Rex's Take 2 - The Real Story Emailed to Me
Ernest Angley and Rex Humbard were never in competition with each other.Both had large, thriving churches. The properties on State Rd. where the tower sits were all originally part of Rex Humbard's media empire. Rex was one of the first successful TV evangelists in America. His program was once carried on 600 stations and around the world. He was featured in TIME magazine and several oher national news outlets. He was almost a household name back then - seriously. The church from which his programs were telecast was called the Cathedral of Tomorrow. Rex then built the Cathedral Buffet, TV studios, the Cathedral Apartments (the large circular building near the tower), and finally, the controversial tower. His empire also included a girdle factory in Brooklyn, a high rise office building in downtown Akron, and a college in Michigan. The tower was to be the largest building in Ohio with a revolving restaurant on top. Humbard, who was constantly in one financial crunch after another, was offered a 16 million dollar loan from an area bank for the project - but only if he put all of his holdings, including the Cathedral of Tomorrow church itself, up as collateral. Humbard after listening to advice from disgruntled church members and other counsel, decided not to gamble and possibly lose the church if he defaulted on the loan. So, the plans were abandoned and only 560 feet of the originally planned 720 were completed. Humbard faced competition from new TV evangelists in the 70's and 80's and began losing his base.
The Cathedral of Tomorrow's membership and attendance began to decline during this period. Rex knew that it was time to go. He moved his TV show to Georgia, and left the Cathedral of Tommorow in the hands of his brother in law, Wayne Jones. After Wayne retired, the church tried pastor after pastor, but could not find a good fit. Membership dwindled. The Humbards were invited back in the late 80's to try and salvage the church, but it was too far gone. The entire complex was sold to Ernest Angley Ministries.