Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Ugly as sin, this is Saint Calistus Catholic Church in Garden Grove, California. The Crystal Cathedral Ministries says they are set to move into this building. You can see why they would like it!

From the Crystal Cathedral website (questions and answers about the ministry):

I saw an announcement that Interim Senior Pastor Dr. Lawrence Wilkes has retired. Is that correct? Yes, Dr. Wilkes submitted his notice of retirement more than a month in advance, and had been working with the ministry for many weeks to find the best way and time to retire, especially in light of all of his obligations to numerous other ministries. Once it was decided that the local church would be changing to one Sunday morning worship service instead of two (9:30 a.m. as of Jan. 20, 2013), Dr. Wilkes was then able to retire. "The ministry holds Dr. Wilkes in highest regard," says ministry CEO & President John Charles. "We are so grateful and blessed for all he has accomplished for the ministry over the past years and, more recently, for the last nearly 10 months as he helped the local church and Hour of Power get through a challenging time of transition."

Are there any updates regarding the court case involving Crystal Cathedral Ministries, Dr. and Mrs. Schuller, and Tim and Carol Milner? Yes, it was resolved on Monday, Nov. 26, 2012. A summary of the 50-page ruling includes these results: Robert H. Schuller will receive $615,624.68. Arvella Schuller will receive $0. Intellectual property (IP) claims were denied. Tim Milner will receive $67,000 plus $10,000 prepetition. Carol will receive $10,615. "We are grateful to have closure to what has been a long and difficult period in the history of the Crystal Cathedral," says John Charles, President and CEO of Crystal Cathedral Ministries. "The ruling enables the ministry to arise out of bankruptcy after paying the final creditors. The trial was tough for everyone involved, and our congregation is ready to move forward to embrace a new and positive tomorrow, spreading the message of hope and healing to the people of Orange County and the world through the ‘Hour of Power.' We love the Schullers, and wish them well."

Who is currently leading the ministry? In mid-February, at the invitation of the Board of Directors, John Charles accepted the position of the ministries' President and CEO. "My most pressing desire is to thank you for your prayers, support, and your heart for God and for this ministry," says John.

Why do we no longer see Dr. Schuller in the pulpit? Dr. Schuller has retired from the ministry and is no longer involved in its day-to-day operations. "At the age of 85," says John, "we respect his decision to slow down, and know he well deserves this time of rest and reflection. He and Arvella are doing well, physically, but due to the ongoing legal cases, etc., they find it difficult to attend the church."

Where is Sheila Schuller Coleman? Over the months, as feedback was received expressing increasing displeasure over the new direction of the music during Sunday services, Sheila and Jim Penner were asked by the congregation and the board to change the format of the service. Sheila felt very strongly about the music and her ministry direction, and she and Jim moved their ministry, Hope Center OC (of Christ), to another location. The ministry wishes them the best in this new endeavor.

Who is now in the pulpit? Will Robert A. Schuller return? At this time, as the board stabilizes the local church and televised service following this change in leadership, besides a series of excellent guest speakers, Bobby Schuller (9:30 am), who has offered his help in rebuilding the best Sunday morning service possible. Also, the now-volunteer Choir Director Don Neuen is back, along with Orchestra Director Marc Riley! Meanwhile, Robert A. Schuller continues to be supportive of this ministry as he and his talented son-in-law, Chris Wyatt, work on new endeavors in positive, family media.

Now that the Roman Catholic Diocese owns the grounds, how does that affect the church and the Hour of Power? As church member and viewer support continues, the church services will continue and the Hour of Power will remain on the air no matter where the church is located. When it became clear that selling the property would be best for the future of the ministry, the board and Dr. Schuller decided to sell to the Catholic Diocese so the buildings and grounds would always remain places of worship, as they were intended. Though other offers were greater, the stipulations within those offers did not guarantee that the campus would remain a site for Christian worship.

When will Crystal Cathedral Ministries move to a new location? A move in June 2013, in effect, will be a swap of facilities, with the St. Callistus' congregation, and later the diocese's administrative offices, moving to the Crystal Cathedral. The churches are about one mile apart on Lewis Street in Garden Grove. The Diocese has granted the Crystal Cathedral free rent at the St. Callistus campus, which will be renamed when the move is made, through December 2013. Rent payments of $25,000 per month will be due beginning January 2014 and escalate at a predetermined rate every two years thereafter. The length of the lease has not been determined. The sanctuary seats about 1,200, a little less than half the Crystal Cathedral sanctuary's capacity.

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