Crystal Cathedral: California Judge Rules Against the Schullers

According to The Orange County Register, a Los Angeles bankruptcy court judge has ruled against the Rev. Robert H. Schuller and family, saying they presented no evidence to support their multi-million dollar claims against the Crystal Cathedral, creditors and contractors. Judge Robert Kwan awarded around $615,600 to Schuller but nothing for his wife. Daughter Carol Schuller Milner called the judgment a “travesty” while the attorney for the creditors called it “a complete victory.”

John Charles, chief executive of the Crystal Cathedral, said in an email: “A long and difficult period in the history of the Crystal Cathedral is over. The ruling will enable the final creditors to be paid and give us the money we need to move on with our ministry, spreading a message of hope and love to the people of Orange County and, through the ‘Hour of Power,’ to the world. The trial was painful for everyone involved, and our congregation is ready to move on. We love the Schullers and wish them well.”

The Schullers had argued that they generously donated their books and other materials to benefit the Crystal Cathedral for years, but the ministry exploited their intellectual property. Schuller had been acting as ambassador to the ministry since his retirement, and the Crystal Cathedral had agreed to compensate him, but the payments ceased after bankruptcy proceedings began. Judge Kwan called the agreement between Schuller and the ministry “an employment contract,” under which Schuller was entitled to only one year’s worth of salary and other benefits.

Several of Schuller’s children worked in top-ranking positions at the Crystal Cathedral, but the only remaining Schuller at the cathedral is grandson Bobby, a visiting Sunday pastor whose sermons are viewed on the “Hour of Power.”

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