GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (AP) — Southern California's landmark Crystal Cathedral has been given a new name as the evangelical church transforms into a Catholic church.
The iconic, glass-paned megachurch founded by Hour of Power televangelist Robert Schuller was sold to the The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange last year. On Saturday, Bishop Tod Brown renamed it Christ Cathedral during a priest ordination and named Christopher H. Smith to the top post at the new church.
The Garden Grove cathedral's name came after more than 4,100 submissions from Catholics all over the world.
Schuller retired in 2006 after seeing his ministry that began at a drive-in movie theater evolve into a global televangelist empire. But, after a botched leadership transition to his son, donations began to plummet and, in 2010, the Crystal Cathedral sought bankruptcy protection.
The diocese bought the 2,900-seat cathedral and its grounds for $57.7 million. It will have to renovate the cathedral for Catholic worship before services can begin.
Meanwhile, the Crystal Cathedral congregation, which will be moving about a mile away to St. Callistus Catholic Church in June 2013, will have to renovate that church for the Hour of Power to be filmed there.