Crystal Cathedral

Timeline

www.tinyurl.com/cc-timeline

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1955

1961

1963

1967

1968

1969

1970

1972

1975

1976

1977

1978

1979

1980

1981

1982

1983

1984

1985

1986

1987

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2012

     1955                                                      

Robert Harold Schuller (RHS) began services at the Orange Drive-In Theatre in Orange County, California.

June 30

Norman Vincent Peale spoke at the Orange Drive-In Theatre.

The Reformed Church in America gave the new church two acres of land in Garden Grove, California.

RHS created a nonprofit corporation called Garden Grove Community Church, Inc. (GGCC, Inc.).  The Board of Directors of GGCC, Inc. consisted of Ministers, Deacons and Elders and was called a Consistory.  GGCC was governed by the Reformed Church in America (RCA) Book of Church Order (BCO).

     1961                                                      

The congregation moved to a new sanctuary designed by architect Richard Neutra.

November 5

Dedication of Neutra sanctuary.

     1963                                                      

RHS book “God's Way To The Good Life” copyrighted.

     1967                                                      

RHS book “Move Ahead With Possibility Thinking” copyrighted.

     1968                                                      

The Tower of Hope was completed.

September 15

Dedication of Tower of Hope.

Dr. Harold Leestma was the #2 pulpit minister at Garden Grove Community Church.

     1969                                                      

RHS Institute for Successful Leadership begins.

RHS book “Self-love: the dynamic force of success” copyrighted.

     1970                                                      

February 18

Hour of Power goes on the air.

RHS book “Life's Not Fair, But God Is Good” copyrighted.

December 24

RHS started a CA nonprofit corporation called Robert Schuller Ministries, Inc. (RSM) to produce the “Hour of Power” television show, which was broadcast internationally.  RSM was not part of the RCA.

     1972                                                      

RHS book “Power Ideas for a Happy Family” copyrighted.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen was first there in 1972. His sermon was “Jesus Christ, Superstar, Superscar!”  It was the largest church service (at that time) held at an Orange County Church.  2000 chairs (according to Dr. Schuller in a sermon at the time of Sheen’s death in 1980) were added outside what was then the church.

Dr. Leestma was given the opportunity to occupy/purchase land for a church in what is now Laguna Woods South Orange County.

Dr. Leestma began a new work called LAKE HILLS COMMUNITY CHURCH.  It opened in a Mission Viejo School (while the land issues were being resolved) with 500 in attendance and grew to 1200 before ever worshiping on the cited land.

     1975                                                      

Archbishop Fulton Sheen preaches at GGCC.

RHS book “Self-Love” copyrighted.

Up until sometime in the mid-1970s, the Consistory was directly elected by the congregation and under the RCA BCO had to be a member in good standing of the local congregation.  After the Consistory voted a bylaws change, The Board became a self-perpetuating Board and elected its own membership.

     1976                                                      

RHS book “You Can Be The Person You Want To Be” copyrighted.

     1977                                                      

Construction on the Crystal Cathedral began.

     1978                                                      

RHS book “It’s Possible” copyrighted.

     1979                                                      

RHS book “Toughminded Faith for Tenderhearted People” copyrighted.

     1980                                                      

The Crystal Cathedral was completed in 1980, built at a cost of $18 million.  The building was constructed using over 10,000 rectangular panes of glass.

May 13

Beverly Sill gives concert in CC. (See Newspaper Article)

Robert Anthony Schuller (RAS) become an ordained minister in the RCA.

Sheila Schuller Coleman book “Robert Schuller, My Father & My Friend” copyrighted.

September 14

 First services in CC with architect Philip Johnson as the pulpit guest.  CC dedicated debt-free.

According to a longtime member of the CC, the GGCC Board of Directors decided during this year to rename the “Garden Grove Community Church, Inc.”  nonprofit corporation to “The Crystal Cathedral, Inc.”.  Is this true?  If this is true, why was the name change not ruled on until 1986 and not issued until 1990 as shown here?

With the dedication of the Crystal Cathedral in 1980, the Consistory voted to change the name of the church to The Crystal Cathedral (at times colloquially referred to as the Crystal Cathedral of the Reformed Church in America or Crystal Cathedral Congregation).

First Glory of Christmas.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen died.

