CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Unidentified donors described only as 'strong, staunch, evangelical Christians' gave $3 million to Calvary Church to help the nondenominational congregation complete a building complex costing more than $34 million.
The Rev. Ross Rhoads, pastor of the church, announced the gift Sunday to his congregation on the eve of the church's first interest payment on a $23 million construction loan from NCNB Bank.
Rhoads referred to the cash gift in terms of a 'second miracle' following the earlier donation of 100 acres of land valued at $4 million for the complex.
'It is a miracle that we got the 100 acres in itself,' Rhoads said Monday. 'This is conservatively speaking the second miracle that really matches the original gift of 100 acres.'
A miracle is something God does in such a way that man backs off and says 'Glory to God,'', Rhoads said. 'God has done exceedingly abundantly above all we could think.'
Rhoads identified the donors only as 'strong, staunch, evangelical Christians' who came forward 'knowing we needed a little boost.'
He declined to reveal their names, saying only they were friends who had never seen the church when they first called about the gift in May.
The church, located in southeast Charlotte, is one of the most expensive church projects in the country. Construction for the project is 10 months behind schedule and $6 million over its 1987 cost estimate and some church members are publicly grumbling about the costs.
Rhoads said slightly more than half of the new gift, which he valued at 'upwards of $3 million,' would be used to finish the 300,000 square foot building and the rest would go to help pay off the monthly notes to NCNB which is closely monitoring the church's finances.