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Iowa History Daily: September 16 - Robert Schuller & "The Hour of Power"

Iowa History Daily: On September 16, 1926, American Christian televangelist, pastor, motivational speaker, and author Robert Schuller was born in Alton, Iowa. Best known for his “Hour of Power” television program, Schuller’s television audiences peaked in the 1990s with an average viewership of roughly 20 million.

Born the youngest of five children in a Dutch descended family of Sioux County in northwestern Iowa, Schuller’s faith began with baptism into the Reformed Church at Newkirk during 1927. Growing up in the Calvinist-oriented faith common to many Dutch communities in Iowa, Schuller graduated from Newkirk High School before attending Hope College in Holland, Michigan.

After his studies at Calvin and completion of Master’s of Divinity from Western Theological Seminary, Schuller headed west to California and founded the “Garden Grove Community Church” in 1955. Located in the old Orange Drive-in Movie Theater, churchgoers could enjoy church services from the comfort of their own cars. Although the drive-in church concept didn’t work long term, Schuller’s congregation soon swelled and he moved to the founding of the world-famous Crystal Cathedral.

Over the 1960s and 1970s, Schuller’s congregation continued to grow, and in September of 1980, he welcomed a capacity audience of 2,248 to the Crystal Cathedral for the first time. As the “Hour of Power” grew Schuller’s audience to millions, his sermons from the Crystal Cathedral echoed across America on the airwaves. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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