Robert Schuller’s bankrupt Crystal Cathedral owes Fox9 $115,000

Posted: January 2, 2011 in false teachers, Robert Schuller
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Many Americans grew up watching — or at least channel-surfing by — Robert Schuller’s “Hour of Power,” from the memorable Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California. The 84-year-old televangelist’s organization has fallen on hard times, declaring bankruptcy last week. Among its creditors: Fox9, which is owed $115,175.

 Like many TV preachers, Schuller bought time on local stations; a Fox9 spokesperson confirms “Hour of Power” was paid programming. Fox9’s unpaid bill is a pittance in the $50 million Crystal Cathedral owes; the Orange County Register quotes Schuller’s daughter saying the mortgage alone is $36 million.

Even though Schuller spent Sunday tearfully asking tithers to become “double tithers,” Fox9’s Sunday lineup no longer includes the show.

By the way, there’s another local-media connection to the Schuller empire. Scott Fagerstrom, now the editor-in-chief at Minneapolis-based Dolan Media, tracked Schuller’s finances for the Register two decades ago. As you can see from this 1990 story, financial troubles there are nothing new.

The beleaguered glass cathedral canceled its “Glory of Easter” for the first time this year and could be forced to cancel its popular Christmas spectacular next month. The pageants, which charged up to $45 admission, drew thousands of people.

“It was a very big production,” said Juliet Noriega, the wardrobe manager for the pageants, who claims she is owed more than $11,000. “The three wise men rode in on camels. The roman centurions made their entrances on horses. Because the cathedral was such a large venue everything they did there was quite large. There were 200 people on stage and thousands of costume pieces.”

Other long-time vendors for the “Glory of Christmas” pageant still waiting to get paid are Kristina Oliver, who supplied camels, horses and sheep; dry cleaner Bruce Johnson, who cleaned the actors’ costumes; props manager Sharon Crabtree, and Carin Galletta, whose public relations firm handled the publicity.

“There would be mainly three big camels that the kings would ride and five horses, a donkey, and goats and sheep,” said Oliver, who is owed more than $50,000, according to court papers. “It would be two months that I would be down there on the grounds.”

In a  statement, Schuller Coleman said the bankruptcy filing was necessary because a small number of creditors chose to file lawsuits and obtained court-ordered writs to attach the church’s bank accounts and assets in an attempt to get paid immediately.

At the end of the day Schuller put too much emphasis on himself.  Much of what was done was centered on him.  Now that schuller is getting to retirement age there is no one to take his place.  That has been the trouble with many of these ministries and mega church formations.  They all become man centered without the slightest thought of who will succeed.  They were built around one person, usually someone who is charismatic.  When the time comes the church falls into ruin because there is no one suitable to replace the person who built it.  When a man builds a movement around themselves and their own personality then it is inevitable that ruin will come of it.  The fact that this church was built on false teaching and possibility thinking, it would seem that all the positive thinking has failed them in the end.


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