SouthPark church says goodbye to ‘ski slope’ home, embraces change
March 20, 2017
This article was posted on Sunday evening in the Charlotte Observer:
A Charlotte landmark for decades because of its distinctive architecture – a steeple and roof that look like a ski slope – the church is directly across the street from SouthPark mall. It’ll soon demolish its current building, but keep its choice location. And sometime in 2019 or 2020, the congregation will get a new 750-seat home at the center of what developers and city planners call a mixed-use development. Until then, church members will worship every Sunday at the nearby Regal Phillips Place movie theater. When the new sanctuary is finished, they will return to the corner of Sharon Road and Morrison Boulevard and share 7 acres with a performing arts center, a fitness center, nearly 500 residential units and up to 170,000 square feet of commercial space. And their prayer is that a lot of the people who will eat, shop, work or live near the reborn church will stop in and worship there. At a time when many United Methodist and other mainline Christian churches are declining, even dying, the nearly 51-year-old Sharon United Methodist is looking, Senior Pastor Kyle Thompson told his flock Sunday, “to literally re-launch the church … and, in a fresh way, reach the community around us,” including millennials and the baby boomers who are retiring.