Crystal Cathedral founder resigns from board
Rev. Robert H. Schuller preaches on March 11, 1998 at the Crystal Cathedral.
March 13th, 2012
07:44 AM ET

Crystal Cathedral founder resigns from board

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - The immediate plans of Rev. Robert H. Schuller, the founder of the Crystal Cathedral Ministries in Southern California, and his wife are unclear after they resigned from the church's board of directors over the weekend, their lawyer said Monday.

The Crystal Cathedral, a Protestant church that helped spark the megachurch movement in the United States after opening in 1970, entered bankruptcy procedures in 2010 after years of infighting among Schuller's family and church leaders.

The Schullers have been locked in a legal dispute with other board members. Talks to reach a settlement broke down last week, according to a statement from the Schullers over the weekend.

"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, the pastor's wife, said in the statement.

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The couple's "immediate plans are up in the air right now," their lawyer, Carl Grumer, said Monday.

The Crystal Cathedral campus was sold to the Roman Catholic Church last year in a deal approved by a bankruptcy judge in November.

Schuller, now in his 80s, was known for his internationally broadcast "Hour of Power" TV show. His role on the board had already changed last year when directors voted to make him honorary chairman rather than a voting board member.

In 2006, he stepped down from the pulpit as senior pastor but continued to preach and sit on the church 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.

CNN's Greg Morrison contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church

soundoff (308 Responses)
  1. relians

    i went there once, a very scary place.

    March 13, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    March 13, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • relians

      then why is it that people who pray and study do worse on tests than those who just study? and try to just pray and not study and see how well you do on the test. and next time you are ill, don't go to the doctor just pray. 🙂

      March 13, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • jimtanker

      Because one group is splitting their time between something productive and something that is nonproductive, the other group is just studying.

      March 13, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • ﺶCHEﺶ

      You bet your ASS.
      It takes a little time though.
      I thought I read exact SAME post just last week from ya.
      Is that you again?
      I also remember this though.
      It is written somewhere in the Bible: Your wishes are NOT my wishes; neither are your ways my ways ........blah, blah... Unquote.
      I only pray that my wishes are that of God for my prayers to be answered with no ill feelings.

      March 13, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Jesus

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs! .

      March 13, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  3. God doesn't like religion

    .......and it's all about the money, as usual.

    March 13, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  4. Genia

    Yo'u have to admire a man that took a drive in and make such a remarkable church.Power of positive thinking only seems to get them so far, but the question is will it get him into heaven? God is his judge not me.That is my friend the bottom line, we all have to face God someday. Whether you believe or not , the truth is you will face him.

    March 13, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Jason

      Wow, good stuff. I am not sure if this guy will get a ticket to join the King or not. Only our heavenly father knows that.

      March 13, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Fleeced Navidad

      Why not the Prime Minister ?

      March 13, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  5. mb2010a

    And another one bites the dust...

    March 13, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  6. Dave in FL

    Not just the RCC, but these so-called megachurches amaze me. There are hungry and homeless – believe it or not – in Orange County, but Schuller et al are more concerned with millions in legal wrangling.

    And that could feed how many people?

    Organized religion is a pox on humanity...I hesitate to use 'religion' and 'humanity' in the same sentence.

    March 13, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • John


      March 13, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • ﺶCHEﺶ

      You're a good human being.
      Now I have hope as a Christian that someone else cares as much about the poor in America.
      May your household be richly be blessed by God.
      Let it be written!
      And let it be done!

      March 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  7. Sean

    Why do people sell books and make profit?

    March 13, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  8. BReal

    A senior pastor who is ALSO a voting member on the Board, along with his wife?? There is NO WAY in Hades I would attend such a church!!!

    March 13, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  9. Lev

    Funny how God always seems to call people to the highest paying job

    March 13, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • F.A.

      Smart talk Lev. I guess you probably want to serve a God that calls people to the lowest paying and crapiest jobs. Then he would fit your description of a 'good God.'

      March 13, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • DoubleW

      Yep, that is odd, how people with glossy hair, glittering teeth and a plausible line of gab somehow get "called" to the multimillionaire "ministries," while many thousands of unknown, humble people live out modest lives actually trying to help the poor and the forsaken... Sorta like Jesus asked.

      March 13, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • ajk68

      "Yep, that is odd, how people with glossy hair, glittering teeth and a plausible line of gab"

      Hmmm...methinks people just want to criticize religious leaders no matter what. People attack Pope Benedict XVI because he looks awful and is a somewhat uncharismatic leader.

      March 13, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • ﺶCHEﺶ

      That's funny!

      March 13, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  10. Ann

    So many of these Evangelical pastors start out with the best of intentions but as the church gets bigger, the money comes rolling in and with the money comes powerful political friends. Look at how many of them shamelessly use the power of the pulpit to further a political ideology instead of the doctrine of the Bible. Let us face it, if you expose your political bias then you will only attract a like minded congregation with the same political view point and how does this serve to bring others to Gods word?

