Cover image for My journey : from an Iowa farm to a cathedral of dreams
My journey : from an Iowa farm to a cathedral of dreams
Schuller, Robert H. (Robert Harold), 1926-2015.
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Francisco : HarperSanFrancisco, [2001]

Physical Description:
xiii, 526 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
General Note:
Includes index.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BX9543.S36 A28 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



Dr. Robert H. Schuller's career has spanned more than five decades, and his ministry of hope has touched the hearts and souls of millions around the world. From one great story to the next, this disarmingly honest autobiography shows us a side of the great preacher that we haven't seen before. My Journey is Dr. Schuller's moving account of his rise from his family's struggling farm in a small Dutch community in Depression-era Iowa to the leadership of a multimillion-member international ministry. With warmth and candor, Schuller tells the stories of the events, the people, and the encounters that shaped his inspiring life and made him the ultimate possibility thinker.

Educated in a one-room schoolhouse, Schuller knew from his earliest days that he wanted to be a preacher. He describes times as a boy on the farm when the entire family worked to survive droughts, a tornado, and the Depression. He tells about working his way through Hope College and Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan, where he discovered a message of joy and hope in (of all places) the works of John Calvin. He recounts the excitement of his wedding, the challenges of his first small church in Chicago, and the dramatic story of his coming to Garden Grove, California, in 1955 to found a church in a drive-in theater. Beginning with $500 in assets and his wife, Arvella, as organist, that congregation's phenomenal growth ultimately led to the development of "Hour of Power," the first worldwide television church, and the building of the internationally acclaimed Crystal Cathedral.

Dr. Schuller steps down from the pulpit to share the intimate details of the key moments that gave his life and vision their uniquely inspiring character. Using his legendary storytelling ability Dr. Schuller evokes the strict Dutch Calvinist culture of his youth, where dancing was a sin and people really kept the Sabbath. He describes his early sermons and successes evangelizing from the roof of the snack bar at the rented drive-in theater where his ministry took off, and how he was shunned by traditionalists in his denomination for daring to take Christian preaching where it had never gone before. Dr. Schuller shares insights on how his positive-thinking philosophy helped him through the difficult moments of his life, as well as the huge challenges he took on. He recounts meetings with great world teachers such as preachers Norman Vincent Peale and Billy Graham, psychiatrists Karl Menninger and Viktor Frankl, global figures Mikhail Gorbachev, William Clinton, Armand Hammer, and actor John Wayne. Dr. Schuller shares his own spiritual journey as he reflects on his personal life and relationships, charting how he blended the good news of the Gospel with the best of modern psychology. My Journey is a genuinely inspirational and quintessentially American story.

Author Notes

Robert H. Schuller was born on September 16, 1926 in Alton, Iowa. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hope College and a Master of Divinity degree from Western Theological Seminary. He was ordained as a minister in 1950. From 1950-1955, he was the minister at the Ivanhoe Reformed Church in Chicago. In 1955, he founded the Reformed Church in America in Garden Grove, California.

As a televangelist, he tried to integrate the teachings of John Calvin with the positive thinking of Norman Vincent Peale. After becoming one of the nation's best-known pastors, he watched Crystal Cathedral Ministries file for bankruptcy in 2010 amid huge debt, a changing religious broadcast industry, an aging audience, and family squabbles over leadership.

During his lifetime, he wrote over thirty books including Turning Hurts Into Halos; Tough Times Don't Last, but Tough People Do; and If It's Going to Be, It's Up to Me. He received numerous awards including the Horatio Alger Award, Freedom Foundation Awards, Clergyman of the Year, Awards of Excellence for Religion in Media, and Peacemaker Awards. He was also known for his four decades of televised Sunday services, Hour of Power. He died from esophageal cancer on April 2, 2015 at the age of 88.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Schuller has inspired and motivated millions with his books, sermons and Hour of Power television show. Almost from the beginning of his ministry, he has combined biblical truths with psychological insights to preach the message of possibility thinking. In this autobiography, Schuller engages in a series of folksy fireside chats as he tells of his journey from growing up on an Iowa farm to founding and pastoring the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, Calif. Schuller's first church in California had been set up in a drive-in movie theater, but even then he knew he was going places: "I was on my way to a great future.... That awesome birth of possibility thinking overwhelmed me with confidence, vision, courage, faith, hope, enthusiasm, optimism, and energy!" In spite of his phenomenal successes, Schuller has experienced a variety of personal ordeals along the way: his wife's breast cancer, his daughter's loss of her leg, his son's divorce from his first wife, critics of his ministry and his own brain hemorrhage. Through it all, though, Schuller turns pain into possibility. Like one of his sermons, his autobiography describes the ways that one impending catastrophe after another turns into a miracle of God's mercy and grace. Schuller's message is simplistic "if you have to bawl, then turn it into a ball" and his prose can be vapid and maudlin. Nevertheless, his throngs of admirers will welcome their inspirational leader's portrait of his life. (Nov.) Forecast: This is a major launch for Harper San Francisco, with a feature in Parade magazine, a Today Show appearance and a 10-city national author tour. Perhaps most importantly, Schuller will hawk the book directly to his many fans on The Hour of Power, which is the nation's most-watched church service. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved