posted March 2, 2010

Robert Schuller to Speak During Hope Chapel Service on March 12

The Rev. Dr. Robert H. Schuller, founding pastor of the Crystal Cathedral Ministries in Garden Grove, Calif., will be in familiar environs when he speaks during the chapel service at Hope College on Friday, March 12:  he's a 1947 Hope graduate.

The public is invited to the service, which will take place in Dimnent Memorial Chapel at 10:30 a.m., although space is likely to be limited because weekday chapel is regularly attended by a large percentage of the student body.  Admission is free.

Schuller and his daughter, Dr. Sheila Schuller Coleman, who is director of ministry and mission at the Crystal Cathedral and is a 1973 Hope graduate, will be in West Michigan through the co-sponsorship of the Holland-based Leader Renewal Institute of Holland, which specializes in care and counsel for church leaders, as well as a variety of other organizations including Hope.

Dr. Sheila Schuller Coleman will lead a presentation on Friday, March 12, at 7 p.m. at Frederik Meijer Gardens & SculpturePark in Grand Rapids that is aimed specifically at clergy members and their families and intended to help participants learn how to prioritize the competitive demands on their time.  Admission to the Friday evening event is $5 per person and includes dinner.  Additional information and RSVPs can be directed to or 866-511-5323.

The visit's sponsors also include Calvin College, Calvin Theological Seminary, the Christian Reformed Church of North America, Evangelical Covenant Church (Great Lakes Synod), Hope & Healing, Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, the Reformed Church in America, Wesleyan Church (West Michigan District) and Western Theological Seminary.

Dr. Robert H. Schuller will speak in the chapel at Calvin College in Grand Rapids on Thursday, March 11, at 7 p.m.  Admission to the evening event at Calvin is free.

Dr. Robert H. Schuller is seen and heard internationally every Sunday from the pulpit of the Crystal Cathedral on the world's first and most widely watched hour-long televised church service, the "Hour of Power," which began in 1970 and is now the fourth-longest-running weekly program in television history and has a worldwide audience estimated at 20 million people.  The local congregation at the Crystal Cathedral numbers more than 10,000.

As a speaker and motivator, Schuller is sought for his goal-setting ideas for business conventions and conferences at locations around the world, including in Africa, Japan, Korea, China, Switzerland, Norway, Germany, Hong Kong, Australia, the Netherlands, Canada and throughout the United States.  He has authored 37 hardcover books, six of which have made the prestigious "New York Times" and "Publishers Weekly" bestseller lists.  He has received numerous awards and serves on several boards.

After graduating from Hope, Schuller completed a Bachelor of Divinity degree at Western Theological Seminary in 1950 and was ordained by the Reformed Church in America (RCA), which is the parent denomination of Hope.  After ordination he pastured the Ivanhoe Reformed Church in Chicago, Ill., for five years, during which the congregation grew from 38 to more than 400.

He came to Garden Grove in 1955 to found the RCA's congregation there.  With his wife Arvella as organist and $500 in assets, he rented the Orange Drive-in Theatre and conducted Sunday services from the tarpapered roof of its snack bar.

The congregation's growth through the years led to the decision to build the internationally acclaimed Crystal Cathedral.  The first-ever all-glass church was dedicated on Sept. 14, 1980, "To the Glory of Man for the Greater Glory of God."

Schuller was the college's Commencement speaker in May 1992.  The Hope College Alumni Association presented him with a Distinguished Alumni Award in 1970, and he received an honorary degree from Hope in 1973.  Arvella Schuller received an honorary degree from Hope in 1992, and is a past member of the college's Board of Trustees.

Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located at 277 College Ave., on College Avenue at 12th Street.  While on campus, Schuller will also attend a reception for the college's students, faculty and staff, and will attend a luncheon for invited members of the Hope community.