Friday, August 5, 2011

Elevation Church will launch two new satellite sites

Charlotte's Elevation, one of the fastest growing evangelical churches in America, plans to expand to new satellite sites this fall in Rock Hill and at Vance High School in the University area.

Sounds like the Rock Hill site will also be at a school; Elevation is waiting for action Aug. 8 by the Rock Hill school board before it announces that specific site.

The start date for the new satellite sites: September 11.

Live worship teams will be at the new sites every Sunday. And Pastor Steven Furtick's sermon will be shown live on a big screen, via simulcast technology.

The Rock Hill and Vance HS sites -- the church prefers the term "campuses" -- bring the number of Elevation locations to six. The four current ones are at Blakeney and Matthews and, on Sundays only, at Providence High School and McGlohon Theatre in uptown Charlotte.

Elevation isn't Charlotte's only multi-site evangelical church. Forest Hill, pastored by the Rev. David Chadwick, plans to open its new 1,000-seat, 25,000-square foot permanent site at the Ballantyne YMCA on September 11. Now, the church has a Sunday satellite at the Ballantyne Village Theatre.

Forest Hill also plans to move its York County presence next year from the Manchester Theaters in Rock Hill to some location in Fort Mill.

After that, Chadwick told me, the church is eyeing satellite sites in either Matthews or uptown Charlotte.

Forest Hill's main church is in the South Park area.

Mecklenburg Community Church, pastored by the Rev. James Emery White, also plans to open new satellite sites, in Mint Hill and Kannapolis.

The church now has services at three locations: its main church in North Charlotte; at River Oaks Academy in the Mountain Island Lake area; and at Lowe's YMCA near Lake Norman.

Read my Observer story from earlier this year on Charlotte's multi-campus churches. That list also includes The Park Ministries and Hickory Grove Baptist, which each have a satellite in addition to their main church location. The Park's is in south Charlotte, close to Pineville; Hickory Grove's is near the Concord Mills shopping center.

85 comments:

Mill said...

Elevation!!!!"We the Best" lol. Seriously, I have never enjoyed myself more than I have at Elevation. Pastor Steven is a cool dude and he is very humble. No arrogance at all. Never a dull moment, saddening message or judgemental people. I've only been a member for 3 months but since Ive been in Charlotte for 12 years I this is the 1st time I am proud to say I have a home.

Anonymous said...

This place and its leader are the pure definition of a cult. I wonder how much this guy rakes in from the church folks!!!

Anonymous said...

God is doing some amazing things here!! I am so blessed to be a part of it, and I cannot wait to see what God is going to do through Elevation! I attend Winthrop University in Rock Hill, and we cannot wait to have something so amazing so close!!

Anonymous said...

Something about Furtick that gives me the creeps. I'm not sure being the biggest and largest means being the best.

Anonymous said...
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faithplusnothing said...

I don't care how how he looks or acts but the doctrine he preaches is a mixed up bag of law and grace applying Israels' doctrine of law and grace doctrine. But no different than most churches. It's experience based.

Anonymous said...

Since starting to attend Elevation I can say this is the first time I am excited to get up and go to church. I used to have a battle every sunday trying to get my daughter up and going to church but since our first visit to Elevation almost two years ago my daughter is up early to go. She also is involved which Elevation certainly incourages. The difference I have seen in her is amazing as she grows in her faith. Pastor is a great speaker and a true man of God. It amazes me how people that have never attended Elevation like to put it down or give everyone their opinion.

Anonymous said...

This is great. As someone told me there is a lot of money to be made at this church. I wonder if the members really know where the money goes. It made me sick and sad to hear what I did about their practices.

Anonymous said...

Elevation is all about the show and 'pastor' Furtick is a great performer. He can preach the gospel but unfortunately bragging about his 'brand' and reciting all the great things about his church often gets in the way of the Good News. In addition, the message is always prosperity focused and extremely shallow...All about the show and not truly about the 'tell'. He is all about the chase and not about building disciples for the Kingdom. His true interest/s are limited to his kingdom.

Anonymous said...

It's so exciting to see God's Church growing! My brother's family is a member of Hickory Grove Baptist Church and I attend and serve at Elevation Church. I am so thankful to be a part of such a generous and loving church that preaches the true gospel without holding anything back. To all of the churches listed....keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Just don't take a child with a disability to Elevation. If they make a sound, they will be promptly escorted from the service. Just ask the family in Raleigh that this happened to at Easter. I believe Jesus asked the children to come to Him. They just need to do it at a church other than Elevation!

Anonymous said...

Honestly? Made you sick? You have no idea what you are talking about. I will pay you $100 to come and visit and sit through one sermon. Post your email address and I will contact you. I mean it, seriously.

Anonymous said...

How is this allowed at public schools? Pretty sure if a mosque were to do the same, everyone would be shouting, "Where's the separation of Church and State?!?" Such a double standard...

Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as a "perfect" church. Please don't judge a church on one mistake. I bring my autistic daughter to Elevation Church every week. She has been shown nothing but love and kindess which can't always be easy as she is very unpredictable to say the least! Thanks to Elevation Church for loving on my disabled daughter.

BUCKGUY said...

When the members of Elevation Church die do they get to watch Heaven on a TV screen

Anonymous said...

This guy is getting rich beyond belief..(pun intended)

Anonymous said...

For the guy offering $100 bucks...I'll come listen to a dude with greasy hair and painted fingernails for that kind of cash. In fact, I'll bring 100 people with me who will all take you up on that offer. Put your money where your mouth is and put your email address out so everyone can come see how great your offer and your church are.

Anonymous said...

Anyone questioning where the money goes that Elevation brings in could easily find the answer if they took a few moments to find it. Elevation is 100% transparent in their spending and you can find their full financial report here: http://www.elevationchurch.org/2010annualreport

Please find answers for yourself rather than perpetuating rumors.

Anonymous said...

I keep hearing comments about "all the money" the church makes. You can see for yourself where the money goes. Elevation releases a financial report every year for all to see. http://www.elevationchurch.org/2010annualreport. As a church, 12% of everything Elevation makes goes back into the city of Charlotte through Outreach Programs. Before you hate, do the research.

Anonymous said...

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/article_print.html?id=92513

Anonymous said...

Don't really have an opinion either way, but to everyone talking about the 12% going to the community - that's great, it really is - but 28% goes to personnel. According to the report, that's about $3.25 million for 2010. That's either a whole lot of staff, or a very rich CEO.

Anonymous said...

Cults seem to be popping up all over here in Charlotte......

Anonymous said...

God is moving in your city and your state and in our Nation. That scares a lot of people and it creates an atmosphere where still others can stir up fear to try to slow the progress of the Word. Stand firm, for God will prevail. God is good and only through him can good come. Keep rising Elevation and all the churches in your area that are spreading the Good News!

Anonymous said...

'Pastor' