Robert Schuller's Glass House of God

[Moxley Confidential] Picking through the shards of the bankrupt televangelism empire.

Legendary Garden Grove televangelist Robert H. Schuller once noted, "High achievers spot rich opportunities swiftly." The creator of Crystal Cathedral, a best-selling author and star of Hour of Power broadcasts, Schuller has long served as Exhibit A of that credo. In the 1950s, he saw an opportunity to build a profitable church, grabbed it and—thanks largely to donations from poor and lower-middle-class folks trying to win the blessings of God—created an $89-million religious empire with hints of opulence.

But last October, the reverend's church and TV show filed for federal bankruptcy protection after he spent nearly $50 million more than he had in dozens of bank accounts. Church officials have attempted to blame the crisis on Schuller's unswerving, daily commitment to aiding the poor.

Yet the bankruptcy records shatter Schuller's noble public image. For example, in the months leading up to the Chapter 11 filing, the reverend paid himself, a shell corporation he controls, his wife, his son, his daughters and their husbands and children more than $2 million while simultaneously stiffing 550 creditors, including mom-and-pop businesses. Compare that number with Schuller's charity. For example, during a four-month period when the ministry took in donations totaling more than $14 million, Schuller gave an average of just $22 a day to feed the poor, according to church records.

Records also show that the reverend wasn't a cheapskate in one charity case. Indeed, the recipients of his generosity weren't poor at all. They were a wealthy Newport Beach couple, Kenneth and Glenia Reafsnyder. Ken's first wife was a member of Buena Park's Knott family, founders of Knott's Berry Farm. He also palled around with actor John Wayne.

In 1995, Schuller agreed to divert $4,000 a month in church donations to the Reafsnyders for the rest of their lives in exchange for a quarter ownership in the couple's home. Ken has since died, but the deal calls on Crystal Cathedral Ministries to continue to pay Glenia. In 2008, the ministry increased the payments to $4,500 a month while reducing its ownership percentage. This means that the church's current 8.5 percent portion of the house has cost more than $1,250,000—$55,000 more than the value of the entire house.

Speaking of houses, over the years the Schuller family has purchased oceanfront property in Orange County, a Big Bear vacation house, a San Diego County time-share, a Colorado mansion and a Honolulu condo. Just before filing for bankruptcy, Schuller sold a San Juan Capistrano property that had been bequeathed to the church decades ago and pocketed $22.5 million. The reverend's son, Robert Anthony Schuller, has lived in a $2.2-million oceanfront Laguna Beach dream house worthy of an Architectural Digest feature. Fred Southard, a longtime Schuller aide, lives behind palatial, guarded gates in a 13-room, 13,600-square-foot Newport Coast estate that could fetch $3 million on the open market.

I doubt that most Telemundo viewers, plenty of whom have sent portions of their hard-earned livings in response to Schuller's routine Hour of Power pleas for donations, are aware of how their money is spent. Would they be alarmed that, according to the bankruptcy files, Schuller loaded the Crystal Cathedral with sculptures worth at least $2.6 million? That he placed on ministry walls art worth almost $500,000? That the church's electricity bills cost $105,000 each month? That more than $100,000 was spent on the ministry's lobby furniture? That more than $1.6 million was spent on office furniture? That it wasn't uncommon for the church to buy $600 chairs? Or, that the church owned 12 vehicles—including a Cadillac and a Lincoln Town Car—and that it gave Schuller's son a Mercedes-Benz?

An inspection of church financial affairs in the 90 days prior to revealing the bankruptcy is also enlightening. In addition to the previously mentioned salaries he and his family took, Schuller diverted $18,000 to a Scottsdale custom-home builder; $42,000 to his Beijing office; $5,200 for gourmet fruit; $1,039 to an out-of-state relative and $389 for beauty products. He even transferred $14,872 to one of his shell companies.

You might assume that church officials would at least pretend they had nothing to hide. But when Christopher R. Barclay, a federal bankruptcy examiner, arrived at the Crystal Cathedral near the beginning of the year, he discovered that several of Schuller's employees refused to share records or grant interviews. Barclay noted the obstacle in his Jan. 31 status report, which concluded that Schuller had been prone to making "uneconomic arrangements" with church funds. He pointed to unwarranted salaries and perks grabbed by Schuller family members and suspiciously high housing allowances.

