The Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Times reported late yesterday that Sheila Schuller Coleman, eldest daughter of the Rev. Robert H. Schuller, will become "co-leader" with her father of the Garden Grove, California, church. Coleman will replace senior interim pastor Juan Carlos Ortiz, who stood in for Robert A. Schuller after he parted ways with the Cathedral last fall over clashing visions for the ministry. "[Sheila] is taking over her brother's place," Donna Schuller, wife of Robert A., told The OC Register.
With a doctorate in business administration, Schuller Coleman, 58, is already deeply involved in running the 54-year-old ministry, as superintendent of Crystal Cathedral Schools, head of the church's family ministries, and program director for The Hour of Power. It looks like she has given at least one message on The Hour of Power, but does not preach regularly.
The Rev. Schuller shared in yesterday's ministry announcement that, after he told God he was too old to lead, God told him, "Give me two more years - 24 more months …. Don't worry. I have called your daughter Sheila, too. She is equipped and she will be your legs."
"Our church [affiliated with the Reformed Church in America] didn't even start ordaining women until 1973," Schuller Coleman told The OC Register. "I'm proud of my dad for doing this and I hope I can serve as a role model for younger women who want to get things accomplished in this church." She says her mother, Arvella, was deeply involved in the ministry, but always behind the scenes. Time will tell how the 10,000-member church will respond to having a woman in a more visible leadership position, or whether Schuller Coleman will ever become the 'mouth' of her father's ministry.