Dr. Robert H. Schuller is known for his Hour of Power broadcast. Now, the Crystal Cathedral church he founded is trying to avoid a day of reckoning with creditors.
And some are saying his return to the pulpit as senior pastor of the congregation is the only thing that can save the church.
The speculation emerges after a California judge on Wednesday opened the door for the sale of the iconic building, which could leave the megachurch members homeless.
"I'm 85 years old, and I've been thinking about the future of the church," NBC reported Schuller as saying while leaving Wednesday's hearing at the federal courthouse in Santa Ana, Calif.
Schuller did not comment on the possibility of returning to the church as senior pastor, but his former sheep are speaking out.
"Dr. Schuller has got to do it, or he'll lose it," NBC reported Crystal Cathedral member Bob Canfield saying.
The church has two options for maintaining its residence at the Crystal Cathedral: come up with the $50 million it owes to creditors or agree to be purchased.
Offers on the Garden Grove, Calif., church have come in between $47 million to more than $53 million. Bidders include Chapman University and the Orange County Roman Catholic Diocese. Chapman University would allow Schuller’s congregation to rent the facilities. But the Catholic Church would force its Protestant counterpart to move. Hobby Lobby has also bid $47.5 million and announced plans to donate the campus to King's University, which would allow the church to continue holding services in the Crystal Cathedral.
"We don't really know right now exactly how the plan is going to flesh out, who the buyer is going to be, who's going to choose the buyer," Carl Grumer, the attorney representing Dr. and Mrs. Schuller and their daughter Carol and her husband Timothy Milner, told NBC. "There are a lot of unknowns at this point, so it's difficult for us to make any kind of determination.”
Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kwan set the next hearing for Nov. 14. At that time, Crystal Cathedral must either pay its debtors, confirm a buyer or continue through bankruptcy proceedings.