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Crystal Cathedral: Church Leaders Believe God Will Provide $50M-Miracle

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  • The Crystal Cathedral announced over the weekend that members would fight to keep the historic California church, currently in bankruptcy, from being sold.
    (crystalcathedral.org)
    The Crystal Cathedral announced over the weekend that members would fight to keep the historic California church, currently in bankruptcy, from being sold.
By Nicola Menzie, Christian Post Reporter
August 2, 2011|4:14 pm

Crystal Cathedral leaders said Monday that they are looking to God and "miracle" donations to solve their bankruptcy problem.

The announcement comes just one day after leaders of the bankrupt California megachurch said they are no longer putting Crystal Cathedral up for sale to pay off $50 million in debts.

Visitors to the church's official website Tuesday were immediately greeted by a banner message encouraging donations and inviting supporters to "stand with Crystal Cathedral" and "be a part of the miracle."

Clicking on the banner directs visitors to the “Miracle Faith Offering” page on the church’s commerce site. The faith offering page allows supporters to donate between $10 and $10,000.

Crystal Cathedral is looking to raise $50 million in 120 days.

In a message on the site, the church thanks supporters for helping the ministry in “its most urgent and greatest challenge.”

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“We are grateful for your support as we stand in faith that God, through the people this ministry has touched, will work a miracle to ensure its continued existence,” the statement reads.

The historic church, founded by Robert H. Schuller more than fifty years ago, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October.

Crystal Cathedral officials had been working with a bankruptcy reorganization plan decided on by a committee of creditors tasked with settling $50 million in debts.

Now, however, the struggling church is pursuing its own strategy to pay off creditors.

Church board members had previously announced that they were seeking a buyer for the 40-acre Crystal Cathedral campus, as the reorganization plan calls for, but sought permission in court Monday to solicit contributions from congregants and faithful viewers of Schuller’s “Hour of Power” television program to pay off their debts.

Mark Winthrop, a lawyer for Crystal Cathedral, told U.S. District Judge Robert Kwan Monday that the church’s board members have a “faith-generated belief” that contributors will step up to assist with the church’s troubled finances, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Kwan gave church officials until August 9 to submit Crystal Cathderal's new bankruptcy exit strategy. The judge said he would give his decision on the plan during a hearing on September 14.

Schuller, his wife, Arvella, and their daughter, Carol Schuller Milner, were present at the hearing, but did not comment.

Milner later told the LA Times that her father will do all that is needed to raise the necessary funds.

Several groups and organizations interested in buying the church property have already stepped forward, with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange and My Father’s House Church International both offering $50 million.

The church reportedly received a new offer before Monday’s hearing from Robert Lee Tran Truong, a Garden Grove resident.

Truong told the LA Times he would pay $99 million for the church and its campus, which would be use for his God’s Way Institute. He also mentioned possibly building a mall on the campus.

Greenlaw Partners, a real estate investment group, and Chapman University have both offered $46 million for the Crystal Cathedral property.

Crystal Cathedral leaders will likely have to sell the church if their donation campaign falls through.

 

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