Image: Robert A. Schuller
Chris Carlson  /  AP
Robert A. Schuller, left, poses for a photo outside the Crystal Cathedral in this Feb. 9, 2006 file photo taken in Orange, Calif.
updated 12/14/2008 6:26:26 PM ET 2008-12-14T23:26:26

The Rev. Robert A. Schuller has resigned as senior pastor of the Crystal Cathedral, shortly after his father yanked him from the church's long-running television program, "Hour of Power."

Schuller resigned last month and plans to start his own ministry, according to a news release on the Crystal Cathedral's Web site.

"It is expected that Robert will make an announcement soon regarding plans for his new ministry," the cathedral said. "The leadership and congregation wishes him all the best as his plans unfold."

Juan Carlos Ortiz, founder of the Crystal Cathedral Hispanic Ministry, is taking over as senior pastor until a permanent replacement is found.

A spokesman for the 10,000-member megachurch did not return a call Sunday from The Associated Press.

'Lack of shared vision'
The Crystal Cathedral, with its glittering landmark building, was founded by Schuller's father, Robert H. Schuller. He gained attention upon arrival in Southern California in 1955 by preaching from a drive-in movie theater in Orange County.

The upbeat Robert H. Schuller, who stresses harnessing God's help through positive thinking, began broadcasting his weekly sermons on his "Hour of Power" program in 1970. He opened the Crystal Cathedral in 1980.

In a heralded announcement nearly three years ago, he named his son to succeed him as senior pastor. But he removed him from the "Hour of Power" broadcasts in October after the church said the younger Schuller refused his father's requests to rotate the show's preaching duties with other ministers.

The church said "lack of shared vision" led to the split between the younger Schuller and his 82-year-old father.

The Crystal Cathedral is a part of the Reformed Church of America, of which the younger Schuller remains in good standing.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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