Religion: Apostle of Sunny Thoughts

Upbeat showmanship makes Robert Schuller a top televangelist

Fountains spurt. Birds chirp. Organ music swells. The camera pans slowly upward, revealing a white cross against an azure sky. No television director could ask for a more inspirational opening. When the blue-robed, silver-haired Rev. Robert Schuller appears, there is no doubt about it: the star has arrived. Schuller stares directly at the camera, slices the air with crisp gestures and modulates his powerful voice from a basso profundo to an ingratiating whisper. His arena, the $18 million Crystal Cathedral (two freeway exits south of Disneyland), is, with its mirrored skin and soaring see-through interior, an extension of Schuller's flamboyant style...

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