Crystal Cathedral Up for Sale to Escape Bankruptcy

by | May 27, 2011 | Charisma Archive

Crystal Cathedral

Photo property of Buchanan-Hermit and used with permission

The Crystal Cathedral megachurch in
Garden Grove, Calif., will be sold to escape Chapter 11 bankruptcy
and rectify millions in debt, church officials confirmed Thursday.

The church, founded by Robert H.
Schuller and known for its popular weekly televangelist series Hour
of Power
, filed for bankruptcy protection in October, claiming it
owed more than $50 million to creditors and vendors.

The Los Angeles Times
reported a reorganization plan could be filed in Santa Ana, Calif., as early
as Friday.

Church spokesman John Charles says the
40-acre campus would be sold to a real estate investment group under
the plan, which would relieve financial pressures from a $36 million
mortgage.

The proposed plan, which the Times
said could be approved at a June 1 bankruptcy court hearing, will
allow the megachurch to repay more than 550 creditors in the next 42
months.

“It’s great news,” Charles
told the Times. “It gives us the opportunity to pay
everybody off and start fresh.”

The plan also includes a guaranteed
option of leasing the campus for 15 years. The church could then buy
back the 10,000-pane cathedral, the 13-story Tower of Hope, the
welcome center and the cemetery after four years. However, the
plan does not allow the church the option of buying back the
four-story Family Life Center on its campus, which is already for
sale.

“The purpose of this plan is to
generate funds to repay creditors without affecting the ability of
the ministry to operate,” Marc Winthrop, attorney representing
the cathedral in bankruptcy court, told The Orange County
Register
.

Worship services, community outreach
programs and the Hour of Power can still continue and will not
be affected by the bankruptcy.

Sheila Schuller Coleman, the founder’s
daughter and senior pastor of the Crystal Cathedral since 2009, seems
optimistic about the new plan.

“We are pleased that we are able to honor the debt that we have
incurred and to honor the creditors who are due their payment,” she
said in a statement.

“The Crystal Cathedral Ministries would like to thank our
church members and friends around the world who have given from their
hearts to help rebuild a solid foundation from which we can continue
our ministry and launch the new vision for the Crystal Cathedral
Ministries.”

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