- (Photo: YouTube via The Christian Post)
Sheila Schuller Coleman's new church, the Hope Center OC, was launched this past Sunday at an Orange County, Calif., movie theater and has already received praise by followers for the off-the-cuff but inspirational service.
"It was an amazing morning and praise the message that stirred my heart and drew me closer to Jesus," Michelle Frazier Cavinder wrote on the wall of the recently established Facebook page for Hope Center OC.
"We were all blessed by an awesome service, that only God could have pulled together with such short notice," Debbie Lips wrote.
"I'd like to thank you for showing me how to feel the Lord's presence while facing tough times and respond to life's curve balls. I will be a mountain dweller," Wendy Kahapea commented.
The Hope Center also thanked attendees who came out to join them for Sunday's unorthodox worship service, which involved Schuller Coleman discussing how to ride life's highs and lows and the difference between what is expendable and what is essential.
"What is essential is love. What is essential is faith. What is essential is forgiveness. What is expendable are buildings," the pastor said to the crowd, according to The Los Angeles Times.
The Hope Center OC was launched last week when Schuller Coleman, former senior pastor at the Crystal Cathedral church, announced that she would be leaving the megachurch congregation, founded nearly 60 years ago by her parents, the Rev. Robert H. Schuller and his wife Arvella.
"This brings back so many wonderful memories of planting our first church here in California at the Orange Drive-In Theatre, just a stone's throw from here," Schuller Coleman wrote in a newsletter sent out to followers this past Saturday.
"Helping Mom and Dad pack up the organ and drive to the theater and watch them preach and worship on the snack bar roof. We started with only $500. And look what God did with those seeds. I am excited to see what He will do with the seeds you and I plant this Sunday," she added.
Schuller Coleman departed the Crystal Cathedral after a highly public dispute between the church board and the Schullers regarding intellectual property rights, as well as financial and theological concerns.
The elder Schullers resigned from the church board and Schuller Coleman quickly followed suit, announcing that she would be starting a new church.
Thus far, the elder Schullers have made no indication that they would be joining their daughter at the new Hope Center OC.
Hope Center OC does not yet have a building to call home, but according to a video message from Schuller Coleman released last week, the church has "exciting possibilities pending."
The Crystal Cathedral, which is now led by John Charles, will continue to carry out normal worship services and also continue to air its popular "Hour of Power" segment, despite the loss of executive producer Jim Penner, who left with Schuller Coleman for the Hope Center OC.