Orange County Business Journal

170-Acre Rancho Capistrano Property Donated to Saddleback Church

Mark Mueller Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Lake Forest’s Saddleback Church has been given ownership of a 170-acre ranch it had been leasing in San Juan Capistrano.

The Rancho Capistrano property was donated to Saddleback Church by Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., an Oklahoma City-based arts and crafts retailer, the company said on Tuesday.

Hobby Lobby bought the land last year from Garden Grove’s now-bankrupt Crystal Cathedral Ministries. Saddleback Church had been leasing the land from Hobby Lobby.

The growing megachurch, led by senior pastor Rick Warren, uses the property as an overnight retreat center, among other uses.

The Rancho Capistrano property had been owned by Crystal Cathedral since 1981, but was sold last year to raise cash for the financially-troubled church.

The ranch is located about 12 miles from the main Saddleback Church in Lake Forest.

Hobby Lobby is rumored to be interested in bidding for Crystal Cathedral’s iconic main campus in Garden Grove. That property also has received interest from developers, Chapman University and other churches in recent weeks.