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Interview By Dr. Lawrence Wilkes
Bobby Schuller (BS) is the son of Robert A. Schuller, and is the grandson to Crystal Cathedral founder Robert H. Schuller. Bobby is a graduate of Oral Roberts University, and has a Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. Bobby has a ministry in Orange, California, called The Tree of Life Community. Lawrence Wilkes (LW) interviews Bobby.
LW: We are very pleased to welcome back Bobby Schuller this morning. After moving to California, Bobby started in this ministry with a church group in the Chapel in the Sky, which holds roughly 120 people. And eventually they outgrew that. Then they went down to the Arboretum and they decided after awhile that they would be better off on their own, so they went to the adjoining city of Orange and Bobby set up a church there.
As you know, Bobby is the grandson of Robert H. Schuller and the son of Robert A. Schuller. Well Bobby, tell us what's happened since you left the Cathedral campus? You were married before you left.
BS: Yes, Hannah and I have been married for nine years. We were actually married here in the Crystal Cathedral. We have two children, Haven and Cohen. Cohen was born three months ago, and his actual name is Robert Schuller the 4th, so we call him Cohen.
LW: That's great!
BS: So we've been married nine years, and we left and began doing the church thing on our own.
LW: How is your church doing?
BS: It's been going great. When we first left, we weren't really sure what to do. In fact we left with only a few hundred dollars. I really felt like when I left here (the group at that time was called The Gathering) we really wanted to do our own thing. And I think it was good for me as a pastor to be able to have a church with all the things that you have to face as a leader, so by going out on my own, I had that experience.
When we left, I'd just finished my master of divinity at Fuller Seminary, so I was kind of plunging into my new reality as a pastor. So we did that for two or three years, and then recently merged with another church called Serrano Hills. Michael Bischof was the pastor. He was a professor of mine and he started to look at what it looks like to do ministry in teams. So now we've even grown our church larger, and have all sorts of leaders that we're developing. We have seven or eight seminary interns who are also doing their ministry with us, and all kinds of great things are going on in our community.
LW: That's great! Now Bobby, before I forget, I've got to ask you about the Hour of Power International Ministry, because you have had some extra input into that ministry. Tell us about that.
BS: Well that's been a real adventure. The first time I really got to know the international ministry was with Don Neuen. Hannah and I went on the choir tour to Holland with Don and Sue Neuen, and we got to know Louis and Jan (Directors of Netherland ministry), John Townend (Director of Hour of Power International Ministries) and Frank Handrich (Director of German ministry), and many people from the international ministry. We did a tour around the Netherlands and it was a fantastic experience.
After I left the Cathedral to start my own congregation, I received a call from Louis or Jan, I forget who it was, and he said, ‘hey, we have this idea. We want you to come out and do a few sermons in the Netherlands for us.' And I said, ‘well how many you want me to do?' And he said, ‘ten.'
I said ‘okay, do you want me to do one a day,' and he said, ‘well we were thinking of having you do five a day, two days in a row.'
So I flew out there and I did it a couple of years ago, and they took those ten different sermons that I did in a church in a town called Hilversum, and they spliced them into different Hour of Power episodes. And I guess that went so well that they invited me to come back again and I did another ten messages, so I've continued to hold that relationship with the international ministry.
LW: That's great.
BS: It's been really fun.
LW: Well, Bobby, I understand that you're going to be coming into the pulpit more often and joining with us, just like today. We're really happy about that. Any last minute words you want to say to us?
BS: I really love the Hour of Power, and one of the things that I hope for is that my kids and even my grandkids will be able to experience the Hour of Power.
I think about my grandpa's legacy and how he changed the church; how he altered the way we view ministry and how this ministry has saved so many lives. So I thought it would be great to come and help. I kind of caught the itch with the international ministry, so I thought it would be great to do whatever I can with the people that are in this team, to help this ministry thrive in the future and I'm available to help in whatever way that I can.
LW: Thank you so much. That's a great, great attitude. We look forward to hearing from you each week.
BS: Thank you so much.