By ADELLE M. BANKS
c. 2011 Religion News Service

(RNS) The Crystal Cathedral has announced plans to sell its iconic glass-walled church in Southern California to pay back creditors and overcome bankruptcy.

Senior Pastor Sheila Schuller Coleman, daughter of founder Robert H. Schuller, said the church will remain as a tenant and will have the option to buy back some of church’s campus in Garden Grove.

“We are thankful to the vendors for their patience and we are so sorry for any pain that they have incurred,” Schuller said in a statement on Thursday (May 26).

The church campus is expected to be sold to an unnamed real estate investment group with a 15-year leaseback plan. The megachurch known for its Hour of Power television broadcast filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from its creditors last October.

At the time of the filing, the church owed $7.5 million to creditors, and has cut back staff, reduced airtime and halted its extravagant holiday pageants.

Under the plan, the worship services and broadcasts are expected to continue without interruption, the church said. The Crystal Cathedral has been torn by controversy since the 2006 departure of Robert H. Schuller as pastor.

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