After some debate as to whether a public memorial service was to be held for Robert H. Schuller at the Crystal Cathedral, on April 20th, hundreds of people gathered outside the glimmering cathedral he built in Southern California. Now owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, which picked up the property in bankruptcy proceedings, the current name is a nod to the history of Schuller's ministry.
"It's the only place to have it," Schuller's son Robert A. Schuller said.
Robert H. chuller died on April 2 after a battle with esophageal cancer. He was 88.The memorial was held on a plaza at what was formerly Schuller's Crystal Cathedral in the heart of Orange County and is now a Roman Catholic cathedral.
Dan Chun, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Honolulu, Bishop Charles Blake of West Angeles Church of God in Christ, and Bishop Kevin Vann of the Diocese of Orange were selected to speak about their friend.
"I know these men all very well and admire and respect them all," Schuller said. "My father had so many friends. When it comes to pastors, that was one of his No. 1 goals - working with other pastors."
Crystal Cathedral was founded in 1951 by Schuller and his wife, Arvella. In 1970 Schuller founded the "Hour of Power" program, which increased his popularity around the world, reaching close to 20 million people in 180 different countries during its peak in the 1990s. The glass-paned church found itself straddled with debt by 2010, however, and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, owing more than $7 million to its creditors. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange bought the megachurch for $57.5 million and renamed it Christ Cathedral, and is still working on reconstructing its design.