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Weeks after being removed from his church's Hour of Power television program, Robert A. Schuller has resigned as senior pastor of Crystal Cathedral Ministries. Although Schuller sent an official letter more than two weeks ago, word of his resignation did not surface until last weekend.

In an announcement posted on the Garden Grove, Calif., church's Web site, the ministry said it had accepted Schuller's resignation and would launch a search for a new pastor. In the meantime, Juan Carlos Ortiz, founder of the Cathedral's Hispanic ministry and a popular charismatic author in the 1970s, will act as senior pastor, while he and executive pastor Jim Poit will lead the pastoral staff.

"Robert continues to be a valued and long-standing member of the Classis of the Reformed Church in America," the announcement said. "It is expected that Robert will make an announcement soon regarding plans for his new ministry. The leadership and congregation wishes him all the best as his plans unfold."

In October, Schuller's father, Crystal Cathedral founder Robert H. Schuller, removed his son as host of the church's Hour of Power TV show. At the time, the elder Schuller said he and his son had been struggling with different visions for the ministry's future and that it became necessary for the two to part ways.

"No longer will the Hour of Power be the voice and face of just one or two individuals," Robert H. Schuller said. Since then, Hour of Power has recorded several shows featuring guest ministers such as Lee Strobel and Bill Hybels.

Robert A. Schuller, 54, served as senior pastor of the church since 2006, when his 82-year-old father also appointed him host of Hour of Power. According to Crystal Cathedral spokesman Michael Nason, the younger Schuller remains in good standing with his denomination. "He remains a pastor within the Reformed Church of America," he said, adding that the congregation hopes to have a new senior pastor within six to 15 months. [latimes.com, 12/14/08; ocregister, 12/14/08]

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