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Robert H. Schuller
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Televangelist
    (September 16, 1926-April 2, 2015)
    Born in Alton, Iowa
    Reformed Church in America minister
    Founded the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California
    Hosted the syndicated TV program 'Hour of Power' (1970-2010)
    He opened a combination 'walk-in, drive-in' church, where he preached simultaneously to a congregation inside church and to people in 500 cars (1961).
    He ran into tax trouble with the state of California which argued that his Crystal Cathedral hosted so many secular events that it no longer qualified for tax-exempt status. (His church and California eventually settled for partial payment of the taxes claimed due by the state.)
    He was charged with misdemeanor assault after 'aggressively grabbing' a flight attendant during a dispute over the service in first class (1997); he avoided trial by apologizing and paying a $1,100 fine.
    He was criticized by some members of his denomination for a preaching style that was more likely to quote Norman Vincent Peale's 'Power of Positive Thinking' than the Bible.
    He was criticized for spending lavishly on buildings ($20 million for the Crystal Cathedral; $40 million for an International Center for Possibility Thinking) instead of using the money for missionary work or helping the poor.
    He grew up in a farmhouse without plumbing or electricity.
    He was married to Arvella de Haan for 63 years.
    He focused on what he considered the positive aspects of Christianity rather than condemning people for sinning.
    His mottos included 'If you can dream it, you can do it' and 'Find a need and fill it, find a hurt and heal it.'
    He was the first American preacher to broadcast to the Soviet Union (1989).
    Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan and Bush appeared on the 1,000th episode of 'Hour of Power.' (1990)
    His church complex was so striking that he received a lifetime achievement award from the American Institute of Architects (2001).

Credit: C. Fishel


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