- The Washington Times - Monday, January 23, 2006

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (AP) — The stalwart Crystal Cathedral yesterday entered a new era of leadership when Robert A. Schuller succeeded his father, Robert H. Schuller, as senior pastor of the church.

The younger Mr. Schuller, 51, was installed during a 35-minute ceremony at the famed all-glass church in Orange County.

Considered one of the most influential religious leaders in the country, the elder Mr. Schuller, 79, will continue to appear at the pulpit during services and on the church’s weekly television show, “Hour of Power,” which boasts a worldwide audience of 20 million.

Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, general secretary of the Reformed Church in America, presided over the installation, during which the elder Mr. Schuller was named founding pastor. Mr. Granberg-Michaelson called on the younger Mr. Schuller to reaffirm the ordination vows he pledged 25 years earlier.

The elder Mr. Schuller offered a prayer during the installation, thanking God for guiding his son and “for relieving me of having to balance the budget every month.”

He cried as he placed the senior pastor’s medallion around his son’s neck.

Michael Nason, a spokesman for the Schullers, described the younger Mr. Schuller as a “very bold leader” who will use technology to reach younger parishioners.

The elder Mr. Schuller has been senior pastor of the Crystal Cathedral since founding the church at a drive-in theater in 1955. With 10,000 members, it is the Reformed Church in America’s largest congregation.

He announced on New Year’s Day that he was stepping down.

The “Hour of Power” featuring the installation ceremony will air Sunday.

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