A bankruptcy judge has said he'll make a decision Thursday on who the winning bidder is for Crystal Cathedral, Orange County's original Protestant megachurch that was completed in Garden Grove in 1980 and is now $46 million in debt.
Bidding seems to have come down to two other Orange County institutions: the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, which represents 1.3 million church followers, and Chapman University of Orange, which represents 6,300 students who did not have the grades to get into a UC.
After Crystal Cathedral's board revealed it did not want to sell—but would entertain offers in the $50 million range while the ministry the Rev. Robert H. Schuller started tries to come up with enough scratch of its own to buy back the 40-acre complex—Chapman opened up bidding earlier this year at $47 million.
The Diocese countered with $50 million. The university came back with $50 million and an offer to allow Crystal Cathedral to lease space with a buyback option. The Diocese upped its bid to $53.6 million and an offer to let the Protestant ministry remain there for three years. Chapman came back with $51.5 million and an offer to let the ministry lease Crystal Cathedral, the bell tower and the cemetery for $1 a month—for 15 years. The Diocese has upped the ante twice more, to $55.4 million and now $57.5 million, with an offer to allow the ministry to take over a nearby Catholic church. It's surprising no one included a new pony.
As we await a final decision from the judge, here are 5 things the Schullers could also be offered (besides a new pony) to seal a deal:
Bishop of Orange Tod D. Brown could throw in his personal chef, who really was plucked from the shi-shi Five Crowns in Corona del Mar.
Chapman President James Doti could offer to add a Schuller bust to his rows of mostly deadheads sprinkled around campus.
Speaking of busts, through a three-way trade with the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, either bidder could throw in that creepy bronze of Dick, which can then be worked into Crystal Cathedral's all-new Glory of Halloween show.
Jeebus, did you sickos really think we'd end by offering a sacrificial altar boy? No way, Jose. We instead will have the sewing departments of either the Diocese or university create a new ministerial robe for Rev. Bob sewn from Elvis' old rhinestone capes.