Sunday’s service brought bitter news for the members of the Crystal Cathedral congregation. One of its senior pastors announced it plans to start a new church and leave the show. Media reports point out Sheila Schuller Coleman’s departure might be the end of the show.
Over the past few weeks, the Crystal Cathedral ministry as well as the overall church has been under scrutiny as members from the Schuller family that filed for bankruptcy two years ago made their exit from the church. Add to that the selling of an Orange County property for some $57.5 million and the departure of one of the senior pastor and you’ve got a congregation on the brink of separation.
At 85 years old, televangelist Robert Schuller left the church he founded forty years ago. He was the one to base the megachurch on the TV show “Hour of Power”, than since 1970 continues to be a peak among audiences. Last week, Robert Schuller announced him and his wife will leave the church and their positions in the directors’ board for the Crystal Cathedral.
Soon after Robert Schuller’s announcement, on Sunday came forth Scheila Schuller Coleman’s decision to quit the church. “This is the last Sunday we will be worshiping in this building” she told her audience gathered in the glass cathedral.
Senior Crystal Cathedral Pastor Sheila Schuller Coleman said she decided to leave the church because of the constant scrutiny between her family and the rest of the board. The pastor pointed out that the board has been promoting an “adversarial” relationship that resulted in the creation of “a hostile work environment”.
The senior pastor will join forces with her brother in law, Jim Penner to begin a new church called Hope Center of Christ. Penner and his wife were recently fired by the board of the Crystal Cathedral.
The news about Sheila Schuller Coleman’s new ministry created a separation between congregants. Some are already excited to become a part of the pastor’s new church. For instance, Shirley Zink said: “We need to make everyone aware that Crystal Cathedral Ministries is continuing right here. I’m looking forward to a traditional church service with a choir, musicians and a great message”.