Carlton Pearson

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Bishop Carlton Pearson
Carlton Pearson speaking square crop.png
Carlton Pearson
Background information
Birth nameCarlton D'Metrius Pearson
Born(1953-03-19) March 19, 1953 (age 61)
San Diego, United States
Occupationsminister, singer
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Bishop Carlton Pearson
Carlton Pearson speaking square crop.png
Carlton Pearson
Background information
Birth nameCarlton D'Metrius Pearson
Born(1953-03-19) March 19, 1953 (age 61)
San Diego, United States
Occupationsminister, singer

Bishop Carlton D'Metrius Pearson, DD (born March 19, 1953 in San Diego, California) is an American minister.[1] At one time, he was the pastor of the Higher Dimensions Evangelistic Center, later named it Higher Dimensions Family Church which was one of the largest churches in Tulsa, Oklahoma. During the 1990s, it grew to an average attendance of over 5,000. Due to his stated belief in universal reconciliation, Pearson rapidly began to lose his influence in ministry with the Joint College of African-American Pentecostal Bishops[2] and was eventually declared a heretic by his peers in 2004.

Pearson was the Senior Minister of Christ Universal Temple, a large New Thought congregation in Chicago, Illinois.[3]

Early career[edit]

Pearson attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, where he was mentored by Oral Roberts. He was licensed and ordained in the Church of God in Christ.[4] Pearson formed his own church, the Higher Dimensions Evangelistic Center, which became one of the largest churches in Tulsa. He was one of only two African American ministers to appear on national television, reaching hundreds of thousands to millions of people, weekly and has been credited as being one of the first black ministers to hold major conferences in arenas & stadiums within the African American fundamentalist movement. During the 1990s Pearson's church grew to an average attendance of over 6,000, and in 1997 Pearson was ordained as a bishop. In 2000, Pearson campaigned for George W. Bush, and later he was invited to the White House. Pearson had one of the most watched TV programs on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. Pearson was also the host of the AZUSA Conference in Tulsa. Pearson was also a travelling evangelist, holding two-day revivals across the continent. Pearson also gave many up and coming ministers and singers credibility and a global audience, including T.D. Jakes, Joyce Meyer, Donnie McClurkin and many others. Pearson has also met and counseled with former Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

The Gospel of Inclusion[edit]

A person who spends every day getting drunk, will ruin their health, marriage, family, and career; they will make their lives a living Hell. But that still falls far short of the chronic alcoholic being condemned by a just God to literally burn in Hell forever and ever.

For others it may very well be that the punishment merited by their sins is greater than what they receive in this life. For those people perhaps there will be some kind of punishment after death, but we believe that it will be remedial and corrective rather than just punishment for punishment's sake. Exactly what that will be and how long it will last we don't know. Will Hell for some people last 10 minutes or 10 million years... we don't know. But this we do know: Hell will not last for eternity; it will not be endless... Don't sin. Be reunited with God now, rather than after you have put yourself (and those you love) through Hell.

—Bishop Pearson's belief in Hell as stated on his Web site [5]

After watching a television program about the wretched conditions of people suffering and dying from the genocide in Rwanda, and considering the teachings of his church that non-Christians were going to Hell, Pearson believed he had received an epiphany from God. He stated publicly that he doubted the existence of Hell as a place of eternal torment. He said that hell is created on earth by human depravity and behavior.[6]

In February 2002, Pearson lost a primary election for the office of mayor of Tulsa.[7] By then Pearson had begun to call his doctrine—a variation on universal reconciliation—the Gospel of Inclusion and many in his congregation began to leave.

In March 2004, after hearing Pearson's argument for inclusion, the Joint College of African-American Pentecostal Bishops concluded that such teaching was heresy.[1] Declared a heretic by his peers, Pearson rapidly began to lose his influence.[8] Membership at the Higher Dimensions Family Church fell below 1,000, and the church lost its building to foreclosure in January 2006. The church members began meeting in the nearby Trinity Episcopal Church as the New Dimensions Worship Center.[9]

The New Dimensions Worship Center[edit]

In November 2006, Pearson was accepted as a United Church of Christ minister.

In June 2008, the New Dimensions Worship Center moved its meetings to the All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa. On September 7, 2008, Pearson held his final service for the New Dimensions Worship Center, and it was absorbed into the All Souls Unitarian Church.[10][11]

The Christ Universal Temple (Chicago)[edit]

In May 2009, Pearson was named the interim minister of the Christ Universal Temple, a large New Thought congregation in Chicago, Illinois.[12] On January 3, 2011, it was reported that he had left this position.[13]

Media coverage of Pearson[edit]

Pearson's musical career & personal life[edit]

Pearson is also a gospel vocalist who has won two Stellar Awards, and he was nominated for a Dove Award.[19]

In September 1993 Pearson was married at age 40 to the former Gina Marie Gauthier (born December 13, 1961 in Lake Charles, LA). She is a life coach by profession. They have two children; a son, Julian D'Metrius Pearson, born on July 9, 1994 in Tulsa, OK, and a daughter, Majestè Amour Pearson born, October 29, 1996 in Tulsa, OK.



  1. ^ a b "Ten Minutes with Carlton". Retrieved 2007-11-29. 
  2. ^ Pentecostal Bishop Pearson declared a `Heretic' for `Inclusionism' Views
  3. ^ Christ Universal Temple Web site
  4. ^ "New Dimensions Information page". Retrieved 2007-11-29. 
  5. ^ Frequently Asked Questions about Inclusion
  6. ^ "Heretics". This American Life. 2005-12-16. Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  7. ^ "Pearson's Gospel of Inclusion' Stirs Controversy" Charisma Magazine, May, 2002
  8. ^ Group Says Pentecostal Bishop Pearson a `Heretic' for `Inclusionism' Views -
  9. ^ "Tulsa Christian school buys former church for $5.19M"
  10. ^ Bill Sherman, "After last sermon, no regrets" Tulsa World, September 21, 2008
  11. ^ "Formerly major church is folded into another", AP in Deseret News, September 27, 2008.
  12. ^ Margaret Ramirez, "Some Christ UniversalTemple members oppose Rev. Carlton Pearson’s appointment", Chicago Tribune, May 11, 2009.
  13. ^ Manya Brachear, "Christ Universal Temple leader stepping down: 2-year tenure at South Side megachurch ending", Chicago Tribune, January 3, 2011
  14. ^ This American Life
  15. ^ To Hell and Back, Dateline NBC story on Pearson's evolution
  16. ^ CNN story
  17. ^ "Nightline Face-Off: Does Satan Exist?". Retrieved 2009-03-29. 
  18. ^ Kilday, Gregg. "Marcus Hinchey penning 'Heretics'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2010-08-08. [dead link]
  19. ^ "Pentecostal Profiles". Retrieved 2007-11-29. [dead link]
  20. ^ First two chapters of The Gospel of inclusion, from the New Dimensions website
  21. ^ "God Is Not a Christian, Nor a Jew, Muslim, Hindu... | Book by Carlton Pearson - Simon & Schuster". 2010-02-24. Retrieved 2011-05-23. 

External links[edit]