UNEXPECTED LIFE CHANGE
Robert was visibly dis-associated as the senior pastor of the Crystal Cathedral in 2008. Robert says he thought he knew what his life journey would be. He came to realize that when life doesn’t go as planned you must discover how to let go and trust that God is in control. He didn’t realize as his life fell apart that God wanted him to forge his own path. Robert now works in new media with the co-founder of Godtube.com (and his son-in-law), Chris Wyatt, to create ComStar Media.
His motivation to write When You are Down to Nothing, God is Up to Something is to give hope and motivate people during these tough times. Robert says our nation is going through tough times. People are losing everything and having to start over again, like people having to start new careers at age 60. Some individuals are down to nothing. In sharing his story and the lessons he learned he would like to give hope and motivate people – this is a hope-building book.
END OF AN ERA
In 1955, Robert H. Schuller started his ministry with a $500 loan preaching from the top of a snack bar at a drive in movie theater. In 1980, he dedicated the Crystal Cathedral. After a series of financial setbacks thirty-two years later, the Crystal Cathedral ministry filed for bankruptcy in October 2010 and they were forced to sell the campus. The building was sold to the Catholic diocese of Orange County in February 2012, which is letting the Protestant congregation continue to worship in the building for three years. The sale of the monumental church was looked at as a new beginning for the Crystal Cathedral congregation and the ministry seemed hopeful.
Also in February, Senior Pastor Sheila Schuller Coleman was removed from her position as the CEO and president of the ministries. In March, Robert H. Schuller’s daughter Gretchen Penner and her husband were terminated from their positions as producers on the Hour of Power. Senior Pastor Sheila Schuller Coleman’s husband was also fired from his position. The Rev. Robert H. Schuller and his wife, Arvella, refrained from the board vote on these decisions. Soon after, the elder Schullers sadly resigned from the Crystal Cathedral board of directors. In an article from the Orange County Register, Robert A. Schuller was quoted as saying that he thought the changes in leadership was a smart move. At the time, he was unaware of the terminations. He is not in touch with his two sisters Gretchen Penner or Schuller Coleman. When he did see his parents around that time, they did not mention the board vote. Robert thought the decision about Hour of Power was a positive thing. His understanding at the time was that the reason people stopped supporting the ministry was that they didn’t care for the music and the preaching. He saw it as an opportunity to give people what they wanted, which would bring them back.
DOWN TO NOTHING
As for Robert’s exit from the Crystal Cathedral, he only had his positions as senior pastor of the Crystal Cathedral and host of the Hour of Power TV show for about three years before the ministry board greatly decreased his responsibilities in July 2008. Robert says before that time his life was moving in a positive direction and seemed to be unfolding as planned. He had been senior pastor of the church since 2006. That same month, his father told the congregation that Robert would no longer be preaching on the weekly Hour of Power broadcast. Robert was quoted as saying, “God unexpectedly and radically began changing the direction of my life in July 2008 when the first in a series of decisions–not of my own accord–was made that turned my world upside down.” By early September, Robert was completely removed from the Hour of Power television broadcast and in October, he was replaced as leader of the Sunday morning worship service at Crystal Cathedral. In November, he resigned from his position as Senior Pastor. “I would be less than honest if I said I did not struggle with intense feelings of betrayal and confusion and frequently found myself crying out to God,” says Robert. “If there was ever a time when I felt like disconnecting from God and others, that was it.”
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SOURCE: The 700 Club