Published: July 15, 2011 Updated: 6:16 p.m.
Norco church makes $50 million offer for Crystal Cathedral
The church's pastor, Mark A. Thomas, says he wants to build his ministry while preserving the legacy of Crystal Cathedral's founder, Robert H. Schuller.
By DEEPA BHARATH / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
GARDEN GROVE – My Father's House Church International announced Friday that it is making a $50 million offer to buy the financially struggling Crystal Cathedral.
So far, the known offers have come from Newport Beach developer, Greenlaw Partners LLC., and Chapman University. Both have offered the megachurch $46 million with a 15-
My Father's House Church's Pastor Mark A. Thomas said his goal is to "honor the history of the Crystal Cathedral by preserving the legacy of one of the world's greatest megachurches."
"With this investment, we can ensure that both the Crystal Cathedral and the Memorial Gardens remains a monument, and My Father's House Church will carry on the long-
An important part of their plan will be to pay all creditors 100 percent of what is owed to them with interest, Thomas said.
Marc Winthrop, the attorney representing Crystal Cathedral Ministries in bankruptcy court, said he has talked to the church's representatives, but is not aware of a formal offer. He said the board is still in the process of evaluating all offers before them. Winthrop likened My Father's House Church's proposal as similar to that of the Catholic Church.
My Father's House Church International has a presence in 43 countries with most followers in the United Kingdom, France, Russia and Australia. The church also has a twice-
"We may be small, but we have the potential to grow and we have the backing that is necessary to buy the Crystal Cathedral," Thomas said.
If the sale goes through, Thomas said he and his team will take over the day-
"This is meant to be a win-
Thomas said he will retain the name "Crystal Cathedral" and make sure that Robert H. Schuller's presence in felt on the campus at all times. Schuller's ministry, which started on the roof of the Orange drive-
"I intend to keep his photographs still where they are and to preserve the structure and integrity of those iconic buildings Dr. Schuller built," he said. "Dr. Schuller has earned the right to finish his life with dignity and leave the legacy he has earned with a lifetime of service. Nothing will be lost or torn down."
Thomas said he is most concerned about the Memorial Gardens where many prominent Orange County residents, including John Crean, Marie Callender and Thurl Ravenscroft, the voice of Tony the Tiger, are buried.
"We will continue to operate that as a cemetery," he said. "We will honor all contracts and allow those who are buried there to rest in peace."
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