- (Photo: AP Images / The Orange County Register, Joshua Sudock)
Contrary to several media reports, Crystal Cathedral founder the Rev. Robert H. Schuller is not retiring.
An announcement on Sunday that Schuller's daughter, Sheila Coleman, has become the official senior pastor of the Southern California megachurch sparked confusion.
"Dad is not retiring," the 59-year-old pastor told the Los Angeles Times.
For the past year, Coleman has been co-leading the 10,000-member church with her father. On Sunday, they announced that her role as senior pastor was officially affirmed by their denomination, the Reformed Church in America.
Schuller's retirement from the senior pastor position is nothing new, Coleman pointed out.
The 83-year-old pastor, who is known for his positive sermons, left the position in 2006 when his son, Robert A. Schuller, took over. The younger Schuller resigned a couple years later following disagreements over the direction of the church's popular "Hour of Power" television program.
In 2009, the Crystal Cathedral announced that the eldest Schuller child, Coleman, would co-lead the church with her father.
After officially assuming her role as senior pastor, Coleman commented on Sunday, "Dad ... feels good ... that I get to do all of the hard work for him."
But she made it clear that her father would still help lead the church and continue to preach.
"I want dad to be here until the day he dies in this pulpit," she said.
The Crystal Cathedral began as Garden Grove Community Church in 1955 at the Orange Drive-in Theatre. The famed 10,000-window cathedral it is currently at was built in 1980.