Robert H. Schuller Dies

Date Posted: 
Thursday, April 2, 2015

(photo courtesy of the Associated Press)

Robert H. Schuller, founder and former pastor of the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California, died today at age 88. Schuller had been diagnosed with cancer in 2013.

Schuller began preaching in 1955 at an Orange County drive-in theater. He became known for his preaching on the power of possibility thinking.

In 1970, he started a weekly TV ministry called the Hour of Power. A decade later he built a glass cathedral to house his growing ministry. At one time the Hour of Power program attracted millions of viewers in 156 countries.

"As a young pastor, Robert Schuller not only inspired me to live out my call to ministry to positively reach people with the gospel of Jesus Christ, he impacted a generation of American pastors who began to dream of doing something great for God that could make a difference in our world," says Tom De Vries, the RCA's general secretary.

"That legacy still lives on today in the mission and ministry of many of America's largest churches and in the Reformed Church in America."

"Robert H. Schuller's ministry stretched around the world—in fact more people actually watched his broadcasts outside of the U.S.,” says Wes Granberg-Michaelson, who was RCA general secretary when Schuller’s ministry was going strong.

“Even when presidents and kings sought his counsel, he steadfastly maintained his deep sense of belonging to the RCA. No other minister in our denomination's history has been more widely known and esteemed throughout the world than Robert H. Schuller."

After a leadership transition led to a decline in membership, Crystal Cathedral Ministries filed for bankruptcy in 2010. Schuller resigned from the board in 2012.

The Crystal Cathedral ministry campus was sold to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange in 2012. The cathedral is now called Christ Cathedral.

The Crystal Cathedral ministry was renamed Shepherd’s Grove and continues—including the Hour of Power—under the leadership of Schuller’s grandson, Bobby Schuller.

Robert Schuller, who hailed from northwest Iowa, was a graduate of Hope College and Western Theological Seminary.

Please hold the Schuller family in your thoughts and prayers.