Sunday, November 20, 2011

Crystal Cathedral prays for miracle to stop sale

The bankrupt megachurch is to be sold to the Diocese of Orange.

GARDEN GROVE – Crystal Cathedral's head pastor spoke optimistically about the future of her iconic megachurch at Sunday morning services, telling a congregation of about 400 that it was not too late to ask God to intervene and stop the church's impending sale to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange.

Senior Pastor Sheila Schuller Coleman, the daughter of the church's founder, offered a prayer thanking God for "intentionally delaying" a miracle, and indicated that the bankrupt church would continue to pray and wait for God to reveal His final plans.

"Is a miracle delayed, denied?" Coleman asked repeatedly during the service, as congregants shouted "No!" from the pews.

"We have many reasons to believe that God's miracle will still come to pass," Coleman said, "and His glory will still shine all that much brighter."

On Thursday, a U.S. bankruptcy judge ruled that the Diocese of Orange would be able to purchase the 40-acre Crystal Cathedral campus for $57.5 million. In his decision, Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kwan in Santa Ana rejected a higher offer of $59 million from Chapman University in Orange, which was the other top contender for the Garden Grove property.

Under the diocese's plan, the ministry will be able to lease the core buildings – including the glass-walled sanctuary and its shimmering tower – for three years, at $100,000 a month during the first year and $150,000 for years two and three. They also will be able to lease back the Crystal Cathedral school building for $10,000 a month through summer 2013...

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