AUTHOR: Gudel, Joseph P.
PUBLISHED ON: April 24, 2003

The Christian BBS – (604)478-2789 – 24 Hrs – 8,N,1 – C/O Dave Geauvreau,
Voice (604)478-0254, 3053 Metchosin Rd. Victoria, B.C., Canada – V9B 4Y9
This article was put on The Christian BBS by permission from Christian
Research Institute-Canada, and was taken from:

                      “Christian Research Journal”
                      Volume 8  Number 1  Spring 1985  You may obtain
                      Christian Research Institute
                      P.O. Box 500, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92693-0500
                      U.S.A.  (714)855-9926

or in Canada write to:
                      Christian Research Institute-Canada
                      P.O. Box 3216, Station B
                      Calgary, Alberta  T2P 3C5
                      Canada  (403)277-7702

    Note: If you want to reproduce this article you must get in contact
with this organization and get permission as I have done.  I do not hold
to the copywriting of Christian literature but it is the law and the
Christian attitude should be one of complying to the laws of the land as
much as is within our power to do so without comprising the Word of God.
    If you do write to them be sure to mention where you got their info
from as I am sure that they would like to know that they are reaching
people through this board.  Permission to reprint was obtained through
the Calgary branch.

                                A PROFILE

                            ROBERT SCHULLER

                          By Joseph P. Gudel

            Taken from the magazine: FORWARD – Spring 1985

    Born in 1926 to an Iowan family of Dutch descent,  Robert Schuller 
was reared in the Reformed Church in America.  He decided to become a
minister at the age of five,  and after graduating from high school he
received the necessary training at Hope College and Western Theological
    The newly ordained Rev.  Schuller entered the pastorate in 1951 at
Hope Chuch  in  Chicago,  which  over  the  next four years grew from 38
to 400 members. 
    In 1955 his denomination sent  him  to  Orange  County,  California 
to establish  a  new  church  there.  After  trying  unsuccessfully  to 
rent numerous facilities,  the 28-year-old Schuller finally rented  the 
Orange County  Drive-In  Theater  for  Sunday  mornings.  A 
congregation in cars slowly grew,  until by the second year they could
afford to build a  small chapel.  Rev.  Schuller  (he  did not receive
his honorary doctorate until many years later) also  continued  to 
preach  at  the  drive-in  theater, because many people preferred to
worship in their cars. 
    During  these  first  two years,  Rev.  Schuller went from door to
door inviting people to come to his church, and asking them what type of
church they would like to attend. 
    According to his friend Michael Nason;
    To his surprise he  found  that most  people  didn’t  even know the
difference between the Old and New Testaments and couldn’t  care 
less…That’s  when  he  realized  that fiving  Bible studies on Sunday
morning during a worship service would turn off most of the unchurched
people entirely….Then he  asked  the people  what  sort of a church
they would want to attend.  They wanted light, beauty, tranquility,
beautiful music, friendly people, programs that suited their needs, 
sermons that weren’t boring  –  better  yet, sermons  that  weren’t 
even  sermons!  They wanted a place where they could feel
comfortable….He decided at that point that he would never again use
his pulpit as a teaching platform. 
    It was at this time that he began to see his church  as  a  mission, 
a place  where  non-Christians  would feel comfortable enough to come in
and then later  accept  Jesus.  How  would  he  do  this?  By  preaching 
only positive  things!  Dr.  Schuller  credits close friend and fellow
Reformed Church in America minister Dr.  Norman Vincent Peale “with fine
tuning his own  positive  faith  and  laying  the  foundation for his
own Possibility Thinking that was to come.”
    In September  of  1959  groundbreaking  ceremonies  were  held  at 
the location of the present church properdty in Garden Grove,
California.  The next  fall the congregation,  with a membership of 700
people,  moved into its new buiding.  Rev. Schuller’s two churches were
now combined into one. 
    In July of 1966 construction began on a 14-story “tower  of  hope,” 
which was  completed  the following year.  A 90-foot high cross that
would light up at night was placed at the top of the 162-foot tower. 
    In 1970 Dr.  Schuller began what has become  the  most  widely 
watched televised  church  service  in  the  nation,  Hour  of  Power. 
In  1975 construction began on a new sanctuary, and on September 14,
1980 the world-famous Crystal Cathedral was officially opened for
    All in all,  Dr.  Schuller’s many accomplishments are remarkable. 
From preaching to 50 cars from the roof of a drive-in snack bar,  he has 
built up  a congregation of over ten thousand members in a church that
cost over 20 million dollars.  Hour of Power is seen in  over  175 
cities  with  an audience  of  two  to four million people.  He receives
between thirty and forty thousand letters a week and has a mailing list
of over  one  million people.  He has authored 19 books,  several of
them national best sellers. 
    Since 1970 more than twenty thousanc  church  leaders  have 
attended  Dr.  Schuller’s  “Institute  for  Successful  Church 
Leadership.” Indeed,  few people in the church  have  had  an  impact 
comparable  to  that  of  Dr.  Schuller. 

                              End of Text

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