Interim Pastor Dr. Lawrence Wilkes is being forced out by John Charles, Crystal Cathedral CEO, and Nancy Warsaw, Producer of the Hour of Power.

Pens Opinion news article – Posted July 23, 2012

The operators of this web site have been watching this story develop ever since many in the congregation felt it obvious that Dr. Wilkes was being unfairly if he were a second class citizen. It was only a matter of time until the situation would escalate and we would be able to obtain confirmation from several reliable sources that it is, in fact, true!

Nancy Warsaw is an avid fan of Pastor Robbie Schuller. As a matter of personal choice, Nancy is free to be a fan of whomever she wants. However, Nancy is a television producer, not a theologian and that makes it incumbent upon her to realize that first and foremost this is a church service that happens to be televised– not a television “show” about a church set in the old TV soap opera, “Days of our Lives.” So, Wilkes writes a respectful letter to John Charles calling his attention to Nancy Warsaw’s behavior with additional suggestions on how to best run the ministry and Charles becomes upset with Wilkes and excludes him from production meetings.

Both Dr. Lawrence Wilkes and Pastor Robbie Schuller want what is best for the Crystal Cathedral  in its primary focus as a Christian ministry, preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Henceforth, both of these pastors are uncomfortable with Warsaw cutting the “Opening Prayer” from the “script,” and not properly vetting the interview guests. Both of these pastors are uncomfortable with being told not to open the service with that most familiar statement, “This is the day that God has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it,” and then opening the service with a prayer. That may not be the television way of doing it, but it is most certainly integral to the opening of our church service from a theological perspective.

Back in the days when the late Colleen Johnson was “Worship Coordinator,” interview guests were properly vetted for their suitability to be a part of the Crystal Cathedral service. Since then, Neva Penner has been essentially fulfilling that role. Some weeks ago, Neva was demoted by John Charles and placed under the supervision of Nancy Warsaw. It seems obvious that one should leave the planning of a religious service in the hands of one qualified, under the supervision of theologians in a department apart from the TV Production Department.

In a related matter, there should be no reason that the 9:30 am services featuring Robbie Schuller can’t be aired in Europe and Australia or any other country where the Hour of Power program is aired, and prefers to see Robbie and for the 11:00 am service with Pastor Wilkes to be aired in the United States where Dr. Wilkes is the preferred pastor.

Although the polls on this web site are unscientific, they do reflect a trend. A solid 87% of those voting favor Dr. Wilkes being named Senior Pastor.

We must remind those in paid leadership roles and paid staff that were it not for persons with recognized and outstanding talent in their fields, who by the way stepped forward as volunteers just five months ago, such as Dr. Wilkes, Don Neuen, Ed Arnold and others, there would be no church service to air on the Hour of Power.

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