Observed a subtle Barclay, "The insider compensation packages by Crystal Cathedral Ministries suggests that [Schuller's] business judgment—historically and more recently—is not beyond reproach."

Yet, it's likely that a rich-beyond-imagination Schuller isn't fretting over his dwindling public persona. He's 84 years old, and has accomplished success seen by few men. He's turned the ministry over to Sheila Schuller Coleman, his eldest daughter. It's up to her to prove the truthfulness in one of his old sayings: "If the ideas are good, cash will somehow flow to where it is needed."

One of her first "good ideas" emerged in March, when she demanded that church leadership, including members of the choir, sign antigay pledges. It was a bizarre move given that no scandal had preceded it. Coleman told an Orange County Register reporter that she merely wanted to "clarify expectations," that under her rule, the Crystal Cathedral would follow the literal meaning of all biblical passages. Churchgoers told the paper her move was unnecessary, heavy-handed and uncharitable.

1
 
2
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
36 comments
Shirley Santanello
Shirley Santanello

Charity begins @ home & that's where my $$$ is going. Most of these TV Pastors are con artists. If their shopping on rodeo drive, living in mansions,piloting private planes, luxury cars etc they're Con artists & I ignore them.

The spanish property network
The spanish property network

Our website features large number of villas for sale in Moraira and you can choose the one based on your personal preferences. We keep updating new information about villas that will help you in taking the best decision. You can also let us know about your preferences so that we can find a villa of suitable match exclusively for you. You must not hesitate to contact us if you want to sale a villa that you own.

Homes in orange county
Homes in orange county

Hello, A very insightful post. Thanks for the info. Its great that if our default settings are giving us messy or stringy builds, this dialog can probably help.Thanks for the information.

Norman
Norman

your article is unfair....

Bill T.
Bill T.

All in the eyes of the beholder, I guess, my personal take has always been that it's a monstrosity.

zhenglishu
zhenglishu

Finally (48 hours) time limit to buy.

LV Muffler $ 5.99LV Bags $ 19.9 LV Wallet $ 6.55Armani Glasses $ 5.99LV Belt $ 6.9

Buy addresses---- tntn.usTips (48 hours after the special product is invalid)

linto4
linto4

Dear Customers, Welcome to [url=http://www.asicsstores.com/]Asics Footwear Cheap Onitsuka Tiger Men-Women[/url] ! We professional offer Asics GEL Kinsei , Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 , Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate 81 and so on. All shoes are FREE Shipping to Australia, USA, UK, Canada...Shoes of best quality, lowest price. You will not regret for buying from us![url=http://www.asicsstores.com/]http://www.asicsstores.com/[/url]

zhenglishu
zhenglishu

Finally (48 hours) time limit to buy.

LV Muffler $ 5.99LV Bags $ 19.9 LV Wallet $ 6.55Armani Glasses $ 5.99LV Belt $ 6.9

Buy addresses---- tntn.usTips (48 hours after the special product is invalid)

linen4
linen4

Good news: this website === Good news: this website ====

http://www.asicsstores.com =====

we has been updated and add products and

many things they abandoned their increases

are welcome to visit our website.

Accept cash or credit card payments, free transport.

You can try oh, will make you satisfied.

====== http://www.asicsstores.com =====

zhenglishu
zhenglishu

Finally (48 hours) time limit to buy.

LV Muffler $ 5.99LV Bags $ 19.9 LV Wallet $ 6.55Armani Glasses $ 5.99LV Belt $ 6.9

Buy addressesashops.us Tips (48 hours after the special product is invalid)

lindn2
lindn2

ascis shoes is a name with resonance in the fashion industry due to the amazingly style and high quality. Shop the latest ascis cheap shoes handpicked by a global community of independent trendsetters and stylists. Offer cheap replica ascis women’s shoes and sell at a discount. The ascis cheap shoes is on sale now. Take a look at these crazy ascis Cut-Out Platform shoes! You can't stop looking at them! No matter what age, what the weather is outside, it is important that everyone should wears some kind of eye protection. Our shop offers Cheap ascis shoes, a wide range of shoes . You can from ascisstores.com website choose your favorite cheap ascis shoes. Now what really knocked me out are the cheap ascis shoes on sale.ascis store online news and ascis store online reviews help you know more detailed information about ascis store online. Our Asics Trainers online shop is your best choice!Many fashion & top quality replica Asics Footwear Cheap Onitsuka are cheap sale for men & women online. It is a wiser approach for online purchasing Asics Footwear Cheap Onitsuka because you are able to clearly compare the appearance and preciseness of the replica. Buy Asics Trainers online with confidence.

zhenglishu
zhenglishu

Finally (48 hours) time limit to buy.

