Crystal Cathedral sells off property, struggles with economy

An interior shot of the Crystal Cathedral on July 24, 2002 in Garden Grove, California.
An interior shot of the Crystal Cathedral on July 24, 2002 in Garden Grove, California. Ann Johansson/Getty Images

Even the Crystal Cathedral isn't immune to a weak economy. The Orange County megachurch is scrambling to cover its costs.

Televangelist Robert Schuller's famed church in Garden Grove saw an $8 million drop in revenue last year. That's more than a quarter of its budget.

So the Crystal Cathedral is cutting back some of its "Hour of Power" broadcasts, selling 170 acres of property and laying off 50 employees. The church has also canceled its annual "Glory of Easter" production.

It says the cuts will save about $5 million — not quite enough to completely close the gap.

Another Orange County megachurch — Saddleback Church in Lake Forest — faced a similar budget shortfall because of the stagnant economy last year.

A few weeks ago, Saddleback pastor Rick Warren pleaded to his congregation for donations to cover a nearly $1 million shortfall. That appeal generated more than twice the amount Warren had sought.

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