Crystal Cathedral Ministries, which owes about $7.5 million to unsecured creditors, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this morning, according to the Orange County Register.
Earlier this year, the megachurch founded by television evangelist Robert H. Schuller slashed several programs and laid off 50 employees to cut $4.9 million from its $20 million annual operating budget. The Register reports that Senior Pastor Sheila Schuller Coleman said the bankruptcy filing was a necessity because of lawsuits.
A committee of creditors who were working with the church for the last six months declared an impasse, foreshadowing the bankruptcy. Church board member and Schuller's son-in-law, Jim Penner, said Friday that the cathedral's intention is to repay all vendors 100 percent.
Among the long-time vendors for the "Glory of Christmas" pageant still waiting to get paid are Oliver, who supplied camels, horses and sheep for the pageant; wardrobe manager Juliet Noriega; dry cleaner Bruce Johnson, who cleaned the actors' costumes; props manager Sharon Crabtree, and Carin Galletta, whose public relations firm provided publicity for the pageant.
At least two creditors, including equipment financing company PNCEF LLC., have sought and obtained court-ordered writs of attachment.
Earlier, CT covered the church's apology for its debts, Sheila Schuller Coleman's new leadership, and interviewed Robert A. Schuller about his departure from the church his father founded.
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