Skip to comments.Man Commits Suicide in Televangelist's Cathedral
Posted on 02/19/2009 7:40:52 AM PST by NYer
GARDEN GROVE, Calif. A man shot and killed himself in front of a cross inside televangelist Robert H. Schuller's Crystal Cathedral on Wednesday as a nearby volunteer told a group of visitors about the church's suicide-prevention program, police and church officials said.
The man handed a note and his driver's license to two ushers, walked to the cross and then shot himself in the head as he appeared to be praying, Senior Pastor Juan Carlos Ortiz said.
The Orange County coroner's office identified the man as Steve Smick, 48. Church spokesman Mike Nason said there was no record of Smick at the cathedral.
Betty Spicer, a volunteer usher at the famous sanctuary, said she greeted Smick when he entered. She said he handed her a folded note with two cards inside as the man told her: "You may want this."
Spicer said he then walked to the foot of the cross. She and Yvette Manson, another volunteer, said they thought Smick was praying when they heard a pop.
The man used a semiautomatic handgun, said police Lt. Dennis Ellsworth.
A tourist, one in a group of several visitors from Canada, told Manson the man had shot himself.
"I didn't realize it. I thought he was praying," Spicer said.
Manson said she "had just finished telling them about our intervention hotline that we have suicide prevention on the fifth floor and all of a sudden I heard this pop, a loud pop, it almost sounded like a firecracker," she said.
Spicer said one of Smick's cards was a driver's license, and that the note mentioned a pickup truck in the parking lot.
Cathedral spokesman John Charles said none of the tourists was injured.
The glass-walled, 10,000-member megachurch in Orange County is home to the "Hour of Power" broadcast, an evangelism staple aired internationally for more than three decades. Thousands visit the cathedral to see where the broadcast is filmed before a live congregation.
After the shooting, police could be seen through the cathedral's glass doors investigating the scene and taking photographs before the body was removed. They also searched his pickup truck, Ellsworth said.
There have been two other shootings at the church in recent years.
In December 2004, Crystal Cathedral Orchestra conductor Johnnie Carl, 57, killed himself at the complex after a standoff that began when he opened fire in offices before a Christmas pageant. He had been hospitalized for severe depression.
Also that year, a man was wounded by a plainclothes police officer in the cathedral parking lot. Authorities said the man was meeting his mother, but the officer didn't know they were related and intervened in what he thought was an argument.
Praying won’t help if you do it anyway.
That a great place to go and kill yourself its a very beautiful building must be a pane to keep clean
This church has had its share....
The guy believed in God and still did this? That makes no sense.
God is a concept by which we measure our pain. John Lennon.
Exactly my point. He prayed as he did it but that means nothing because there was no repentance.
I was wondering if he had invested heavily in a prosperity plan.
I would never give credence to any quote concerning John Lennon & God .....
Every time something functions painlessly in my body, or in my life, I try to remember to be thankful to God for creating my body to work relatively well without much pain in general. These singers and celebrities who get rich as Cresus off the backs of ordinary people and then use their energy to disrespect the Lord and act like little gods themselves are, IMO, wasting the breath God so kindly gave them. Every pain, physical and emotional, that we have is not God’s fault. A lot of human variables enter into it, from present choices to generational choices in every area of life.
Doesn’t matter. Grace alone baby, grace alone.
1. Narcissism. It's all about him.
2. Angry with G*d. He didn't get his life handed to him on a silver platter and he's pitching a hissy fit because he blames G*d, Obama, the Church everyone except himself. This would also apply to John Lennon and all the anti-religious bullies that dominate our culture, politics and media. I guess he didn't get the memo about Hope.
Schuller’s Church is known for it’s watered down “positive thinking” gospel...which, unlike the real good news of the bible, is powerless to those in serious depression.
A very sad story and an ironic lesson. Here they have a large PROGRAM for suicide prevention, hotline and all—yet apparently nobody took the time to talk to this man in person before his desperate act of self murder.
Personal care...the bane of Mega-churches.