Carlton Pearson was one of the most beloved Pentecostal Christian personalities of his generation. Thousands would fill arenas and churches to hear him sing, preach and inspire. But things dramatically changed when he stood in his mega church pulpit to proclaim a new doctrine, one that declared that because of Christ, no soul will spend eternity in hell. This controversial doctrine polarized faith communities all over the world. Bishop Pearson wasn’t prepared for the rejection and stones aimed at him. He lost everything: his influence, his church, his friends and finances. In a short period of time, one of the church’s most beloved went from hero to zero seemingly overnight and became the most prominently titled heretic of his generation.
After spending the last two decades rebuilding and rebooting his life and ministry, Carlton Pearson has emerged with a new purpose aimed to help others examine and reconsider what they believe, why they believe it, and how those beliefs add to or subtract from the quality of their lives. He believes that life’s breakdowns can be turned into breakthroughs. And that experience is not only what happens to us, but what we do with what happens to us and not to just go with the flow, but grow with the flow, even when it becomes a flood!
Carlton Pearson is a native of San Diego California, where he spent the first 18 years of his life with his parents and five siblings. After studying at the Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he majored in Bible Literature English Bible, he served as Associate evangelist for the Oral Roberts Association and the ORU Board of Regents for 15 years on its Board of Regents. He has received several honorary doctoral degrees. In 1977, Pearson founded Higher Dimensions Inc, and in 1981 a church in Tulsa, which grew to a 5,000 membership that met weekly. It operated a home for single mothers, one for ex-offenders returning to society, a full service licensed Counseling Center, prison and nursing home outreaches, a national Purity With Purpose Discipleship Program for men and women, with graduates nationally and internationally, a 645-acre horse Ranch for troubled Youth and Teens.
His annual Azusa conference, held on the Campus of the Oral Roberts University, saw attendance swell as high as some 50,000 during the week-long event. The popular conference helped give exposure to numerous now well-known and highly successful leaders, musicians, singers and public speakers who now enjoy an international platform and worldwide recognition.
A Stellar Award winning vocalist, Pearson has sold into the millions of CDs and videos with his recording contracts with Warner Brothers, Atlantic Records, and Tommy Boy and has also been nominated for the Dove Award.
Carlton serves and has served on the boards of several charitable and humanitarian organizations, including the Interfaith Alliance, an organization which celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism; the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) of Washington DC, an organization promoting the civil rights of America’s GLBTQ community; The Fellowship of Affirming Churches and Ministries (TFCAC); and is on the adjunct pastoral staff of All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He has authored a variety of books and booklets, two published by Simon and Schuster.
Pearson feels the mandate to help enhance the possibilities of peace on the planet through his emphases on a more inclusive approach to spirituality, encouraging interfaith dialogue and fellowship. He teaches that we don’t have to go along to get along, that we can mind many of the same things without necessarily having the same mind about everything. His work towards racial reconciliation, bridging the gap between ethnic groups, nations and denominations, has given him audience with kings, presidents, other government officials and people of influence, both in America and abroad. He has been welcomed in and invited to speak in Synagogues, Islamic groups, Atheist and Agnostic organizations along with developing relationships with a variety of other spiritual communities.
He is developing a multi-cultural and radically inclusive “Metacostal” online cyber community reaching thousands that emphasizes expanded consciousness, radically inclusive love and Self-Actualization (the development of the personal Self and Soul, beyond impersonations and role playing). Our mission is to help create and inspire comprehensive global, planetary and cosmic peace on every level of human experience and expression. Our purpose is to help create and provide people with both techniques and emotional technologies to both discover and recover their divine selves, bridging our humanity to our divinity. We are about renewing and re-knowing who we are as not only human beings looking for spiritual experiences, but spirits having individual as well as collective earthly encounters. Navigating and negotiating through these encounters calls on and calls up what he calls the God gene, genius and/or genie (energy) resident in all of us; that life doesn’t just happen to us, but through us and as us.
He has also founded the Metacostal Network of Churches and Ministries bridging the gap between his Pentecostal roots in spiritual transcendence and embracing a Metaphysical approach to ministry and progressive spirituality.
Presently, his life story serves as the basis for the Netflix original movie produced by ENGAME and NPR titled “Come Sunday” highlighting his personal story about the shift in his ministry to Radical Inclusion insisting that Christians are not the only people who will experience eternal life. The movie premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2018 and is now available on Netflix.