We can learn many lessons from this church failure. Read all the news and comments below:

Huge debt for ‘Hour of Power’s’ Crystal Cathedral

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/10/27/BA2U1G1G8G.DTL

(10-28) 04:00 PDT Garden Grove, Orange County

Crystal Cathedral founder the Rev. Robert H. Schuller on Sunday tearfully asked his parishioners for help in overcoming the megachurch’s bankruptcy and tens of millions of dollars in debt.

Schuller, 84, made the plea from the pulpit as he spoke publicly for the first time since the church filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Oct. 18.

“I need more help from you,” Schuller said, according to the Orange County Register. “If you are a tither, become a double-tither. If you are not a tither, become a tither. This ministry has earned your trust. This ministry has earned your help.”

Schuller’s voice cracked with emotion as he told congregants about his family home and cornfield in Iowa getting flattened by a tornado when he was a teenager.

“I learned from my father that tough times never last,” Schuller said. “Tough people do.”

Citing debts of more than $43 million, the Orange County church that also produces the long-running “Hour of Power” television show declared bankruptcy last week.

The church, founded in the mid-1950s by Schuller, has already ordered major layoffs, sold property and canceled its annual “Glory of Easter” extravaganza.

Church officials have said that for the time being, “Hour of Power” will remain on the air, though the number of stations airing it has been cut.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows a business to keep operating while it tries to put its finances in order under court supervision.

The church has said its money troubles are almost entirely the result of the recession, but others have blamed an inability to keep up with the times and leadership and succession problems that included a disastrous attempt to hand the church over to Schuller’s son.

Schuller’s daughter, Sheila Schuller Coleman, ended up assuming senior pastor duties.

She assured church members Sunday that using “biblical” money management, the church would get out of bankruptcy.

The congregation gave Robert Schuller a standing ovation near the end of his daughter’s remarks.

One longtime member said that she admired the Schuller’s efforts but that maybe the church needs a change in direction.

“Sheila is really trying hard and she is a good person,” said Jean Hess, a member for 30 years and a greeter at the church’s doors. “But, I think, to get back to where it was, the church needs to look outside of the family to find a true leader.”

Most popular Comments:


The last time I went by the Crystal Cathedral, there were stretch limos lined up the drive. I remember thinking to myself that churches were suppose to use collections to help people, not enrich their own way of life. I say, let it fall.


What in hell is biblical money management? Only a fool would give money to these people. It’s not about any type of god, it’s about greed.

You don’t get 43 million in debt just due to a recession and you don’t need a mega-church to commune with god (capital omitted on purpose.)

Crystal Cathedral’s Cracks Show in Bankruptcy Filing – WSJ.com

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304011604575565060738315760.html

For decades, evangelist Robert H. Schuller’s message of faith and positive thinking reached millions nationwide through his “Hour of Power” television show, broadcast from his towering glass church known as the Crystal Cathedral.

Now, it is the church’s financial woes that are reverberating across the country.

Citing declining donations and $48 million in debt, Crystal Cathedral Ministries filed for bankruptcy protection this week, leaving a trail of hundreds of unpaid creditors from California to Washington, D.C.

According to filings in U.S. bankruptcy court in Santa Ana, the Southern California church has 550 creditors with claims ranging from $2 million—owed to a Cincinnati-based bank that financed sound and stage equipment for the church’s TV productions—to $200 owed to a Columbia, S.C., company that supplied ribbons and awards to the church’s school.

….Mr. Winthrop said the church was prompted to file for bankruptcy protection after a few creditors filed lawsuits and “writs of attachment” in court to compel the church to pay them back more quickly.

The church’s debt underscores the elaborate style that came to define the Crystal Cathedral, often cited as progenitor of the American mega church. For example, holiday pageants featured live animals, hundreds of performers and live music.

“They had the top choreographers come in and work with the dancers, the top make-up artists too,” said Joe Branam, owner of Branam Enterprises in Compton, Calif., which builds stages for rock concerts and movies and did work for the church. “I’d say the Christmas show in many ways could be more elaborate than a KISS concert.”……

Christian Life News | Christian Life News

http://www.christianlifenews.co/robert-schuller-asks-for-money/851496/

Is Reverend Robert Schuller’s Glass Castle Falling Down? | COMMON PEOPLES SOURCE for News

http://www.cps-news.com/2009/02/03/is-reverend-robert-schuller’s-glass-castle-falling-down/

My View

Unfortunately for Schuller (as well as many other televangelist), his real problems are a result of that tried & true often-quoted rule; “you can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time”. Their lavish life styles, along with those golden kingdoms built “unto thy self” using money mostly from working stiffs and poor people, is finally catching up with them.

Just as many other “kingdoms” out side of televangelism have fallen due to greed & fraud exposed by the financial crisis, this same financial crisis is causing a lot of people to take a hard look at televangelist. And as it is with most other things, when you take a broader & deeper look into something, you see things you’ve never seen before, although those things were always there. In this case, those “things” were “invisible” due to blind faith. But once some big event forces people to open their eyes, they begin to see clearer.

Lessons: Don’t try those grandiose plans without solid financial support. “bhin ma naing bare, pare gyi hin sar.”

Example: Azusa Temple’s Patio.

Azusa monk drew up own plans. Asked for $ 20,000 donations. A few weeks later, asked for $ 60,000 donations. Tripled the original amount!!!

Gave some excuse blaming on the City. Never admits own mistakes.

No transparency. No accountability.

No Nibban Zay Food Fair reports and how funds were spent. Each year, Food Fair funds collected between $ 20,000 to $ 30,000.

Also, no yearly financial statements published.

Azusa Conditional Use Permit (CUP): Only 130 persons maximum allowed at any one time. The 130 includes monks present at sermons. However, was talking about doing “Chient chient tare, di htet kyo sar pa mare”/more “joyful crowding.”

No account of Ko Thi Ha, who came as Monks’ aide but jumped ship. Misuse of Temple sponsorship. Somebody benefited. Temple suffers.

No account for the first class roundtrip airfares of about $ 4,000 each and Nawa Kama diversion rumors for 3 years up to now.

Notice the comments on the Cathedral. They mentioned priests’ lavish spendings.

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