As news broke that the Rev. Robert H. Schuller and his wife, Arvella, resigned from the board of the Crystal Cathedral, their daughter told congregants on Sunday the new name of the church will be Hope Center OC and a new location will be announced soon.
During Sunday worship services, Pastor Sheila Schuller Coleman said the new church location will be posted in a day or two on the church's new website, hopecenteroc.org. The OC in the name stands for "Of Christ."
"This is the last Sunday we will be worshiping in this building," she said. "The announcements that I've made today have the full and complete support of my mother and father."
Their resignations, announced Saturday “with great sadness,” came less than a week after three relatives -- including their daughter -- were ousted amid ongoing financial squabbles, declining donations and suspended production of its signature “Hour of Power” broadcast.
“We cannot continue to serve on the board in what has become an adversarial and negative atmosphere, especially since it now seems that it will not be ending anytime soon,” the Schullers said in a statement.
The glass-paneled cathedral, which once drew millions of television viewers worldwide, filed for bankruptcy in October 2010, citing debt totaling $43 million. In February, the church's property was sold to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange for $57.5 million, but money problems continued.
Schuller retired from day-to-day operations in 2006, but continued to serve on the board along with his wife and several relatives. But earlier this week, the board fired their daughter, Gretchen Penner, and her husband, Jim Penner, as producers of the "Hour of Power," and son-in-law Jim Coleman was fired as director of creative services.
The Schullers abstained from voting on the firings, as they fought the board over back pay, intellectual property and copyright infringement, the Orange County Register reported.
“We were told the board would not discuss the matter further and that it was terminating all negotiations,” the Schullers said. “Particularly in these difficult times for the ministry, the ministry's decision to spend its money on attorneys and court proceedings is bewildering to us.”
“Hour of Power” reruns are being broadcast while production is on hold, and donations reportedly are down 68 percent.
The Schuller's daughter, Carol Schuller Milner, told The Register her parents do not plan to sever all ties to the ministry.
“They're removing themselves from the governance of the ministry,” she told the newspaper. “They're still planning on worshipping in the congregation.”