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Younger Rev. Schuller quits Crystal Cathedral

Goffard is a Times staff writer.

The Rev. Robert A. Schuller, ousted in October as the preacher of the long-running Christian television program “Hour of Power,” has resigned as senior pastor at the Crystal Cathedral and plans to open his own ministry.

Church founder Robert H. Schuller removed his son as the sole preacher on the 39-year-old television show after the younger Schuller, three years into the job, refused to rotate his role with other pastors, the church said.

The younger Schuller was given the chance to remain as a Crystal Cathedral pastor -- a role his father said he expected him to keep -- but left the Garden Grove church in late November.

The younger Schuller, recently returned from a speaking engagement in Brazil, declined to be interviewed. Church officials said they weren’t in the loop about his plans.

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“We haven’t really been made privy to that,” said Rick Mysse, a pastor with the Schullers denomination, the Reformed Church of America, who oversees the Crystal Cathedral and some 60 other churches in Southern California.

“We know he’s been working diligently on plans. It’s probably a bit premature. We’re giving him plenty of time,” Mysse said. “It’s just a question of when he wants to announce it. Frankly, that’s his business.”

Mysse said there are 25 pastors lined up to speak on “Hour of Power,” a handful of whom have already recorded shows, including Lee Strobel and Bill Hybels. “Not a single person has turned us down that we’ve asked,” Mysse said.

Crystal Cathedral spokesman Michael Nason said the younger Schuller remained in good standing with his denomination. “He remains a pastor within the Reformed Church of America,” he said.

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Nason said the elder Schuller would not discuss the parting with his son in an interview. “This is probably too personal and too close,” Nason said. “I don’t think he’s going to do very well talking about it.”

Nason said the younger Schuller’s departure from the church and TV show stemmed from “lack of shared vision” with his father, and discouraged speculation that it was more complicated.

“It may seem too simple, the explanation, when in fact that is the explanation,” Nason said.

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christopher.goffard @latimes.com


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