by The Associated Press
Crystal Cathedral filed for bankruptcy on Monday in Southern California after months of trying to overcome mounting debt.
The megachurch, birthplace of the Hour of Power televangelist broadcast, announced its filing as it deals with a $55 million debt.
Church spokesman John Charles said the church owes about $7.5 million to a host of vendors for services such as advertising and providing the use of live animals for Easter and Christmas services.
The church was negotiating a payment plan with vendors but several chose to file lawsuits, the church said in a statement.
“We’ve always believed in a big God … a God Who is greater than any problem or challenge we could ever face,” Sheila Schuller Coleman, the Cathedral’s senior pastor, said in a statement. “Our announcement today to file for the protection of Chapter 11 is just one more chapter in the book that He is continuing to write.”