LV Muffler $ 5.99LV Bags $ 19.9 LV Wallet $ 6.55Armani Glasses $ 5.99LV Belt $ 6.9

Buy addresses---- www.ashops.us---Tips (48 hours after the special product is invalid)

zhenglishu
zhenglishu

Finally (48 hours) time limit to buy.

LV Muffler $ 5.99LV Bags $ 19.9 LV Wallet $ 6.55Armani Glasses $ 5.99LV Belt $ 6.9

Buy addresses---- www.ashops.us---Tips (48 hours after the special product is invalid)

zhenglishu
zhenglishu

Finally (48 hours) time limit to buy.

LV Muffler $ 5.99LV Bags $ 19.9 LV Wallet $ 6.55Armani Glasses $ 5.99LV Belt $ 6.9

Buy addresses---- tntn.usTips (48 hours after the special product is invalid)

Glenn Chatfield
Glenn Chatfield

Robert Schuller is a blatant heretic. As for Republicans normally being associated with fundamental Christianity (true Christianity will follow the fundamentals of the faith), perhaps it is because the Republican platform is more of a moral worldview than that of the Demokrats, whose platform calls for promoting the homosexual agenda, sexual immorality in general, abortion, theft of money from those who work for it to give to those who are don't (redistribution of the wealth - socialism), and just about every thing that is against what the Christian faith teaches.

In Your Face Radio
In Your Face Radio

They're going to blame the bankruptcy on the poor?? Are they kidding? ... Tsk tsk Schullers. Your God will not like that one bit.

Zhenglish48
Zhenglish48

hello everyone,im wholesale supplier online==

our website:=====( http://www.tntn.us)=====free shippingaccept paypal credit cardlower price fast shippment with higher qualityBEST QUALITY GUARANTEE!!SAFTY & HONESTY GUARANTEE!!FAST & PROMPT DELIVERY GUARANTEE!!Air jordan(1-24)shoes $30=====Nike shox(R4,NZ,OZ,TL1,TL2,TL3) $35===Hndbags(Coach lv fendi d&g) $35===Tshirts (Polo ,ed hardy,lacoste) $16=====Jean(True Religion,ed hardy,coogi) $30=====Sunglasses(Oakey,coach,gucci,Armaini) $15===New era cap $10===Sunglass $ 15COACH_Necklace $ 27handbag $ 33AF tank woman $ 17puma slipper woman $ 30Bikini (Ed hardy,polo) $25---FREE SHIPPING,accept paypal-very good shopping -----our website:======( http://www.tntn.us)===Believe you will love it.

Zhenglish48
Zhenglish48

hello everyone,im wholesale supplier online==

our website:=====( http://www.tntn.us)=====free shippingaccept paypal credit cardlower price fast shippment with higher qualityBEST QUALITY GUARANTEE!!SAFTY & HONESTY GUARANTEE!!FAST & PROMPT DELIVERY GUARANTEE!!Air jordan(1-24)shoes $30=====Nike shox(R4,NZ,OZ,TL1,TL2,TL3) $35===Hndbags(Coach lv fendi d&g) $35===Tshirts (Polo ,ed hardy,lacoste) $16=====Jean(True Religion,ed hardy,coogi) $30=====Sunglasses(Oakey,coach,gucci,Armaini) $15===New era cap $10===Sunglass $ 15COACH_Necklace $ 27handbag $ 33AF tank woman $ 17puma slipper woman $ 30Bikini (Ed hardy,polo) $25---FREE SHIPPING,accept paypal-very good shopping -----our website:======( http://www.tntn.us)===Believe you will love it.

