Crystal Cathedral Pastor Dies From COVID-19 Former Church Of Televangelist Robert H. Schuller

Rev. Lawrence Wilkes’ daughter posted about his death on her Facebook page. This story is available to all readers in the interest of public safety. Please consider supporting our...

Rev. Lawrence Wilkes’ daughter posted about his death on her Facebook page.

The Rev. Lawrence Wilkes, right, delivers a 2012 message of new beginnings at a Crystal Cathedral Sunday service. Wilkes, 80, died in March of COVID-19. He lived in Anaheim. (Michael Goulding, Orange County Register/SCNG)


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The Rev. Lawrence Wilkes, who in 2012 stepped in as interim pastor at the Crystal Cathedral when the Schuller family departed after a tumultuous bankruptcy, died last month after contracting COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Doctors confirmed on March 28 that Wilkes, 80, had the disease, according to a Facebook post by his daughter. Wilkes was on a ventilator, but died March 31.

** FILE ** In this April 1, 2007 file photo provided by Crystal Cathedral Ministries, the Rev. Robert H. Schuller is shown during Schuller’s “Hour of Power” service, at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, Calif. The social networking site Twitter has taken down a page for megachurch founder and televangelist Robert H. Schuller after the church identified the Twitterer as an imposter. (AP Photo/Crystal Cathedral Ministries) **NO SALES**

Wilkes lived in Anaheim and is survived by his wife, daughter and son-in-law, and a granddaughter. He was among 17 COVID-19 deaths reported by the Orange County Health Care Agency as of Wednesday, April 8.

The native of Winnipeg, Canada, came to Southern California in 1968. In the early 1990s, he joined the Crystal Cathedral ministry founded by Robert A. Schuller. Wilkes was evening pastor at the Garden Grove church and, later, dean of the Robert Schuller School for Preaching, until 2006.

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