By REBECCA CATHCART
New York Times
Crystal Cathedral, the landmark megachurch in Orange County, Calif., where the “Hour of Power” is taped, filed for bankruptcy protection, church officials announced Monday.
Crystal Cathedral, in Orange County, is $55 million in debt, but says its outreach and “Hour of Power” broadcast will continue.
“Budgets could not be cut fast enough to keep up with the unprecedented rapid decline in revenue due to the recession,” Sheila Schuller Coleman, the church’s senior pastor, said in a statement. In a news conference on Monday, church officials said ministry outreach and programs, including the weekly broadcast, would continue. But the church, which is $55 million in debt, has reduced the number of stations that it pays to broadcast the program.
“Challenging situations are nothing new to our 55-year ministry,” said the Rev. Robert H. Schuller, who founded the church in a drive-in theater and was instrumental in starting the worship broadcast in 1970. A decade later, the church moved to a cavernous glass building that seats almost 3,000 on a 40-acre campus in Garden Grove. Since 2006, church leadership has changed hands three times. Dr. Schuller retired, passing control to his son. Robert A. Schuller left in 2008, leaving his sister in charge.
Crystal Cathedral’s leadership announced the sale of unused property and the layoffs of 50 employees in January to cushion a 27 percent drop in revenue since 2008. The church also canceled this year’s “Glory of Easter” pageant, a holiday staple here. Click here to continue.