Crystal Cathedral not for sale, announces church board

The Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, Calif. Credit: Jenn L. (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
The Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, Calif. Credit: Jenn L. (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

.- Despite the Diocese of Orange recently making a $50 million bid for the bankrupt Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, church board members announced on July 31 that the building is no longer for sale.

“The board feels its great responsibility toward all of our vendors and other creditors, to pay them 100 percent of what is owed as soon as possible,” senior pastor Sheila Schuller Coleman said from the pulpit Sunday.

Coleman also cited a “responsibility” to local church members as well as viewers of the televised “Hour of Power” to keep the ministry's headquarters “intact.”

The news comes after the Diocese of Orange announced in early July that it was considering buying the Crystal Cathedral as an option to meet the needs of the 1.2 million Catholics in Orange County, the 11th largest diocese in the nation.

Although it has been planning for over 10 years to build a new, 2,500-seat cathedral in Santa Ana, the diocese has only hired an architect for the project and was considering converting the bankrupt church into a Catholic cathedral.

The Crystal Cathedral was appealing to the diocese because it provided an instant solution to its building needs and would have cost roughly half the $100 million price tag for the planned cathedral.

Though the diocese made an official $50 million bid for the Crystal Cathedral on July 22, the church board voted against selling it and decided to appeal to church members and viewers to donate the funds  instead.

The cathedral, founded by pastor Robert H. Schuller, filed for bankruptcy last October, after some of its creditors sued for payment.

Documents from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Santa Ana show that hundreds of creditors could be owed between $50 million and $100 million, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“Through our filing of Chapter 11 last October,” Coleman said, “I believe God has used it to turn the eyes of the world toward the Crystal Cathedral because He wants to make a big, bold statement, and, as a faith-based ministry, it's important to put our faith in God in this matter.”

Coleman also said the board was “deeply touched by the outpouring of admiration for our beautiful 40-acre garden grounds and its world class architecture,” noting that many “of the potential buyers are community and faith leaders that have gone to great lengths to honor the ministry.”

According to the Orange County Register, four official offers were made for the glass church: two $46 million bids from the developer Greenlaw Partners LLC and Chapman University, and two $50 million offers from the Diocese of Orange and My Father's House Church International.

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