Steven Furtick, pastor of Elevation Church, seems to like attention, however, he’s getting attention from a news organization that he may not be that fond of.
WCNC, out of Charlotte, NC, is investigating Furtick, and what they want to know is how a pastor, who began his church eight years ago with only 14 members, rose to such prominence in such a short time and managed to build a 16,000 sq. ft., $1.7 million home. Wow! A pastor’s salary is GREAT these days.
Aren’t you glad Mr. Furtick is following the model of Jesus and…. wait… Jesus didn’t have any place to lay His head and, as far as we know, owned no personal property. Never mind.
In the article, Furtick is described as “…one part preacher, one part celebrity.” So, let’s see what that “celebrity” status has bought him:
“Now, Steven Furtick is spending a lot of that money on a 16,000 square foot house in Weddington. It has 7 ½ bathrooms, according to building permits, which put the contract value of the house alone just shy of $1.4 million. The land cost another $325,000, for a total cost of more than $1.7 million.” (Online Source)
Whoa. Seven and one-half bathrooms. I have one and a half and can’t use more than one at a time!
Furtick claims the profits from his books built his house, but how can he get that much of a profit when his church was the ones who bought most of the books to begin with?
Of course, it’s a money racket anyway. When asked about salaries, megachurch pastors are showing 0% transparency. Why? What’s to fear? And then there’s this…
That means Furtick agrees to pay them to preach at Elevation, and they pay him to preach at their conferences or megachurches. “They attend each other’s conferences and are compensation for that regularly,” said Smith. When Furtick held his Code Orange Revival last year, three of the headliners, pastors Stovall Weems of Jacksonville, Fla., Perry Noble of Anderson, S.C., and Kevin Gerald of Seattle, were all board members at Elevation. Those are three of the five votes that set Furtick’s salary.
Executive pastor James “Chunks” Corbett told NBC Charlotte that pastors get paid for appearances at Elevation Church, but said the pay is “small in scope,” and he won’t disclose the amounts. (Online Source)
It’s small, but won’t disclose the amount? I’m not buying it.
Oh, and one more thing…
Elevation Church was founded by, got loans through, and gives missionary money through Southern Baptists. But unlike many Baptist churches, there are no elected deacons or elders here overseeing the church.
There is one man living in the Charlotte area who runs Elevation: Chunks Corbett. If you want to understand Elevation you have to understand his role. As executive pastor, Corbett is at the center of Furtick’s organization. In 2005 he incorporated Elevation Church. In 2007, he incorporated Corban Properties Southeast – a for-profit company. In 2008, he signed on as trustee for the Jumper Drive Trust that owns the Furtick’s home. And in 2009, he incorporated Sun Stand Still Ministries – another non-profit. All four list the same principal address: 11416 East Independence, Suite N, the location of the Matthews church. (Online Source)
Doesn’t sound much like a church, does it? It sounds more like a racket.