Cathedral of Tomorrow

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The Cathedral of Tomorrow was built in 1958 as home to Rex Humbard's ministry. The Cathedral, a round building with the sanctuary in the middle and classrooms and offices around the edges, located in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, seats 5,400. It has a domed roof with a large illuminated cross that hangs from the ceiling. The cross weighs 32 tons (to give the domed roof greater architectural strength during wind storms) and is illuminated with 4,700 lights which can change colors. It is one of the largest interior crosses in the world. When the cathedral was built it was the largest permanently domed building in the world without interior pillar support. This gives the audience greater visibility toward the stage.

Under Humbard's ministry, Cathedral services were broadcast on 600 television stations in the United States and Canada, as well as on stations in many other countries.

The influential gospel quartet the Cathedral Quartet was formed at the Cathedral of Tomorrow (hence the group's name), originally as a trio.

Cathedral Tower[edit]

In 1971, Humbard began to build a 750 feet (230 m)[1] rotating tower restaurant, similar to Calgary Tower, at his Cathedral of Tomorrow complex, which was also slated to hold a transmission tower for his planned local TV station, WCOT-TV (Channel 55; the license was later used by current day CW affiliate WBNX-TV).

Construction work started on September 10, but stopped in November when the concrete tower was 494 feet (151 m) in height.[1] Neighbors filed lawsuits and Northampton Township, the community governing the Cathedral complex at that time, said that there were no provisions for water and sewer service for the tower.[2] The actual reason for the end of construction is still an open issue.

In 1973, Humbard announced scaled-back plans to house a museum, library and prayer center in the tower.[1] By 1978, the project was still unfinished, with Humbard saying "Someday we'll finish it, and it'll be a landmark."[1]

In 1989 local grocer and lone bidder Mike Krieger bid $30,000 to win the auction at a sheriff's sale held to raise money to pay toward debts owed to the tower's builder.[3] The tower later saw use as a cellular phone tower.[1]

Legacy[edit]

After Humbard moved his ministry to Florida in the 1980s, the Cathedral of Tomorrow remained in operation as a local church with services conducted by local pastors who had increasingly fewer ties with the Humbard family. As a result, attendances began to dwindle. However, Humbard would continue to guest-speak on occasion.

In 1994, the Cathedral was sold to the Reverend Ernest Angley's ministry, and was rededicated as Grace Cathedral, the name of Angley's previous house of worship. It's adjacent to an office complex that contains a diorama museum called The Life Of Christ which was a lifelong sculpture work by artist Paul Cunningham, and a very popular family style restaurant called the Cathedral Buffet.

Angley also purchased the Cathedral of Tomorrow's television studio facilities in the mid-1980s, which are used to produce his own television programs and house the offices of WBNX-TV, the Cathedral Buffet restaurant as well as other leased office space.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Mark J. Price. "Local history: Cathedral Tower could have been something big". www.ohio.com. Retrieved 3 May 2016. 
  2. ^ Haferd, Laura (1981-01-09). "AS TOWER GOES UP, FINANCES UNRAVEL TROUBLE NIPS AT NEW EMPIRE". Akron Beacon Journal. pp. A1. But with the concrete poured, the project stalled. There were lawsuits filed by neighbors and radio station WSLR. The country music station said the tower would interfere with its signal. The suit was dismissed that December. 
  3. ^ "Humbard's Tower Sold for $30,000". Cleveland Plain Dealer. 1989-12-09. pp. Section 1–C. Mike Krieger, a local wholesale and retail grocer, said he did not plan to change the concrete structure... In April 1988, a Summit County judge ruled that the (Rex Humbard) foundation should pay the money owed to Pullman Power. The company in turn asked that the tower be sold so it could collect. 

Coordinates: 41°08′49″N 81°30′35″W / 41.14686°N 81.50974°W / 41.14686; -81.50974