The last remnant of a worldwide religious ministry that began in Garden Grove has left the Big Strawberry and settled in Irvine.
Shepherd’s Grove, the descendent of the Crystal Cathedral congregation founded by Rev. Robert H. Schuller, left its campus at the former St. Callistus church and school in March and relocated to the Irvine Presbyterian Church in that South Orange County city.
The congregation was displaced because the land and buildings it rented from the Catholic Diocese of Orange County were sold to Shea Homes, which will build a gated 80-home single-family development at the northwest corner of Garden Grove Boulevard and Lewis Street.
According to the Shepherd’s Grove website – www.shepherdsgrove.org– the church will be changing its affiliation from the Reformed Church of America to the Presbyterian Church of America.
The church was founded in 1955 as the Garden Grove Community Church. It gained fame as the “drive-in church” where worshippers could “come as you are” to services at a nearby drive-in theater or at the sanctuary.
Broadcasts of the “Hour of Power” televised services made Rev. Schuller an international celebrity. The church campus at Chapman Avenue and Lewis Street expanded rapidly with the construction of a high-rise tower. In 1980, the new name for the congregation became the Crystal Cathedral, in recognition of its iconic new glass sanctuary.
However, by the early part of the new century, attendance began to decline and the operation suffered from financial trouble that led to filing for bankruptcy in 2010 and the sale of the Cathedral and campus to the diocese. In 2013 the former Crystal Cathedral congregation relocated and changed its name to Shepherd’s Grove. It is now led by Rev. Bobby Schuller, grandson of the church’s founder.
The former Crystal Cathedral is now referred to as Christ Cathedral and is being renovated for its new role as the center of the diocese. Kevin Vann is the bishop.
Categories: Garden Grove