Funeral planned for Crystal Cathedral founder Robert Schuller

Funeral service to be held for Crystal Cathedral founder Robert Schuller on April 20

A funeral service will be held for Crystal Cathedral founder Robert Schuller this month at the church his family made famous, a family representative said.

The service will be held April 20 at 10 a.m. at the Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove -- formerly Crystal Cathedral.

Carol Schuller Milner, Schuller's daughter, said the public service will be held in the plaza "encircled by the four architectural structures built during Dr. Schuller's years of leadership: the Crystal Cathedral, the Arboretum, the Tower of Hope" and the Richard Meier visitor's center.

The closed-casket service will be followed by a procession to the Memorial Gardens, where Schuller will be buried next to his wife, Arvella. Schuller Milner said that although the burial ceremony will be private, the public will be able to view it from outside the garden.

The service will be led by Dan Chun, senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Honolulu and a friend of Schuller.  

Schuller died Thursday at age 88 at a care facility in Artesia. He had esophageal cancer.

Schuller started his first ministry in 1955 at a drive-in theater. He went on to become one of America's most prominent evangelical preachers, known for his "Hour of Power" television program and building the iconic Garden Grove church campus with its glass-paned cathedral.

But the church fell into hardship in Schuller's final years. In October 2010, the church, then led by Schuller's daughter Sheila Schuller Coleman, declared bankruptcy. The cathedral and surrounding property were sold to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange in February 2012.

Schuller Milner said Christ Cathedral has agreed to pay for service expenses "in honor of Dr. Schuller's contribution to faith and to the campus now owned by the diocese," and friends of the family have offered to pay the remaining mortuary expenses.

Follow Abby Sewell on Twitter at @sewella for more local news.


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