The largest glass building in the world, the Cathedral was built by the Rev. Robert Schuller. Schuller started out in 1955, as pastor of California's first "drive-in" church, in Garden Grove.
After significant success on the airwaves, Rev. Schuller opened the Crystal Cathedral in 1980.
And that's not to mention the cathedral's pipe organ (with 16,000 pipes, it's among the five largest pipe organs in the world), the 100-plus voices of the Hour of Power Choir, or the electric fountain/stream that runs down the middle of the central aisle.
But the real star of the show is the building itself; each week its soaring heights are captured in glittering detail by the television cameras.
The mammoth church is indeed impressive, and it is open daily for free public tours.
Made almost entirely of glass (and a spiderweb framework of white steel), the star-shaped "cathedral" is something to behold: over 400 feet long and 200 feet across, rising some 12 stories above the ground, with an angular, mirror-like exterior, its transparent, sun-lit interior features a giant television screen, and an altar of rich marble (bearing a natural image that some think resembles Christ on the cross).
The church seats almost 3,000 worshipers for Sunday services. But giant, sliding glass doors on the side of the church allow even more worshipers to watch the services from their cars in the parking lot.
Boasting over 12,000 panes of glass, and a sparkling, contemporary bell tower, the "cathedral " is an Orange County landmark visible for miles around.
The new glass tower was added in 1990, and is a stunning edifice in its own right; at the tower's base you will find a tiny, dome-shaped chapel housing an uncommon, cross-shaped crystal.
In the simple gardens on the south side of the church, you'll find statues of Job, and of Christ as the Good Shepherd. The patio (like all of the walkways here) is studded with marble plaques bearing short, inspirational Bible verses and the names of contributors.
There are frequent special events, concerts and recitals held at the Cathedral, as well as three annual holiday events.
Each year, the Crystal Cathedral puts on two major pageants: "The Glory of Christmas." (in December), and "The Glory of Easter" (in March). These dramatic religious spectacles blend religion & show-biz; they feature a cast of 200 in Biblical period costumes, a choir, flying "angels," live animals, and joyous music from a 70-piece orchestra.