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. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    March 13, 2012 at 3:19 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 3:20 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Everyone...I'm sorry I post this on every page of every belief blog but you see...I have no job and live in my pastor's basement. He gives me $1 every time I paste this same thing over and over. I can usually get enough for a pack of cigs out of every blog. Again...sorry for the constant one-liner but I've been told that it makes evil atheists turn to JESUS.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  2. RD

    Rats always know when to leave a sinking ship.

    March 13, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  3. Robert

    The crystal cathedral is man's humble attempt at workmanship. It is very beautiful. Sure the Rev. did bring messages of hope to many souls. Hope he takes this time away from his leadership position to quietly reflect on God's will for his life.

    March 13, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Edith

      That church is a lesson in excess. God would be happier if they met in a pasture on sunny days and took rainy days off. Bankruptcy was bound to happen. Excess after excess after excess adds up. Even with tax exemption, you can only drain the flock so much. This heavy overhead demanded a wealthy congregation. This church is out of step and out of tune with reality in 95% of the world.

      March 13, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  4. John

    I hope to see Rev. Robert H. Schuller and his family at Mass soon.

    March 13, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  5. jean

    Dr. Schuller did have many good points. Where I part company with him, and those religious "leaders" of his ilk, are the constant fund raising they do at the expense of those poor people who get sucked into the hype. If Jesus Christ did not need a mansion, designer clothes and chauffeurs when he was on earth, why do these shucksters? I have felt for quite a long time that these people do not believe what they preach or believe there is a God. If they did, they would be trembling in their shoes for the day they "meet their maker". I can't imagine how they can explain their actions. Gandhi once said, "If it had not been for Christians I had met, I might have become a Christian."

    March 13, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • F.A.

      Were there any cars being made when Jesus was on the earth? The most expensive form of transportation then is what he used- a donkey. How come those that crucified him were fighting to get a piece of his clothing? How come when he had the last supper it was in a large well furnished upper room? Correction Sir – If Jesus were living today he would fly his own airplane, live in a mansion as well as be a blessing to the poor. You can only be a blessing to the poor when you have been blessed yourself!!

      March 13, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Maybe

      "If it had not been for Christians I had met, I might have become a Christian."

      If it had not been for believers, who tout their own fantasy super-hero as the ONLY TRUE one, and that they KNOW exactly what this imaginary being wants, I might have become a believer.

      March 13, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Ken

      You have about as much information regarding a crucifixion or an alleged last supper as a dung beetle.

      March 13, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Ken

      @F.A. You have about as much information regarding an alleged crucifixion or an alleged last supper as a dung beetle.

      March 13, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • F.A.

      @Ken Luke 22:12 – large upper room well furnished

      March 13, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • F.A.

      @Ken Those that crucified Jesus liked his designer clothing so much they cast lots for it. John 19:23&24 If he was wearing crap I doubt they would have wanted a piece of his clothing

      March 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Ken

      F.A. Quoting from the Bible has no effect on non-believers. The context of your argument renders the argument moot.

      March 13, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • F.A.

      @Ken That is like saying a lawyer who sites precedents renders the argument moot. It is not great oratory skills that will convert unbelievers but facts based on God's word. The knowledge of God's word is what convicts unbelievers. The fact of Gods word is that Jesus preached prosperity and he lived it.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  6. Gary

    There truly is no honor among thieves. These are Christians though so no one should expect anything more than greed and selfish motives to drive their agenda.

    March 13, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  7. Barry Shanley

    You can say it's all about money,...in the end. Or, you could say every "family" has its squabbles. But...for sure you can say it's another example of not practicing what you preach,...just like the religious right politically. The religious right follows Charles Darwin's survival of the fittest philosophy in practice, not the teachings of Christ, by not wanting the government to "heal the sick", "feed the hungry". or take in the homeless. When I see a story like this with the stately cathedral what I really see is another example of this. Don't you wonder how many families about to lose their homes could have been helped, instead of building this monument to themselves?

    March 13, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  8. rick

    So crooks are fighting with crooks? Wow, who would have thought?

    March 13, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • blf83


      March 13, 2012 at 2:58 pm |

    So it IS about th money & not th message.......and your surprised....:D

    March 13, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Gesus

      It is about me!!!!!.... and a few million buck.

