The Rev. Robert H. Schuller and his wife Arvella founded the Garden Grove Community Church - today's Crystal Cathedral - in 1955 . They started having services in the Orange Drive-in Theatre. From atop the snack bar's tar-papered roof he would lead weekly services, with Arvella providing music from a trailer-mounted electronic organ. He encouraged all to "come as you are in the family car. The congregation grew by thousands and in the 1970's, the "Hour of Power" was reaching all 50 U.S. states - and the local church was bursting at the seams.
Dedicated in 1980, the 10,000-window Crystal Cathedral seats 2,800 worshipers and its marble chancel accommodates up to 1,000 musicians. Years ahead of its time in conservation design, the Cathedral employs no air-conditioning, relying instead upon natural air currents, which come via staggered rows of louvered windows, controlled thermostatically. Also part of this cooling system are two dramatic 90-foot-tall doors, which open at the right of the chancel - a feature carried over from the Neutra sanctuary.
Sadly, the church has landed on hard times and went into bankrupcy and had to sell the church. The Catholic Church has bought it and the name has been renamed to Christ Cathedral.
I've always wanted to see it in person, so while visiting Disneyland, we drove down here before we headed home. This is something to see in person. Very impressive and massive. So myself and my sons explored the grounds and were very impressed with all the sculptures and buildings. We were not able to go inside the chapel, but at least you can look in.
You have to explore the grounds to see all the wonderful statues.
The first statue:
The Smiling Jesus
The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes
Offer your dreams to Christ. let him take your humble resources and multiply them to enrich the lives of youself and others. Enter this place of worship and your soul shall be fed with Christ's Spirit by John Soderberg, Sculptor
A gift of Frnak Freed and Evelyn Wilden Freed
Unveiled April 5, 1998
The second statue:
The Lost is Found
by De L'Esprie
A gift of Bill & Elna Bryant
When he finds his lost sheep, he lays it on his shoulders,
rejoicing...and when he comes home, he calls to his friends--Rejoice
with me for I have found my sheep which was lost!
Dedicated March 26, 2000 the 45th Anniversary Sunday.
The third statue:
The Holy Family
Milestones and Miracles
by J. Seward Johnson
A gift of Dr. Keith C. and Elaine J. Wold
"An angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying,
Arise, take the young Child and his mother, and go to the land of Isreal'...Then he arose,
took the young Child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel."
Dedicated Sunday January 31, 1999
The fourth statue:
To The Good Life
"Moses" by Dr. John M. Soderberg
A Gift of Howard and Bettery Glasgow
"....and Moses turned and went down from the mountain,
and the two tables were in his hand...the tablets were the words of God,
and the writing was the writing of God engraved on the tablets."
The fifth statue:
The Garden of Peace
A gift of Elizabeth R. & Standford N. Phelps
featuring "Peace Be Still"
a bronze masterpiece by Dallas Anderson
"And he rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, 'Peace Be Still'
And the wind ceased and there was a great calm." Mark 4:39
The sixth statue:
The Prodigal Son
A monumenttal Bronze by De L'Esprie
"Make merry and be glad, for this my son was dead and is alive again;
he was lost and is now found!"
Luke 15:31 & 32
Unveilded, Sunday January 13, 2002
A gift of Jody & Dick Parker and Jo & Bob Pond
The seventh statue:
The Lord is my shepard, I shall not want;
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me besides still waters....
surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life:
and I shall dwell in the house of the lord forever/
The eight statue:
Those who wait upon the Lord
shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up on wings as eagles!
They shall run and not be wery,
They shall walk and not faint."
A gift of Judy Strecker
"In loving memory of my husband, Gerald D Strecker"
Bronze sculpture by Michael Maiden.
Dedicated March 2005 the 50th Aniversary month and year of the Crystal Cathedral
The ninth statue:
When has tried me,
Ishall come forth as gold.
Honoring the memory of
F.Earl and Vilma Slater
The tenth statue:
"Let the one sho is sithout sin cast the first stone."
The words of Jesus Christ.
The Arvella Schuller Carillon:
The first lady of music, the wife and creative partner of the founding pastor of this church, devoted the first decades of her love for this church, devoted the first decades of her love for this church by bringing great music to the church in organ, choir and instruments of melody.
In gratitude to God for her matchless contributions to the worship of God through music for nearly half a century, her friends and family give in lasting tribute to her these 52 bells.
In times of joy, hope and sorrow these bells will ring out fo rcenturies to come lifting the souls of people even as the beautiful spirit of Arvella Schuller left her uplifting influence on every life she ever touched.
The Crean Tower
with the genrousity of
John and donna Crean
the first gift to launch the building of the Crystal Cathedral
was given in 1977. And through their generosity their final
gift was given in 1990, marking the completion of the
Cathedral with the building of the CAthedral Tower,
housing the carillon and the chapel.
Their gift to unborn generations is this:
"Discover the joy of giving and
you will discover the reason for living."
The Mary Hood Chapel
The prayer chapel is given by
Mary Tolerton Hood
To the Glory of God
Four important concerns have occupied most of her attnetion..working to
preserve Good government in a free nation encouraging individuals to seize
and create opportunities to actualize their highest potential..inspriing others to a
fervent religious faith..challenging others to employ the fruits of their
achievements in the service of society.
May Tolerton Hood's hope was to insprie and enable this and future generations of young people in our society to..achieve the fullest of a potential with which
they have been endowed by their Creator and to employ the Fruits of their
labor..in the service of humanity.
In the beginning days of the ministry, a young lady sat in her car on beautiful Sunday morning at the Orange Drive-In Theatre. There, she listened to a young preacher, Robert Schuller, saying:
"If you can dream it, you can do it!"
