(Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Alcorn)
Crystal Cathedral's board of directors has voted to make Bobby Schuller, the grandson of the megachurch's founder Robert H. Schuller, the new pastor for the weekly "Hour of Power" television program as well as a non-voting member of the board.
"Be inspired by Hour of Power pastor Bobby Schuller," a link on the website of the Garden Grove, Calif.-based church says.
The decision was announced by President and CEO John Charles at a congregational meeting Thursday night, according to Orange County Register. "He's been a true godsend," Charles was quoted as saying. The 31-year-old Schuller's Sunday morning sermons will be heard across the U.S. and 11 other countries, he added.
Schuller, who was earlier filling in as a guest pastor, will remain an unpaid pastor until the ministry moves to a new campus, the St. Callistus Catholic Church, in June and settles some of its financial issues, Charles added.
"God is doing something special here," said Schuller, who holds a master of divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. "Something happened there," Schuller added, alluding to the leadership and financial crises the ministry has faced. "I don't know what it is, and I'm not casting judgment. Maybe something was lost."
The new pastor also sought to offer hope for a new beginning as the congregation moves to the new Campus. "When we go to St. Callistus, we'll remember what it truly means to be a church ... a community of people who are there for each other day in and day out," said Schuller, also a teaching pastor at the Tree of Life Community church in Orange.
The ministry filed for bankruptcy in October 2010 and in February 2012 sold the iconic building and its adjacent campus to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange for future use as the diocese's new cathedral. According to the terms of the sale, the building and most of the campus will continue to be used by the ministry for up to three years before being renovated for use as a Catholic cathedral.
The ministry is also expected to appoint a second lead pastor after it moves to the new campus. The Crystal Cathedral church is now called "Christ Cathedral" after the Garden Grove property was sold.
On the advice of Rev. Billy Graham, "Hour of Power" was first aired in 1970 as a church service of the Garden Grove Community Church, the former name of the church when it was founded over 55 years ago. The program was originally hosted by the elder Schuller. The founder's son, Robert A. Schuller, co-hosted it from 1976 to 2008.
"Each week, millions of people around the world tune in for unique and original messages that encourage each viewer to live a life filled with possibilities…to become the positive, hope-filled person God designed them to be!" the program's website says.
The elder Schuller and his wife, Arvella, founded Crystal Cathedral Ministries in 1955, which grew to be one of the largest Christian ministries in California.