Schullers Part Ways at Crystal Cathedral's 'Hour of Power'
On upcoming broadcasts of the Hour of Power from the glistening Crystal Cathedral in Southern California, the face that will appear in the pulpit won't always be that of Robert A. Schuller, the son of founder Robert H. Schuller.
The elder Schuller, 82, announced Sunday (Oct. 26) that differences between them about the future of the ministry have led to a decision to expand the platform of the broadcast.
"It is no secret to any of you that my son, Robert, and I have been struggling as we each have different ideas as to the direction and the vision for this ministry as we move into the future," the elder Schuller wrote in an announcement made at a church meeting Saturday and posted on its website the next day.
He added that the disagreement was placing the ministry in "jeopardy" and that the two men would "part ways in the Hour of Power television ministry to each pursue our own unique God-ordained visions."
Church spokesman John Charles said the decision about the younger Schuller, 54, was a board decision.
"He's still senior pastor of Crystal Cathedral, the local congregation," Charles said of the younger Schuller. "He's just no longer the single pastor on the Hour of Power."
Charles said the younger Schuller had differed with the board, chaired by his father, about whether there should be more faces in the Hour of Power pulpit.
Already, that is changing, with Walt Kallestad, pastor of Community Church of Joy in Glendale, Ariz., preaching Sunday.
The elder Schuller said he hopes other ministers who, like, Kallestad, have taken part in his ministry's Institute for Successful Church Leadership, will be guest ministers. Other possibilities included Bill Hybels, senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church near Chicago, and Kirbyjon Caldwell, senior pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston.
Susan DeLay, a spokeswoman for Willow Creek, confirmed that Hybels had been invited but said he has no upcoming plans to speak at the Crystal Cathedral. Caldwell's plans could not be immediately determined.
The elder Schuller said he would continue to host the weekly service and preach occasionally.
Charles said Monday the younger Schuller and other Crystal Cathedral representatives were not commenting on the situation.
The church posted a statement from the regional body of its denomination, the Reformed Church in America, which Charles said is likely to play a greater role in the church's future.
"Our next goal is to see both Robert A. and Robert H. given any assistance they may need to continue to be passionate about their individual visions and remain harmonious in their relationships, not just as father and son, but also as co-laborers in the Gospel of Jesus Christ," the statement reads.
"They are not just television icons; they are precious individuals loved by God and millions of people around the globe and they deserve our utmost respect and support."
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The Los Angeles Times also reported on the Schullers' rift.
Christianity Todayreviewed Robert H. Schuller's autobiography.