     1981                                                      

The Crystal Cathedral building, designed by architect Philip Johnson, was completed in 1981 and seats 2,736 people.

The church changed its name to Crystal Cathedral when it moved into the building in 1981.

Spring 

RAS announced to the CCM Board of Directors that he wanted to start his own church.

November 

RAS has his first service in Saddleback College.

     1982                                                      

RHS book “Self Esteem - The New Reformation” copyrighted.

September

Donna and John Crean told RHS they had decided to donate the Rancho Capistrano property to CCM - not at first for RAS.  It was John Crean’s dream that their Rancho Capistrano property would become a retreat center - not just another church.

     1983                                                      

Spring

RAS again asked John Crean if he could start a church on his property.  John Crean agreed to let him use the old barn at one end of the property for his church.

RHS book “Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do!” copyrighted.

     1984                                                      

January

RAS first wife Linda filed for a divorce.

RHS book “Winning starts with beginning” copyrighted.

November 10

RAS married Donna.

     1985                                                      

First Glory of Easter.

RHS book “The Be Happy Attitudes” copyrighted.

RHS book “Robert H. Schuller tells you how to be an extraordinary person in an ordinary world” copyrighted.

RHS book “The power of being debt free: how eliminating the national debt …” copyrighted.

RHS book “Tough Minded Faith for Tender Hearted People” copyrighted.

     1986                                                      

RHS book “You Can Become the Person You Want to Be” copyrighted.

RHS book “Move ahead with possibility thinking” copyrighted.

RHS book “Be happy you are loved” copyrighted.

RAS book “Getting Through What You're Going Through” copyrighted.

RAS book “Stealing From Our Children” copyrighted.

     1987                                                      

GGCC assigned ownership of the CC Campus properties to RSM.  There was an Oral Agreement regarding the transfer of ownership.

According to John Joseph, one of the GGCC board members, the CC property was debt-free before 1986, but the congregation borrowed $5M for RSM.  Half of it was given to RSM as the purchase price for an office building across the street from the CC.  Joseph said it was his understanding that the office building was being deeded back to RSM as part of the transfer of the CC properties to RSM.

No public announcement of the decision to transfer the CC properties from GGCC to RSM was made.

At the time of transfer, the CC complex was estimated to be worth $18M to $32M.

According to an LA Times article, RSM needed the CC properties as collateral for loans for a project to build a $20M training center for ministers to be built beside the current church property.

RHS “Power To Grow Beyond Yourself” copyrighted.

     1988                                                      

RHS book “Success Is Never Ending, Failure Is Never Final” copyrighted.

RAS book “The world's greatest comebacks”  copyrighted.

     1989                                                      

RHS book “Living Positively One Day at a Time” copyrighted.

     1990                                                      

The Prayer Spire was completed.

Family Life Center building completed (150,000 sf) and dedication of Crean Spire.

The name GGCC was changed to THE CRYSTAL CATHEDRAL (TCC).

December 31 

The name RSM was changed to Crystal Cathedral Ministries, Inc. (CCM).  According to the LA Times article, RHS was quoted as stating that RSM formed an endowment committee to raise funds “to guarantee the future security” of the cathedral and other ministry properties.

The LA Times article further quotes RHS as saying “The CC congregation will always have the use of the property, which is guaranteed by a 99-year lease renewable in perpetuity.  This is a move to assure these properties will not decay or deteriorate in the decades and centuries to come and will help lift the financial burden from the local congregation of responsibility for the future upkeep of all of the properties.”

Apparently (not yet verified) GGCC and RSM were created to be the type of nonprofit corporations that have self-perpetuating Boards of Directors where the Board elects future members of the Board and the Members of the nonprofit have absolutely nothing to say about anything - similar to the government of the Roman Catholic Church.

Wayne Antworth, national communications director for the denomination, told the Associated Press he thinks the transfer of church property to any organization not a part of the Reformed Church "sets a dangerous precedent."  Schuller, however, said in his statement that there are other examples of situations in which congregations do not hold the deeds to their church properties.  "Such titles are held by an outside corporation to preserve and perpetuate these historic and landmark properties," Schuller stated.

     1991                                                      

RHS book “Believe in the God Who Believes in You” copyrighted.

RHS book “Inspirational Writings of Robert H. Schuller” copyrighted.

