Home Celebrity Scoop Bishop Carlton Pearson’s Death, Funeral Arrangement, His Church, Friends And Family

Bishop Carlton Pearson’s Death, Funeral Arrangement, His Church, Friends And Family


Bishop Carlton Pearson: A life full of loving God and People

Bishop Carlton Pearson , a renowned American preacher, singer, author and composer, known for his Live At Azusa albums, has died on November 19 in Tulsa, Oklahoma after battling  with cancer at 70. 

The family announced his death in a statement posted on social media on November 20, 2023. The statement reads, “ We are saddened to inform you that Bishop Carlton D’Metrius Pearson, one of the most popular and influential preachers in America and around the world, who sacrificed everything for a message of unconditional love and acceptance by God, died peacefully the night of November 19, 2023, at the age of 70, after a brief battle with cancer that had returned after first defeating it 20 years ago. 

He was surrounded by his family. Moving to Tulsa in 1971, to become a student at Oral Roberts University, Carlton was invited by Oral Roberts himself to join the World Action Singers on his nationally-aired TV specials, eventually becoming an associate evangelist with the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association in 1975. In 1977, Carlton launched his own ministry, Higher Dimensions, Inc., traveling the country with a small ministry team. In 1981, with the help of his college roommate, Gary McIntosh, Carlton started Higher Dimensions Evangelistic Center, with 75 people attending its first service in Jenks, Oklahoma. Quickly outgrowing the small, storefront location in Jenks, Higher Dimensions eventually settled at 8621 South Memorial Drive in Tulsa, becoming an integrated, multi-ethnic, cross-cultural congregation of more than 5,000 members. A national television program launched in the mid-1980s, “Everything’s Gonna Be All Right,” expanded Carlton’s outreach to a national and international audience, becoming at that time one of only two African American preachers with a nationwide television ministry. 

 His annual AZUSA Conference, begun in 1988, became an international movement, giving national exposure to a number of preachers and gospel singers, bringing together believers of all denominations, cultures, races and walks of life. The annual conference attracted as many as 70,000 people to Tulsa each year, generating tens of millions of dollars to the Tulsa economy during the week-long conference, as well as smaller weekend conferences held across the country each year, such as Los Angeles, Atlanta, Philadelphia, San Jose, Tacoma, Buffalo and even Durban, South Africa. His “Live at AZUSA” albums were nominated for multiple Dove and Stellar Awards, winning three Stellar Awards for “Carlton Pearson Live at AZUSA 2: Precious Memories.”

 On the opening night of AZUSA ‘96, a group of pastors and bishops recognized his leadership by declaring him “a bishop in the Lord’s church.” The opening night of the following year’s conference, Bishop Carlton Pearson was officially consecrated in an ecclesiastical ceremony as the Presiding Bishop of the AZUSA Interdenominational Fellowship of Christian Churches and Ministries, establishing oversight of thousands of churches and ministries all over the world. 

 He gave counsel to multiple U. S. Presidents, as well as a number of international presidents, kings and other leaders, who were won over by his intelligence, charm, humor and kindness. At the height of his popularity, Bishop Pearson had a shift in his theological beliefs, and began to preach that Jesus did not just die for and save Christians, but for all mankind, and that no one goes to hell as we’ve known it. This became known as “The Gospel of Inclusion,” a form of Christian theology known as universalism.

 This shift in belief caused churches, upon whose stages he once frequented, to close their doors to him, shut down his annual conference and caused his church to dwindle from thousands to only dozens. His theological shift was dramatized in a major motion picture, Netflix’s “Come Sunday,” starring Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave), Danny Glover (The Color Purple, Lethal Weapon), LaKeith Stanfield (Judas and the Black Messiah, Atlanta) and Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now, The West Wing). Carlton’s message and example of unconditional love, though it gained him the moniker of “heretic” by some in the Christian church, had a whole new world opened to him as a result. Non-Christians, as well as Christians who had left the church as a result of church hurts, abuse, hypocrisy, etc., loved the new message of love, healing and restoration. 

