An online GoFundMe campaign seeking $30,000 to help pay for the memorial of Crystal Cathedral founder the Rev. Robert H. Schuller has been created by his daughter, who says she wants to give her televangelist father a "lovely, albeit modest, goodbye."
Carol Schuller Milner, one of Rev. Schuller's five children, set up the GoFundMe campaign shortly after her father's death earlier in April in the hopes of raising enough money to establish a website, an archive of Robert Schuller's work, and a broadcast of the funeral.
"This gofundme account, if funded in full, will provide a budget for all this plus a video production and a first phase website of drschuller.org - the official website sanctioned by Robert H. Schuller and his estate, helping to tell the story and legacy of Robert H. Schuller," she wrote on the GoFundMe page.
"Schuller gave over 60 years of his life teaching others to 'believe in the God who believes in you!' And 'if you can dream it you can do it!' Let's join together for a glorious goodbye to Schuller and a faith-filled hello to our own dreams."
In 1951, Schuller and his wife founded the Crystal Cathedral church in Garden Grove, Orange County, California. In 1970, he began a TV ministry called the "Hour of Power," where he often promoted the idea of "possibility thinking," redemption, and grace. The program eventually became the most-watched religious program in the world, reaching as many as 20 million viewers during its peak.
However, over half a century later, Schuller and his wife resigned from the board of Crystal Cathedral Ministries after the ministry filed for bankruptcy, citing debts of $43 million. In February 2012, the building and its adjacent campus was sold to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange for use as the diocese's new cathedral, and was eventually renamed Christ Cathedral in 2012.
"Dr. and Mrs. Schuller were left financially crippled by the loss of their retirement income previously promised by the organization," Carol Schuller Milner, Schuller's daughter, wrote on the site GoFundMe. "Living on social security for the past years, they were not able to preserve a fund that would cover arrangements for funeral and memorial tributes."
On April 2, the 88-year-old Schuller died after battling esophageal cancer. A private funeral for the late evangelist was held April 20 at the former Crystal Cathedral building.
Schuller Milner said she started the online campaign at the suggestion of friends and that she helped care for her parents in their last years. Schuller's wife, Arvella, died in 2014. With a stated goal of $30,000, as of Thursday morning the GoFundMe campaign has raised about $6,730 from multiple donors.
While most donations ranged from $100 to $300, two of the donations were $1,000 each, tying for the highest single amounts provided.
"Can't wait to see the service and the tributes to this great man that wasn't 'just' a preacher," a user named Steve Bonner wrote on the site. "Long live his memory and work."
"I wish all the family well and I know you rejoice in your father's wonderful legacy. May God continue to bless you as you move ahead," added Robert Clemons.
The website the campaign speaks of funding, drschuller.org, currently links to the URL http://www.roberthschuller.com/ and is copyrighted by Legend Hill Media.