Crystal Cathedral Ministries' senior pastor Sheila Coleman has addressed the sale of the church's signature Garden Grove, Calif. property once again in a recent blog post, noting how attached her congregation was to the iconic glass structure.
In a recent post for the ministry's legendary show, "The Hour of Power," titled "Not About a Church Building - But About Building a Church!" Coleman once again reminded her congregation that the loss of the ministry's traditional building should not be taken so hard.
"When the news broke that the Crystal Cathedral campus had gone into escrow for sale to the Catholic church, it amazed me how many people thought that the ministry was finished," Coleman wrote. "In their minds, they equated the ministry with the building and the campus. And, of course, that makes sense – after all, our ministry was named after our building!"
However, the minister emphasized, the ministry has never been about buildings. "In fact, you could say that we actually built an anti-building because the Crystal Cathedral was designed to go away – to be made only of windows, allowing God's nature to be seen from every angle," Coleman wrote.
The senior pastor of the embattled church that filed for bankruptcy in Oct. 2010 also evoked the early days of the ministry, established "with $500, a rented snack-stand rooftop, and our tiny parsonage."
"We started with no building," she wrote. "We started with a church that had no roof and no walls. We started out where all you could see was the sky, be it sunny, cloudy, or even rainy. That was the reason Dad wanted to build a "crystal" cathedral. He wanted a building that would have no gloomy corners, but be a palace of worship where people could see and feel the nature of God through God's nature – sitting "outdoors" while protected from the elements."
Coleman is the firstborn child of the ministry's founder, Robert H. Schuller.
The congregation has been known to be very dissatisfied with losing the building, where the church has held services for over 30 years, and from which it derives its name. Some church members were reportedly attending each hearing throughout the ministry's long bankruptcy case proceedings in the Santa Ana bankruptcy court. Right before the sale was officially finalized on Feb. 4, the congregation made one last attempt at blocking it by claiming a 99-year lease, for which it lacked sufficient proof, according to the court.
The building's new owner, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, who bought it for $57 million, announced that it will change the name of the church to better reflect the Catholic faith. It also declared it will implement changes in the design.