Monday, August 8, 2011

Crisis at Crystal Cathedral – Schuller voted off Board

The crisis at the famous Crystal Cathedral reached a new climax when the Board recently voted the founder, Rev Robert H. Schuller off the Board of Directors. Making the announcement on July 3 was his son Robert A. Schuller, who himself had been voted off by the Board some three years ago. According to the younger Schuller, his dad was ousted because he had proposed adding new members to the board. In his words: “My father wanted to add board members, and they didn’t want that because they would lose control. They kicked him off. … I feel bad for him because he’s had to watch his life’s work go down the toilet the last three years.”
The story of the building of the Crystal Cathedral in an audacious move of faith is popularized in the book by Schuller, Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.
Robert Schuller, now 84, stepped down from the pulpit five years ago and had been a non-voting but influential member of the board with the title chairman emeritus. Daughter Sheila Schuller-Coleman was named Senior Pastor on July 11 last year, and her husband Jim Coleman is the current president of the Cathedral.

However, probably as a result of expression of outrage from several quarters, the governing board on July 27th made an about-turn and decided to restore “the voting rights” of Robert H. Schuller. Furthermore, an additional five members were added to the Board,

It remains to be seen whether this move could step the tide of financial woes that has befallen the Church. Last year the Church declared bankruptcy and filed a plan to sell its campus and its all-glass sanctuary in the face of a $47 million debt profile. To worsen an already sad story, one of the potential buyers of the cathedral is the local Roman Catholic diocese. Such a deal, would likely end the tenure of Crystal Cathedral Ministry on the site, unlike other deals which would allow Crystal Cathedral ministries to lease back portions of the site, including the cathedral itself.

In May last year, we reported the easing out of Dr James Dobson from Focus on the Family – a ministry he had nurtured for 33 years. He subsequently went ahead to start a new ministry . ( ) Could it be that pressures such as these –perceived or real -- sometimes make even godly leaders to miss their steps? The next story throws more light on this perspective.

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