      March 13, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  10. blf83

    Schuller is a crook – plain and simple. Like many in his "profession", he begged money from people who had little. His ego built a ridiculous campus, and he and his family took and took money from the top. He's no better than Jim and Tammy Faye or Ted Haggard or Jimmy Swaggart – all narcissistic and crooked fools.

    March 13, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Chumlee

      All of which has nothing to do with this story.

      What would seem apparent is that the "board" of this mega church is incapable of running it properly. They ran it right into bankruptcy. Then to kick your founder off your board and fire your founder's son?

      Not much of a church.

      March 13, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  11. Waiting for a candidate

    Really? Who cares.

    March 13, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  12. Joanne Lambdin

    You can't deny that Robert Schuller (the father) was a brilliant man. He sent a message of hope to a lot of people in his time. He wouldn't have been successful if there weren't a gazillion folks who needed and wanted his guidance. He didn't invent religion, he just learned how to provide support and hope to those who wanted it. Did you get that, Jr.? Those who wanted it. Sometimes that was to those who needed it. You know what they say," There's no atheists in fox holes!"

    People love architectural beauty, so don't knock them for that. In Europe and elsewhere there's many magnificent cathedrals that provide inspiration to the flock. Let the politicos provide money and succor to those who are (truly) hungry.
    P.S. I'm not a religious freak just giving someone his due.

    March 13, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Kielhwl

      "He didn't invent religion" – but he did figure out a new way of exploiting it.

      March 13, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Ken

      Did anyone ever think to ask, "Would God want us to build this building of excess"? They should have met in a pasture and spent the money to drop contraceptives over Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Southern California.

      March 13, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  13. Drinker

    Funny Stuff!

    March 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  14. Name*Stanley

    It's always about money.

    March 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  15. really

    My God ain't short of cash. Wish I could come up with some BS you could all send your cash to.

    March 13, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  16. Truth

    Not bad !! And SOLD to the RC Church !! Takin' dollars for the pain, baby !!!

    March 13, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  17. denny

    President Santorum will stamp false religions such as this and return Christianity to America.

    March 13, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • eman

      How do you stamp a religion? Apply postage, then put it in the mail? Or will he be using a rubber stamp?

      March 13, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Intrigued

      I am intrigued. How will Santorum accomplish this?

      March 13, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • ﺶCHEﺶ

      President Santorum will be the devil, Lucifer reincarnated in blue suit without those two horns.
      You can dream all you want; It will NOT happen.
      Obama wins hands down 2012.
      There will be more crying-babies in pillow sheets in Nov/2012. The country will run out of white pillow sheets.

      March 13, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  18. AndyF

    Rev Schuller's program basically helped a relative of mine go through a really low period and rebuild into the amazing person they are today. While I don't prescribe to his brand of religion, I cannot ignore the results. I will forever be grateful for being there, even if on the TV, for I am sure a lot of people.

    March 13, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  19. Jill-IN

    Dr. Schuller is truly a wonderful founder and leader of Crystal Cathedral and has been a very effector pastor for uncountable people around the world in his career. His son, Robert, was starting to come into his own and one could see that he too could take the mantle. Some of the others the more recent board plugged in did not do so well. And frankly, it is the more recent board that did not have the vision and passion of Dr. Schuller and took the church in the wrong direction. It is sad but we often see this happen in the life-cycle of a large church. God bless Dr. Schuller and his family.

    March 13, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • eman

      It isn't very Christian to spend millions of dollars you don't have, knowing you don't have the means to pay it off. Think of all the the people who have been stiffed for thousands of dollars each. I seem to remember "Thou shalt not steal" as being one of the main tenets of Christianity. Be who cares so long as Rev. Schuller has enough money to live a life of luxury.

      March 13, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  20. Ann Weigler

    Dr. Schuller is a very remarkable man, I have met him and watched his work for many years. He has done a lot of good for people all over the world, and I am one of them. He helped me greatly at the death of my son many years ago. Anyone who thinks he is not sincere just does not know him. I even have a picture of me with him hanging on my wall. I am sure it is time for him to retire, and I wish him well.

    March 13, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • ﺶCHEﺶ

      You forgot one IMPORTANT THING though.
      How many $M's did he and his family pocket on behalf of and donations meant for the poor?
      The last time we checked; the Son of the Living God did NOT live lavishly like these in the name of and on behalf of the poor.
      Get that?

      March 13, 2012 at 2:44 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.