks.... Hope that you are well...?

      October 19, 2010 at 4:10 am |
    • Peter F


      I won't answer for Frank, but I have my own take on that question. There are some churches that, as we all know, tend to make the pastor rich and do little else. These are obviously led by corrupted individuals. There are churches that preach the prosperity gospel (which I see no where in Scripture... if anyone can make a case for it, be my guest). There are churches that have lost touch with the people. The whole point of church is to cater to the needs of the people just as Jesus did. There are churches that have no goals – no focus on service, community, mission, or anything that unites the congregants. Then there are churches that have simply slipped in followers. With our changing culture, more and more of the traditional denominational churches are giving ground to the newer, vibrant non-denominational and contemporary evangelical churches. That has a lot to do with demographics. I hope that sort of answers your question, peace.

      Keep those questions coming, buddy!


      October 19, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
    • Peter F


      Let me clarify by saying that this has more to do with why some churches have a finite lifespan. Some of those examples I mentioned take the focus off God, and are therefore "not of God" while others may be of God but they inevitably lose the connection to people in their community because of the barrier of culture.

      October 19, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Peter F

      Hey Peter...!

      Thanks for your particular take on my question towards this topic that I asked from Frank. Always interested in different perspectives.

      Hope that you are well.... ?Talk with you soon...

      October 19, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
    • Peter F

      Always interested in joining the discussion, hehe. Check out my newest post(s) on the Chilean miners story. You might see it as more applicable to the questions you and Dave were asking... at least that was the hope.

      October 19, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
    • Frank

      Basically what Peter said. They focus on man and worldly success (gaining followers, being flashly and such) and not on the spiritual needs of the community and humbling themselves before God and men.

      October 19, 2010 at 9:56 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Peter F

      I saw your post on the "Freed Chilean miners return to Camp Hope" article. Assuming you meant the one where David Johnson and I are debating you on your assertions.

      Both David and I have responded to your post.

      October 19, 2010 at 11:42 pm |
  13. Reality

    And the crumbling of Christianity continues!!!!

    October 18, 2010 at 11:26 pm |
    • Mike

      Please explain, very interested.

      October 19, 2010 at 8:28 am |
    • Reality

      Mike, Mike, Mike,

      It has been explained to you many times but your Three B Syndrome blocks any absorbtion processes.

      October 19, 2010 at 9:59 am |
    • Peace2All


      I think it may be getting time for one of your patented 'interventions' with Mike... yes...? 🙂

      October 19, 2010 at 9:46 pm |
    • Craigj

      It's not the crumbling of Christianity, but the humbling of it. Christianithy works great person to person and in small groups. I don't think Jesus was planning on people to follow him focused on a Grand Crystal Edifice or sending their credit card numbers to the Old Tyme Gospel Hour. The church isn't a big building ... the church is us.

      October 20, 2010 at 11:56 am |
  14. David Johnson

    I'm not sure why, but I am most pleased over this filing. I've always hated this television service. Always thought Schuller was a fake. Let's replace it with reruns of Gilligan's Island.

    October 18, 2010 at 9:51 pm |
    • nonesuch

      I felt the urge to chortle when I read this, too. I really dislike television evangelists of all stripes; they're just snake-oil salesmen in robes or nice, expensive suits.

      October 18, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
    • Mike

      "Always thought Schuller was a fake"... so is that to say that some people are real about the Christ they preach?

      October 19, 2010 at 8:30 am |
    • David Johnson


      You said, "so is that to say that some people are real about the Christ they preach"

      Yes, some people are real about the Christ they preach and some about the Allah they preach etc. A person can believe, can be real, and still be wrong.

      I once read where Schuller was involved in an altercation on an airline. It seemed he considered himself a person of importance. From the bible, I get the impression Jesus was humble.

      October 19, 2010 at 9:28 am |
    • Megatron

      So much for God providing a way, eh?

      October 19, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
About this blog

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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.