    March 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • DoubleW

      Oh yeah, the blessings of religion... on proud display in places like Iran, Afghanistan, Mexico...

      March 13, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  11. ART

    Ahh don't you just love religion?

    March 13, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Dan

      religion with a small 'r' (the man-made kind) is laughable.

      March 13, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • D

      'r' or 'R', they're both ridiculous.

      March 13, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      All religion is manmade.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  12. mike w

    Just more proof that organized religion is and always has been a business – and should be taxed as such.

    March 13, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Nah

      *yawn* Yeah, one large church became bankrupt, therefore all churches are greedy and should be taxed.

      Your logic is flawless.

      March 13, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • ajk68

      If it were run like a business we would expect it to stay profitable, wouldn't we? Fact of the matter is that churches are not businesses. They provide lots of social services and care for the community. Most churches struggle to keep the lights on.

      March 13, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      A church by definition IS a business. That’s not even debatable. Mike’s point is that a church should be taxed as such. And I for one agree. Taxes and anti-discrimination laws in no way infringe on the theological aspects.

      FYI: Charities are also considered business…look it up.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I am posting 24 hours a day! Wow! I'm superhuman!

      March 13, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The difference between 4:26pm and 9:00pm is not 24 hours. But hey who is really counting.


      March 14, 2012 at 8:24 am |
  13. Josh

    "The Crystal Cathedral campus was sold to the Roman Catholic Church last year ..."

    Wow, with all the churches the Roman Catholic Church had to close, and attempting to sell, I would think that last thing they could use, would be a used Protestant church.

    March 13, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Imjesayin

      Each diocese is run separately. The Diocese of Orange purchased the "cathedral" (it's not a real cathedral because it doesn't contain a "cathedra", which is the seat of a Catholic Bishop). This diocese, in Orange County, is doing fine financially. And if you think this building is some "used" church, google it and look at pictures of it. It's quite striking.

      March 13, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • DoubleW

      Would YOU buy a used church from this man? ;^)

      March 13, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • ajk68

      A lot of it also depends on demographics.

      March 13, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  14. alcourts


    March 13, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  15. Pete w

    The cathederalof tomorrow Armstrong,Wide World Church Of God all have fallen
    How many churches ,have gone same route as this Crystal Cathederal , Jame s Bakerand Tammy
     and on it goes .They get succesand then Power & Money Hungry. Schuler ,went so far he created a special Robe to wear. It became a symbol that he himself believed it was Sacred Like another Famous Robe,you all know the one I am talking about.

    March 13, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  16. Warvet55

    Joel Olsteen's church is next. Another one that preaches the gospel according to himself. Like warm, watered down.

    March 13, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  17. n

    Oops. Another destruction in the name of religion.

    March 13, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  18. scientificpoetry

    Funny how all the money donated to this organization went into creating a "crystal cathedral". What a load of crap. Like the vast majority of evangelical preachers – Schuller was just a money grabber.

    March 13, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
  19. Alfred the Great

    This was never about religion, it was always about money. Schuller was simply a con artist.

    March 13, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • John

      That is precisely what religion is. A con!!

      March 13, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  20. madandev

    It is not God Schuller talked about, but, the business of making money in the name of God.

    March 13, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • LouSan

      Amen to that... mega churches have always been about following the teachings of the money lenders and not the teachings of Christ.

      March 13, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • ﺶCHEﺶ


      May The Lord, God Bless Thee for speaking the TRUTH in his behalf.

      March 13, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Commenter


      And how do they get to be "mega churches"?... thousands upon thousands upon thousands of gullible people, who crave the emotional highs that they being stimulated there.

      March 13, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Observer

      Che-Do you believe Jesus is God?

      March 13, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • ﺶCHEﺶ

      @Observer that's a STUPID question to ask of someone with Catholic Education.

      And For The Record: Jesus Christ is the SON of GOD and NOT the Lord, GOD Almighty himself. Where did I say or state otherwise?

      Quest: Do you even have a father? How can a SON be his own birth FATHER? You seem to have NO intellectual logic; dummy nut. I know a Fake American Christian when I lay eyes on one.

      March 13, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Observer

      Che- I was wondering that you were wandering away from allah.

      March 13, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • News to me.

      ﺶCHEﺶ –

      Catholics do not believe that Jesus is true God and true man? You might want to review your catechism.

      March 13, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • ﺶCHEﺶ

      "Che- I was wondering that you were wandering away from allah".

      Here we go! Another GOP imbecilic IDIOT!
      I think you need to lay down that tobacco tar pipe, toothless trailer parkboy.

      Are you a Wasilla-Hillbilly, toothless tobacco tar PUNK?

      March 13, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Observer

      che- TROJAN HORSE! Do not wander away from allah and continue trolling here pretending to be a catholic.

      March 13, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • This is amusing.


      Are you able to deny that Mohammed was a prophet of God?

      March 13, 2012 at 2:57 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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.