ARTESIA (CBSLA.com/AP) — The Rev. Robert H. Schuller, the Southern California televangelist who brought his message of “possibility thinking” to millions, has died in California. He was 88.

Daughter Carol Schuller Milner says Schuller died early Thursday at a care facility in Artesia.

She took to Twitter to praise her father as “a great Dad and a great man of God.”

Schuller started preaching in 1955 at a rented drive-in theater. In 1970, he began a TV ministry called the “Hour of Power.” In 1980, he built a soaring glass cathedral to house his booming ministry.

At its peak, the program reached 20 million viewers.

Media Studies Professor Robert Thompson of Syracuse University told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO Schuller – who was also the author of more than 30 books – was a pioneer in the marriage of evangelism and the media.

“The whole notion of evangelism is to spread the word…and there was no better way to spread the word than the electronic media of radio, and then subsequently television, and then subsequently television, and then subsequently, cable television,” Thompson said.

In 2006, Schuller’s only son, Robert A. Schuller, was installed at Crystal Cathedral as senior pastor. But the organization was hit by falling membership and revenue, and he left in 2008.

The church filed for bankruptcy in 2010, and Schuller resigned from the board in 2012.

The Roman Catholic church bought the cathedral in 2011.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (4)