Crystal Cathedral files for bankruptcy

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

The Crystal Cathedral today filed for bankruptcy protection. The megachurch built itself into a power house with its TV evangelism, including the popular “Hour of Power.” But now, the Garden Grove icon now faces a $55-million debt.

The Crystal Cathedral’s been struggling with finances for a while now. It’s cut its staff, canceled some of its TV programming and even ditched its famous “Glory of Easter” performance this year.

The church founded by evangelist Robert H. Schuller in the 1950s reportedly now owes its vendors about $7.5 million for services including publicity and the use of live animals for its Easter and Christmas performances.

The church says it’s been trying to negotiate with the vendors. But some of them decided to sue to recover their money.

The church says it needed to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection so it can reorganize its finances.

The church blames the slow economy for its financial problems.

The senior pastor at the Crystal Cathedral says Chapter 11 is “just one more chapter in the book” that God “is continuing to write.”

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