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Crystal Cathedral congregation in Calif relocating

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (AP) – The Crystal Cathedral is getting a new name and the congregation of the financially struggling Orange County megachurch will relocate, its senior pastor announced Sunday.

The ministry will be renamed Hope Center of Christ, Sheila Schuller Coleman said in a short video posted on the Crystal Cathedral website.

An announcement regarding the new location will be made in the next few weeks, she said.

The church sold its iconic glass-paned cathedral to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange last month to emerge from federal bankruptcy protection.

“We’re going to need a new home sooner than we thought. And we’re moving full speed ahead,” the pastor said.

She gave no indication whether or not the congregation would remain in Orange County, the ministry’s home since its founding by the pastor’s father, Dr. Robert Schuller, at a drive-in movie theater 42 years ago.

Robert Schuller retired in 2006 after seeing the ministry evolve into a global televangelist empire.

On Saturday he and his wife, Arvella, announced they were stepping down from the Crystal Cathedral board of directors. The couple cited a breakdown in negotiations over financial claims against the church as part of the bankruptcy proceedings.

Robert Schuller’s attorney, Carl Grumer, said Saturday the pastor’s future role with the ministry was “up in the air.”

Calls to a Crystal Cathedral spokesman over the weekend were not immediately returned.

The church raked in millions in donations through its “Hour of Power” broadcasts, but a series of financial setbacks led to the megachurch’s filing for bankruptcy in October 2010 and the forced sale of its 40-acre campus.

Turmoil in the ministry included the firings of Schuller’s daughter Gretchen Penner and two sons-in-law last week.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)