Zhenglish46
Zhenglish46

hello everyone,im wholesale supplier online==

our website:=====( http://www.tntn.us)=====free shippingaccept paypal credit cardlower price fast shippment with higher qualityBEST QUALITY GUARANTEE!!SAFTY & HONESTY GUARANTEE!!FAST & PROMPT DELIVERY GUARANTEE!!Air jordan(1-24)shoes $30=====Nike shox(R4,NZ,OZ,TL1,TL2,TL3) $35===Hndbags(Coach lv fendi d&g) $35===Tshirts (Polo ,ed hardy,lacoste) $16=====Jean(True Religion,ed hardy,coogi) $30=====Sunglasses(Oakey,coach,gucci,Armaini) $15===New era cap $10===Sunglass $ 15COACH_Necklace $ 27handbag $ 33AF tank woman $ 17puma slipper woman $ 30Bikini (Ed hardy,polo) $25---FREE SHIPPING,accept paypal-very good shopping -----our website:======( http://www.tntn.us)===Believe you will love it.

Zhenglish46
Zhenglish46

hello everyone,im wholesale supplier online==

our website:=====( http://www.tntn.us)=====free shippingaccept paypal credit cardlower price fast shippment with higher qualityBEST QUALITY GUARANTEE!!SAFTY & HONESTY GUARANTEE!!FAST & PROMPT DELIVERY GUARANTEE!!Air jordan(1-24)shoes $30=====Nike shox(R4,NZ,OZ,TL1,TL2,TL3) $35===Hndbags(Coach lv fendi d&g) $35===Tshirts (Polo ,ed hardy,lacoste) $16=====Jean(True Religion,ed hardy,coogi) $30=====Sunglasses(Oakey,coach,gucci,Armaini) $15===New era cap $10===Sunglass $ 15COACH_Necklace $ 27handbag $ 33AF tank woman $ 17puma slipper woman $ 30Bikini (Ed hardy,polo) $25---FREE SHIPPING,accept paypal-very good shopping -----our website:======( http://www.tntn.us)===Believe you will love it.

Liumo30
Liumo30

good news * our website========http://www.bingstore.us*********we had update and add a great quantity products picture.and many things are dropping their prices. welcomeeveryone to visit our website *

Liumo30
Liumo30

http:rad.yahoo.==(w w w)(bingstore)(us )== 50%off ca,ed hardy t-shirt$15

jeans,coach handbag$33,air max90,dunk,polo t-shirt$13,,lacoste t-shirt $13 air

jordan for sale,$35,nfl nba jersy for sale puma gucci$35,nike jordans six

ring,yeezy$%5!! new era caps$13 gucci handbags jeans,t-shirts sunglass,caps true

religion jeans$35,ca,ed hardy jeans$35 LV,CHANAL,HANDBAGS$35 NIKE SHOX AIR MAX

TL3 OZ NZ ONLY $35 UGG TIMBLAND LACOSTE SHOES ED HARDY SHOES$35 DIESEL T-

SHIRT,GSTAR T-SHIRT,CA T-SHIRT,50% OFF FOR SALE $15 DIOR SUNGLASS,DG SUNGLASS$15

our website: == (w w w)(bingstore)(us) ==

David L. Miller
David L. Miller

Now I know why televangelists are conservative Republicans .

Briansays
Briansays

From Miami Vice"Is it organized crime?"-Crockett"More like organized religion"-Castillo

Zhenglish41
Zhenglish41

hello everyone,im wholesale supplier online==

our website:=====( http://www.tntn.us)=====free shippingaccept paypal credit cardlower price fast shippment with higher qualityBEST QUALITY GUARANTEE!!SAFTY & HONESTY GUARANTEE!!FAST & PROMPT DELIVERY GUARANTEE!!Air jordan(1-24)shoes $30=====Nike shox(R4,NZ,OZ,TL1,TL2,TL3) $35===Hndbags(Coach lv fendi d&g) $35===Tshirts (Polo ,ed hardy,lacoste) $16=====Jean(True Religion,ed hardy,coogi) $30=====Sunglasses(Oakey,coach,gucci,Armaini) $15===New era cap $10===Sunglass $ 15COACH_Necklace $ 27handbag $ 33AF tank woman $ 17puma slipper woman $ 30Bikini (Ed hardy,polo) $25---FREE SHIPPING,accept paypal-very good shopping -----our website:======( http://www.tntn.us)===Believe you will love it.

