Schuller loses vote at Crystal Cathedral

July 5, 2011

(RNS) Crystal Cathedral founder Robert H. Schuller has been removed from
a voting position on the board of the iconic glass megachurch he started
in Southern California five decades ago.

"Recently, the board of directors of Crystal Cathedral Ministries
voted to change Dr. Schuller's position from that of a voting board
member to the honorary Chairman of the Board Emeritus, a nonvoting
position," reads a Monday (July 4) news release from the church in
Garden Grove, Calif.

The change will give Schuller, 84, more time for speaking
engagements and a writing project, the statement said. Schuller's son,
Robert A. Schuller, who left the ministry in 2008 after leadership
differences surfaced, called the move "another step toward the church's
demise," according to the Orange County Register.

The Crystal Cathedral statement noted that the elder Schuller will
continue to speak in the church's pulpit and on its "Hour of Power"
television broadcast and participate in "creative and vision-casting
meetings" with staffers.

The transition comes after the cathedral, long embroiled in family
and financial problems, put its campus up for sale after filing for
Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Sheila Schuller Coleman, Schuller's daughter and executive director
of the church, said in a statement that she will still seek her father's
advice.

"I have and will continue to defer to his wisdom and honor him for
his unprecedented accomplishments," she said.

The church plans to sell its campus to a real estate investment
group with a 15-year leaseback plan. When it filed for bankruptcy
protection last October, it owed $7.5 million to creditors and had cut
back staff, halted flagship holiday pageants and reduced airtime.