Daughter of Crystal Cathedral founder Robert Schuller launched the Crystal Cathedral splinter church in a rented movie theatre in Orange County Sunday.
Sheila Schuller Coleman, former pastor of Crystal Cathedral, had broken away from the parent church, which her televangelist father had founded more than 50 years ago, over a bitter financial dispute this month.
Speaking to a congregation of hundred plus members, she announced that she was forming the Hope Center of Christ in a Sunday worship service. She urged members not to engage in mudslinging against any other church.
We will refrain from speaking ill of any other church, Coleman said speaking from the front of a movie theater and she added I don't like the mudslinging on my Facebook wall. We are a church that will proceed no matter what, Reuters reported.
The formation of the new church is the latest turn in the Crystal Cathedral dispute that led to a bitter fallout between the ministry and its founding family. The church's Cathedral, known for its 10,000 panes of glass, was sold to the Roman Catholic Diocese of the Orange County last year, as it filed for bankruptcy.
The Crystal Cathedral rose to fame with Robert Schuller's Hour of Power broadcasts, but started seeing a decline in donations and membership after his retirement in 2006, a Washington Post report said.
The Schuller family was forced to sever its ties with the Crystal Cathedral over dispute regarding millions of dollars, which they claim they are owed.
Coleman told the congregants that she has applied for the tax identification number and the process of getting federal nonprofit status for the new church is underway, according to the Los Angeles Times report.
On the other hand, Crystal Cathedral's ministry said that their attendance had increased after the parting of Schuller's family. Fred Gillette, a minister at the Crystal Cathedral said to Reuters that, The congregation really took the church back as opposed to having a family running the church.
Schuller, 85, and his wife Arvella, did not attend church at Crystal Cathedral or at their daughter's services on Sunday. But the couple said that they support her, a Reuters report said.