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Church sheds pink facade, red ink

Calvary Church [in Charlotte, North Carolina], known for years as the pink cathedral with a debt as big as its 10-story facade, is on the verge of paying off the $22.4 million bank loan that was front-page news in the late ’80s and early ’90s.

The soaring local landmark on N.C. 51 in southeast Charlotte is also no longer pink: Rev. John Munro, the church’s senior pastor since early 2006, said refinishing work over the past year or so has turned it a light taupe color.

“We got a little tired of hearing about ‘pink’ … (and) after 20 years, it needed a makeover,” said Munro, who hopes Calvary can leave its past troubles behind and forge a future as a place that reaches out to young families and immigrants who want an unwavering Bible-based view of the world.

Over the years, amid spurts of growth and decline, the non-denominational Calvary – one of Charlotte’s first megachurches – has weathered one controversy after another.

But Munro, a native of Scotland with an easygoing style, appears to have brought stability to the church, which now draws about 4,000 worshipers every Sunday.

He’s also made it a priority to get rid of the debt, which was still at $4 million in March 2007, when he conceived a final campaign – “Imagine 2008.”

• Full story at the Charlotte Observer.

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