Carlton Pearson

Carlton Pearson

March 19, 1953 --

Carlton D’Metrius Pearson is a minister and singer.  Pearson attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, where he was mentored by Oral Roberts. He has in recent years been licensed and ordained in the Church of God in Christ. 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.

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.

In February 2002, Pearson lost a primary election for the office of mayor of Tulsa. By then Pearson had begun to call his doctrine—a variation on universal reconciliation—the Gospel of Inclusion, and many in his congregation had begun 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. Declared a heretic by his peers, Pearson rapidly began to lose his influence. 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.

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

Pearson is also a gospel vocalist who has won two Stellar Awards and was nominated for a Dove Award.