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Former Megachurch Pastor Bishop Carlton Pearson Passes Away at 70 After Battle with Cancer

  • In a sorrowful announcement on Sunday, the family of Bishop Carlton D’Metrius Pearson shared the news of his peaceful passing at the age of 70 after a brief struggle with cancer. 
  • Once celebrated as one of America’s influential preachers, Pearson’s life took a turn when he challenged traditional beliefs about Hell, leading to significant rejection within his community.

Pearson, raised in the conservative Church of God in Christ, established the Higher Dimensions Evangelistic Center in Tulsa in 1981. The church flourished, growing from 75 to over 5,000 members. Pearson, known for his powerful sermons and musical talents, initiated the Azusa Conferences in the late 1980s, drawing massive crowds and contributing millions to the Tulsa economy each year.

However, controversy arose when Pearson questioned the traditional concept of Hell, leading to his labeling as a heretic in 2004. This shift in belief caused a decline in support, with churches closing their doors, his annual conference shutting down, and his congregation dwindling from thousands to a few dozen.

Despite facing rejection, Pearson’s life and message of unconditional love resonated with many, including non-Christians and those hurt by church experiences. His story is captured in the Netflix film “Come Sunday,” reflecting his legacy of spreading love, healing, and restoration.

Reacting to Pearson’s passing, REHAB Church Charlotte expressed deep sadness, calling him an example of authentic, unconditional, and redemptive love. Senior Pastor Ra’Shawn D’Angelo Flournoy described Pearson as a “remarkable man” and a father figure to many.

Photo: Twitter Screenshot – Todd R. Post

In a recent public message, Pearson pledged to never stop thinking about his followers. “I’ll never stop thinking of who you are, and why you are, and how somehow, we were divinely drawn together in this divine intersection of lives,” he said. “But I feel you, and I hope you feel me even when I’m in Heaven, or on the other side, or the other iteration.”

Pearson’s impact extends beyond traditional churchgoers, reaching those who sought love, healing, and grace. Despite the challenges he faced in the later part of his life, Bishop Carlton Pearson leaves behind a legacy of love that touched the lives of thousands. 

The Pearson family expressed gratitude for the outpouring of prayers and support, highlighting the profound influence Pearson had on individuals seeking a message of acceptance and grace.

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