RHS book “Reach Out for a New Life” copyrighted.

RHS book “Life’s Not Fair, But God Is Good” copyrighted.

RHS sustains head injury.

     1992                                                      

James Penner book “Goliath: The Life of Robert Schuller” copyrighted.

     1993                                                      

RAS book “Dump your hang-ups without dumping them on others: 12 steps for ...” copyrighted.

RHS book “The Future Is Your Friend” copyrighted.

     1995                                                      

RHS book “Power thoughts” copyrighted.

RHS book “Prayer: My Soul’s Adventure with God” copyrighted.

     1996                                                      

Book “The wisdom of Robert H. Schuller: two complete books” copyrighted.

     1997                                                      

RHS book “If It's Going to Be, It's Up to Me” copyrighted.

RHS book “Self-Love” copyrighted.

The Rev Dr’s own “Grapes of Wrath”.

RHS book “Life's Not Fair But God Is Good” copyrighted.

RAS book “In search of morality: how you can live a fulfilling life from the …” copyrighted.

     1999                                                      

RHS book “Turning Hurts Into Halos” copyrighted.

     2000                                                      

RAS book “Possibility Living: Add Years to Your Life and Life to Your Years With God's Health Plan ” copyrighted.

Donna Schuller book “A legacy of success” copyrighted.

     2001                                                      

RHS book “My Journey: From An Iowa Farm To A Cathedral Of Deams” copyrighted.

Welcoming Center opens.

     2004                                                      

RHS book “Hours of Power: My Daily Book of Motivation and Inspiration” copyrighted.

December 17

The death of CC orchestral arranger/director Johnnie Carl.

     2005                                                      

RHS book “Don't Throw Away Tomorrow: Living God's Dream for Your Life” copyrighted.

CCM went ahead with the production of the “Creation” stage production even though many of the “insiders” knew it would not succeed for the following reasons:

  1. It was not tied to an annual “traditional” religious holiday like Christmas and Easter.
  2. With summer dates and the late setting sun, there was only time each day to have 1 show a night while the success of the Glory of Christmas relied on 2-3 shows a night and the Glory of Easter relied on 2 shows a night.

CCM went ahead with the production anyway.  It lasted only one summer and was a failure.  Because it was such a costly production, CCM lost over $10 million including $5 million profit from the sale of a warehouse on Orangewood by the stadium.

RHS book “A Place of Beauty, A Joy Forever” published.

     2006                                                      

January 22

RAS succeeded RHS as senior pastor at CCM and HOP program.

     2007                                                      

RAS book “Walking in Your Own Shoes: Discover God's Direction for Your Life” copyrighted.

     2008                                                      

RAS and Sheila Schuller Coleman’s book “Power for Life Bible: From the Crystal Cathedral” copyrighted.

Book “Faith Lessons: Experiencing the Miracles” copyrighted.

October 25

RHS announced that RAS had been removed from his position citing “a lack of shared vision”.

November 29

It was announced that RAS had resigned from his position as Senior Pastor of the Crystal Cathedral.

     2009                                                      

February 18

Man commits suicide inside CC.

RAS book “Leaning Into God When Life Is Pushing You Away” copyrighted.

RHS book “Prayer: My Souls Adventure With God: a Spiritual Autobiography” copyrighted.

RAS became Chairman of Comstar Media Fund, a media investment company.  Comstar owns several media companies including cable television networks FamilyNet and American Life TV.

     2010                                                      

October 18

CCM files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection.

December 1

CCM files Statement of Financial Affairs document with Bankruptcy Court.

December 1

CCM files Statement of Schedules with Bankruptcy Court.

     2011                                                      

May 27

Greenlaw Partners Offer.

July 5

Chapman's offer heats up Crystal Cathedral bankruptcy.

July 15

Norco church makes $50 million offer for Crystal Cathedral

July 22

The RCBO makes $50M cash offer to purchase CC Campus.

August 5

Hobby Lobby’s $47.5M offer.

September 14

 Court puts CC sale in motion.

September 30

CCM Creditors Committee file Objections to CCM-Insiders Claims and discloses CCM-Insider compensation.

October 26

CCM approves of Chapman University offer.

October 28

The RCBO files objection to Chapman offer with Bankruptcy Court.

