Crystal Cathedral: "Not for Sale"

Church officials said they plan to raise the money needed to pay the church's debt

By Jonathan Lloyd
|  Monday, Aug 1, 2011  |  Updated 8:46 AM PDT
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Chapman University Bids on Crystal Cathedral

AP

The Crystal Cathedral is seen in Garden Grove, Calif.

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Chapman University Bids on Crystal Cathedral

Chapman University makes a 46 million dollar bid to buy Crystal Cathedrals Garden Grove campus.
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The message is crystal clear -- the Crystal Cathedral is not for sale.

The orange banner across the church's homepage Monday links to a news release regarding its bankruptcy reorganization plan. The board of directors announced in the news release Sunday that Crystal Cathedral Ministries will raise the money to help pay the church's $36 million mortgage and nearly $10 million in unsecured debt.

"In this vote, the board has chosen to step forward in faith believing that God, in his perfect timing, will provide all the funds necessary to pay every creditor in full and keep the ministry campus in the hands of the Crystal Cathedral Ministries," the news release stated.

Church officials had been considering at least four offers to buy the Garden Grove property. Those offers were scheduled to be the subjects of discussion Monday in bankruptcy court, but the board said it will ask the court for permission to collect donations to get out of bankruptcy.

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.

The Roman Catholic Diocese, Chapman University, a Norco-based church and a Newport Beach real estate investment firm are among the groups that made offers.

The open bidding process for the 30-acre campus was announced in June after a federal bankrupcty court hearing. Crystal Cathedral Ministries filed for Chapter 11 bankrupcty in October. Last month, a federal bankruptcy judge's ruling allowed the church to partially withdraw from a reorganization plan that would have sold the property to a real estate developer for $47 million.

"Through our filing of Chapter 11 last October, I believe God has used it to turn the eyes of the world toward the Crystal Cathedral because He wants to make a big, bold statement, and, as a faith-based ministry, it's important to put our faith in God in this matter," said Sheila Schuller Coleman, senior pastor.

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