★★_★★_★★___★★_★★___★★_________★★★★_★★___★★_______★★___★★★★_★★__★★_______★___★★___★★__★★__★______★__★★__★★★_★★___★★__★____★__★★_____★★__★____★★_★★__★★_★★________★★____★★___★★__★★___★___________★__★_____________★_★____0_____0____★_★_______@_______★_★_______________★___★_____v_____★_____★★_____★★__ 22:27:35★★_★★_★★___★★_★★___★★_________★★★★_★★___★★_______★★___★★★★_★★__★★_______★___★★___★★__★★__★______★__★★__★★★_★★___★★__★____★__★★_____★★__★____★★_★★__★★_★★________★★____★★___★★__★★___★___________★__★_____________★_★____0_____0____★_★_______@_______★_★___

Zhenglish41
Zhenglish41

hello everyone,im wholesale supplier online==

our website:=====( http://www.tntn.us)=====free shippingaccept paypal credit cardlower price fast shippment with higher qualityBEST QUALITY GUARANTEE!!SAFTY & HONESTY GUARANTEE!!FAST & PROMPT DELIVERY GUARANTEE!!Air jordan(1-24)shoes $30=====Nike shox(R4,NZ,OZ,TL1,TL2,TL3) $35===Hndbags(Coach lv fendi d&g) $35===Tshirts (Polo ,ed hardy,lacoste) $16=====Jean(True Religion,ed hardy,coogi) $30=====Sunglasses(Oakey,coach,gucci,Armaini) $15===New era cap $10===Sunglass $ 15COACH_Necklace $ 27handbag $ 33AF tank woman $ 17puma slipper woman $ 30Bikini (Ed hardy,polo) $25---FREE SHIPPING,accept paypal-very good shopping -----our website:======( http://www.tntn.us)===Believe you will love it.

Culichi1967
Culichi1967

Mr. Moxley,

Please stop interfering with God's work. Didn't you know that, through the Reverend, God works his magic and miracles?

(I wish con artists like this Schuller assbreath would simply be exposed for what they are: fucken con men! Fuck their prosperity gospel! Do you really believe that Jesus would be extremly happy to see his flock be fleeced just so assholes like Schuller, Crouch, et al can live a life of luxury? Fuck you, you fucken Armani suit wearing motherfuckers. Whether it is Telemundo wabs or Fox channel grannies giving up their pension monies, I guess they deserve it for being so gullible. Having a spiritual belief is great. Just don't be such an idiot as to follow fucktards like these televangelists. When will liberation theology make a comeback?)

Kls525
Kls525

Just like everyone with the last name "Miller" is an idiot - right ???

Iron
Iron

I'm a conservative Republican and I don't attend church. I think these televangelists are mostly a joke.

Iron
Iron

Politics has nothing to do with religion. No need to drag politics in with religion.

DecaffeiNation
DecaffeiNation

It's reassuring to find my stereotypes invalidated. I once could identify with Republicans myself, but after the party was overrun by the classless nouveau riche, whose overriding greed is a disgrace to traditional conservatism, I simply lost the stomach for it.

dagobarbz
dagobarbz

One of the Silent Majority, eh?

dagobarbz
dagobarbz

Well, apparently it does! Why is it that Republicans all seem to be associated with the more fundamentalist branches of Christianity?

DecaffeiNation
DecaffeiNation

Because fundamentalist sects are most compatible with Republicans' self-righteous, morally superior attitudes and their own peculiar sense of entitlement.

After all: "God helps those who help themselves." Although the expression never actually appears in the Bible, Mr. Schuller evidently adopted it as such (perhaps he didn't know) and took it quite literally. (Fundamentalists also tend to be literalists.)

Irrespective of party affiliation (but typically Republican) I observe that the sleaziest, most self-serving among the faithful appear to be those who identify strongly with the color white, as evidenced by their white suits and white Cadillacs. It's obviously blatant overcompensation for a guilty conscience.

 
Anaheim Concert Tickets
Loading...