Chapman University in Orange has submitted a $46 million bid to buy the Crystal Cathedral property and facilities in Garden Grove.
The university's Board of Trustees authorized the proposal at its June 27 regularly scheduled meeting, something that was made public today in a filing made by the Committee of Creditors Holding Unsecured Claims to the court handling bankruptcy proceedings for Orange County's original mega-church.
Ironically, the disclosure comes the same day Crystal Cathedral is denying reports Robert H. Schuller was kicked off the ministry's board, saying the founding pastor will remain as the non-voting chairman emeritus.
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A statement from the university today explains what makes the nearly 35-acre property and facilities attractive: they are "strategically located just three miles" from the Orange campus; the Cathedral is "a well-known icon in Orange County; and property surrounding it includes seven major buildings representing more than 329,000 square feet of space.
"The offer is designed to address community concerns about the uncertainty of the Crystal Cathedral's present situation, as well as provide growth opportunities for Chapman University," reads the statement. ". . .The proposal would allow Crystal Cathedral Ministries to lease back the Cathedral and other property on the campus, with a purchase provision that could be exercised during the first four years of the lease."
Chapman President James L. Doti mentions the Big Guy in the same release. No, not G-d but the Reverend.
"Dr. Schuller's lifelong message of courage and ambition closely matches the characteristics that are so much a part of Chapman University," Doti says. "We are fortunate to be in a position where we can make this offer and are hopeful our proposal to the ministry and court will be accepted."