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Monday, September 16, 2013
Despite Rumors, Calvary Assembly Megachurch Is Not For Sale
Calvary Assembly in Winter Park, Fla.Calvary Assembly in Winter Park, Fla.

Back in the 1970s, Calvary Assembly was one of the first charismatic “megachurches” in America. It spun off many ministries, including Charisma magazine. In the late 1980s, it built a 5,500-seat auditorium, but today the congregation has dwindled to 650 members.

When rumors began reaching us last week that Calvary had sold its impressive campus to a large hospital nearby, I contacted the church to see if the rumors were true. The answer is Calvary Assembly has not been sold, but also that it is not for sale! In fact, interim pastor Dr. Bob Rhoden told me he believes Calvary “will be an impact church in the future.”

In a short phone interview, he also said, “The future won’t look like the past, but it will build on the past, on its great history.”

Sometimes when there is a rumor and it’s not true, journalists just leave it alone—there is no story. But this rumor is so strong, it seemed that a story was necessary to report that the rumors are not true. Because of my long history with the church, we decided my weekly e-newsletter was the place to report this. It was also my chance to give an update on what’s happening with Calvary Assembly.

The rumors may have come from the fact that Florida Hospital often rents the huge facility, as explained in Calvary’s statement below, and rents the parking lot during the week to shuttle students and some staff to the hospital a short five minutes away.

My wife and I started attending Calvary 40 years ago when I had just finished college. At the time, Calvary had a membership of 600—about what it is today. A few years later, after my wife and I served in the children’s ministry and youth ministry and sang in the choir, I made a proposal, and the church allowed me to start a little magazine called Charisma.  

There’s been a misconception over the years that Charisma started as a church newsletter.  It was never a newsletter. As amateurish as those early issues were, it was always ...

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