October 31

Diocese tries to block sale to Chapman University.

October 31

Creditors Committee files motion to confirm with Bankruptcy Court.

October 31

Creditors Committee files first motion with Bankruptcy Court.

October 31

Creditors Committee files second motion with Bankruptcy Court.

November 11

Chapman University files Joinder with Bankruptcy Court.

November 13

Creditors Robert A. Schuller and Donna Schuller file document in support of The RCBOs objection to the Chapman Plan and request that The RCBO’s increased offer of $57.5 million be approved by the Bankruptcy Court.

November 14

The RCBO ups its offer to $57.5M.

November 14

Creditors Committee file document favoring RCBO offer with Bankruptcy Court.

November 16

Chapman University makes $59M offer.

November 16

It has been reported that the CCM Board was restructured so that The RCBO offer would be accepted instead of Chapman University’s offer because Chapman University would not agree to pay RHS $6M for royalty fees and retirement..

November 16

CCM board votes to select the RCBO as their preferred buyer for the CC.

November 17

Judge Robert Kwan rules that the RCBO bid will be allowed to proceed to purchase the CC.

November 24

Chapman University upped its offer to what The RCBO believed was up to $30M more than The RCBO offer so that Chapman’s new offer could be valued at about $87.5M. According to Tim Busch, corporate counsel to the Diocese of Orange and an advisor to Bishop Tod Brown, media reports of a $1.5 million gap between the Chapman University’s new bid and that of the Diocese were grossly understated.  Counting the additional rent and long-term occupancy incentives offered by Chapman University, Busch estimated that the Diocese of Orange was actually overbid by as much as $30 million.  The new Chapman offer would have returned ownership of the CC and other key religious buildings to the ministry and allowed the HOP to continue to operate from its landmark site, but was inexplicably rejected by the CCM Board of Directors and the Schuller Family.

 

     2012                                                      

January 27

Emergency Motion to Clarify Court Order.

February 3

The sale to the Diocese of Orange was finalized.

February 15

The OC Register reports that Sheila and Jim are no longer on the CCM board (the board meeting apparently occurred the previous week).

February 15

John Charles named interim CEO and board president.

February

The Crystal Cathedral Campus was sold to the Catholic Church - Diocese of Orange County.

March 1

The Board of Directors of CCM consists of the following persons:

  1. Robert H. Schuller
  2. Arvella Schuller
  3. Jim Dawson
  4. John Charles (nonvoting member)
  5. Ruby Rinker
  6. Dianne Highum.

March 10

Dr. R H  Schuller and his wife resign from the CCM board.  The board says that the ministry could not continue if they paid the Schullers additional claim.

March 18

Sheila Schuller Coleman starts a new church in a movie theatre that she says is a continuation of the Crystal Cathedral.  Attendance at the Crystal Cathedral increases by 499 that Sunday as the church returns to a traditional service. At this time there are no Schuller family members associated with the church at the Crystal Cathedral.

April 29

Don Neuen returns to lead traditional choir once again as volunteer choir director.

May 29

CCM Board of Directors now are

  1. Jim Dawson
  2. John Charles (nonvoting member)
  3. Ruby Rinker
  4. Diane Highum
  5. Jack Chavalian
  6. Bill Bennett


Reader Submissions

In order to achieve the objective of transferring ownership of the Crystal Cathedral properties back to the donors who paid for it, we all need to submit relevant facts that we know.  Be very sure you are stating verifiable, provable facts and not just hearsay or rumors..  The facts you provide will become part of this page, and this page will be updated periodically to add facts, correct errors or improve the content.  To add your facts to this web page, click the following link Send Facts, enter your facts and any supporting evidence, and send.  Unless the facts you provide contain something clearly objectionable or are unsubstantiated, they will be added to the above Timeline. 

Links

Are Lawsuits Immoral?

Authority

CC - Google Docs Home Page

CC - Donors

CC - Grounds for Class Action Lawsuit

Nonprofit Corporations Started by the Schullers

Nonprofit Corporations Chart

RHS’s Self-Esteem Theology

Schuller Family Publications

The Case Against Crystal Cathedral Ministries

Things To Do

Timeline of Facts

1987 Property Transfer Agreement

Phil White Bio

Phil White Blogs1

Phil White Blogs2

Phil White Blogs3