The Rev. Robert A. Schuller is no longer the senior pastor of Crystal Cathedral and hasn't been for the past two weeks following a quiet resignation that managed to elude the media spotlight until this past weekend.
"The Executive Team of Crystal Cathedral Ministries has received and accepted the resignation of Rev. Robert Anthony Schuller as Senior Pastor of the congregation," the Garden Grove, Calif., megachurch announced in a statement dated Nov. 29. "It is expected that Robert will make an announcement soon regarding plans for his new ministry. The leadership and congregation wishes him all the best as his plans unfold."
Schuller's resignation came one month after his removal from the "Hour of Power" television program which for three decades served as the voice and face of Schuller and his father, Crystal Cathedral founder Robert H. Schuller.
The older Schuller said he felt called by God to build bridges between Crystal Cathedral Ministries and other powerful ministries and wanted his listeners and followers to hear other "amazing preachers," including Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church and Kirbyjon Caldwell of Windsor Village United Methodist Church.
But the vision to expand the program beyond a single personality in order to reach a broader audience strained relations between Schuller and his son, who disagreed with the move.
"For this lack of shared vision and the jeopardy in which this is placing this entire ministry, it has become necessary for Robert and me to part ways in the Hour of Power television ministry to each pursue our own unique God-ordained visions," the older Schuller said in a statement on Oct. 28.
According to Crystal Cathedral, the younger Schuller is expected to announce his new ministry plans "soon" and the church has begun the search for a new senior pastor.
In the meantime, interim senior pastor Juan Carlos Ortiz and executive pastor Jim Poit are leading the pastoral staff at Crystal Cathedral in cooperation with Rick Mysse, executive director of the Far West Classis of the Reformed Church in America (RCA) – the church's denomination.
Church leaders have asked congregants to pray for the Schuller family during the "difficult yet exciting time of transition."