This just in: businesses expect to be paid. Promptly. (crossposted)
Robert Schuller’s church is being sued.
Three businesses, including an equipment financing company and two television stations, have filed lawsuits against the Crystal Cathedral stating that the megachurch owes them more than $2 million for services rendered.
The lawsuits were filed in February and March in Orange County Superior Court and are a continuation of the Garden Grove megachurch’s financial problems. Last week, several vendors who provided services for the cathedral’s “Glory of Christmas” pageant said the cathedral has yet to pay them.
Among the vendors are Kristina Oliver, who supplied camels, horses and sheep for the pageant; wardrobe manager Juliet Noriega; drycleaner Bruce Johnson, who cleaned the actors’ costumes; and Carin Galletta, whose public relations firm provided publicity for the pageant.
Yes, I’m sure camels don’t come cheap and I doubt buck-a-yard cotton/poly blend was considered for costume supplies. They’re also in the hole for a lot of electrical equipment and the loans they took out to cover those purchases. According to the article, they stopped payment a year ago and the attorney for PNCEF LLC, an Indiana-based equipment finance company, states that litigation is considered “a last resort” but the companies involved ultimately decided it was necessary.
Sheila Schuller Coleman, executive director of Crystal Cathedral Ministries, issued a statement last week that the church needs “an influx of new gifts to be able to honor” their current accounts payables with vendors. She also said that the cathedral would organize a meeting to talk face-to-face with vendors about getting them paid.
So, they’re begging for money and support from their fans. I’m thinking that if they’re this bad at managing money, they shouldn’t be allowed to ask for any more. Cut off some allowances. Ground some people. Make them return all the stuff they couldn’t actually afford to buy on their own.
The megachurch has put various properties up for sale, laid off employees and suspended its Easter pageant this year. The cathedral has scaled down its “Hour of Power” broadcasts viewed by millions worldwide.
Charles said there is still “a lot of interest” in the retreat center from prospective buyers. He said the Chapman Avenue office building, which houses the “Hour of Power” offices, is also up for sale, but so far, there have been no takers.
Cathedral administrators say they hope to bridge a $55 million budget deficit with the sale of the Rancho Capistrano and Chapman Avenue properties.
Well, good luck with that.
The OC Register also reports on a woman named Judy Hatch who has come up with an idea. She’s planning on starting a fundraiser to pay off the vendors and will ask for a dollar from anyone interested in actually helping those families make ends meet. She’ll bank what she gets in donations and put the money towards those unpaid bills.
At least that way people know where their money’s going. I mean really. Camels?