At the yound age of 6 years, she had accepted Jesus Crhist as her Lord and her Savior and has followe him faithfully in possiblity thinking faith ever since.
Nearly 45 years later, when she heard that the pastor's dream was to build a visitor center, a welcome center, a hospitality center and a gathering place for people coming from around the world to visit the home of the Crystal Cathedral and the Hour of Power, she gave the "lead of gift" of million and launched the building. Thus, she became the first patron and founder of the beautiful dream:
The International Center for Possibility Thinking.
They were kind enough to let us explore this beautiful center and on the top floor was a pictorial museum. They had these blown up photo's of the progress of the Crystal Cathedral.
This was their first chapel, then to a new location and sanctuary in 1961 designed by renowned architect Richard Neutra. From here, they had plenty of seating and were still able to be seen by those who drove up and parked like a drive in. It has this huge beautiful organ in it and it was neat they let us explore it.
The church grew to a congregation of thousands, as Schuller's emphasis on "possibility thinking" resonated within the community. In 1968, the 13-story Richard Neutra-designed Tower of Hope opened, housing to this day the world's first church-sponsored, 24-hour suicide and crisis prevention hotline (714-NEW-HOPE). With a 90-feet-tall neon-lit cross as its crown, the Tower of Hope would be Orange County's tallest building for more than a decade.
Crystal Cathedral, 12141 Lewis St, Garden Grove, CA. It's a big tourist attraction, so at least get yourself a photograph while you're in Garden Grove...you can show all your friends back home where all that televangelism money goes!
If you've ever plopped on your couch on Sunday morning with clicker in hand, you've probably happened upon the 'Hour of Power' -- the televised version of a church service, starring famed pastor and author Robert Schuller. Schuller started the Garden Grove non-denominational church nearly five decades ago, and today it has expanded into a mega-complex including the much-televised Crystal Cathedral, a gift shop, fountains galor, a plethora of life-size statues depicting famous Biblical events (and a larger-than-life bronze of Schuller himself inside the Cathedral), etc. The grounds, in spite of one's own spiritual beliefs, are impressive. You can wander about on your own soaking up the atmosphere or take a free guided twenty-minute tour which commence approximately every thirty minutes year round. Bring your camera! Be photographed with Jesus! (Interesting side note: I attended high school with one of Schuller's children. She was/is kind, funny, and generous. It convinced me that Schuller was the genuine article. In other words, he practices what he preaches.)
Like the Vatican, this spot is one of a kind. If your travel plans bring you to the Garden Grove/Anaheim (Disneyland) area near the Easter or Christmas season, you may want to splurge and purchase a ticket ($20-$35) to view the grand pageants performed annually at the Crystal Cathedral. 'The Glory of Easter' and 'The Glory of Christmas' are shows performed twice nightly (approx 6-ish and 8-ish) during these Christian holiday periods. Both dramatic shows feature actors, dancers, singers, and live animals (camels, sheep, and tigers to name a few), scores performed by a full orchestra (taped), and most notably, live actresses personifying angels flying over the audience. Over-the-top spectacle or moving performance? Decide for yourself. Either way, you'll be entertained. There are also many restaurants, bars, and night spots featuring everything from fresh donuts and gourmet coffee (Krispy Kreme/Starbuck's), cocktails in a loud and festive atmosphere (T.G.I. Friday's) and live entertainment (Cafe Tu Tu Tango) to Mexican fare (El Torito and Left At Albuquerque). All are located nearby at 'The Block', an outdoor entertainment and shopping complex. There is also a mega movie theater, Van's skateboard arena, and three huge stores devoted to all things Hawaiian (Hilo Hattie's), surfing paraphenalia (Ron and John's), and a reader's paradise (Borders) among many other themed stores -- all great for your pre- or post-show cravings. WARNING: On Friday and Saturday evenings The Block becomes packed with herds of teenagers and early 20-somethings hanging out, seeing, and being seen. Parking becomes challenging. Ample real and rental cops abound to keep The Block's atmosphere friendly and incident free. Most of these adolescents avoid or cannot get into the bars (the California drinking age is 21), so you'll be amongst adults inside any one of the restaurants/bars.
When we went from our hotel, to find this cathedral we never knew how impressive this building would be. It was beautifull to see the sun shining on this building and hearing the sound from the cathedral through the enormous doors.
This imposant building is constructed out of more then 10.000 silver colored glass, the tower is made out of stainless steel prism and has a carillon of 52 bells inside of it.
There are also two enormous doors that are 90 foot tall, the cathedral was designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee.
The capacity of the building is 2,890 people and also a choir of 100.
Inside the cathedral is a pipe organ which is on of the five world largest organs.
Picture taken Summer 2001
The Crystal Cathedral looks fantastic.
also the statues in the garden.
we did not had time for a tour.
we visite this between cities
Tours are scheduled from 9 AM till 3:30 PM Monday through Saturday.
Group tours are also available through special accommodations. For more information please call 714.971.4013.
Just a few miles from Disneyland is this cathedral, I guess we would have missed if we were not staying at Anaheim as we read about here at the guide, but we did not though it was going to be as impressive as it was.
I love cathedrals, not as religious symbols, just as architectural buildings. They are impressive, modern cathedrals try to imitate old styles as for example grace cathedral at San Francisco.
But this modern one all in glass, really impressed me. I felt I was in front of the new style cathedrals
Ops I had not said but maybe you notice…. The whole wall is glass….
While we were there, they were cleaning the windows inside for the next year.
This photo has been taken by a 8x zoom …