He leaves a legacy of love through the multiplied thousands of lives he touched during his time on earth and the impartation of grace and mercy he preached and exhibited to everyone he encountered. The Pearson family would like to thank everyone for their prayers and continued support. They ask for and appreciate privacy during this challenging time. Services are pending”. 

Before his passing, Bishop Carlton Pearson also shared updates on his health on October 30, 2023 on his official Facebook page. He wrote 

“From the Family of Carlton D. Pearson: To all of you who love Carlton as a Friend, Teacher, Mentor, Pastor, and Bishop: Our dear Carlton was diagnosed with cancer in 2001 and was declared cancer free shortly thereafter.

 Just recently the cancer has returned and has been a significant challenge, especially in the last 120 days. Since his last post, we wanted you to be among the first to know that as a family we have invited comfort care on our team in this critical time. We have prayerfully and intentionally walked this journey with him as we all face our mortality. 

 He is in good spirits and indeed a tough human being to be “yet holding on.” Thanks for your continued prayers and love. Many of you have asked how you can support Bishop and his family. First, please continue to pray. Carlton has asked that people pray that he would live out the “full number of his days.” 

We agree with him! As well, if you’d like to continue to support Bishop financially, you can send gifts to his cashapp $NewDimensions2. 

 At this time we are not scheduling visitors. Please honor our request for privacy during this intimate time as we adjust. Thank you for your sensitivity. May we all do as he has taught us… We must make the change, manage the change, and ultimately master the change. All Love and Prayers.”

Meanwhile, his death had generated lots of arguments and controversies. Being a pastor who was welcoming to the gay community and openly preached against homophobia, Bishop Carlton Pearson is not accepted by other preachers who are not in support of the gay community. Because of this, some of his friends who are pro-LGBT are not allowed to speak during his Episcopal celebration funeral as its believed that the might want to use the platform  to further push their gay agency and their church does not want that. 

Reacting to this, Ann Brock wrote, “Is Pastor Mike Todd and Transformation Church, obligated in any kind of way to honor the last words and wishes of Bishop Carlton Pearson in his celebration service? In my opinion, they do not…..and yes, I’ve seen Larry’s video. Very few times do I agree with Pastor Mike Todd but this is the one time I do. I’m aware some are online saying what Pastor Mike Todd and Transformation Church are doing is trying to whitewash and mute the legacy of Bishop Carlton Pearson….. with which I disagree: “How can you claim to love this man and pay for his funeral, only to silence, disregard, and disrespect the people whom HE loved? So wicked and gross”.

Larry Reid, one of Bishop Carlton Pearson’s friends has also shared a video from the interview he had with him where he explained exactly how he wants his funeral to be celebrated and the people he wants to speak at the funeral. In the video, Bishop Carlton Pearson clearly stated how he wanted his funeral. However, many think he could have written it in his will. But of course, the church cannot bend its doctrines. 

Transformation Church Pastor,  Mike Todd says Pastor Yvette Flunder who was one of Bishop Carlton’s friends is forbidden to speak at the funeral for Carlton 

Bishop Carlton Pearson Funeral Arrangement

Event: Public Viewing

Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2023 

Time: 4 pm – 8 pm. 

Venue: All Souls Unitarian Church

Public Viewing

 Date: Thursday, November 30 2023 

Time: 9 am – 10:30 pm. 

Venue: All Souls Unitarian Church 

Interfaith Celebration of Life 

Thursday, November 30 2023 

11 am

All Souls Unitarian Church 

Final Public Viewing

Thursday, November 30 2023 

12: 30 – 4:30 pm

All Souls Unitarian Church 

Final Closing and Sealing of the Casket 

Thursday, November 30th

4:30 pm

All Souls Unitarian Church 

Musical Celebration of Life

Thursday, November 30th

6:30 pm

Greater Grace Temple 

Episcopal Celebration of Life

Friday December 1st.

 12 noon

Transformation Church


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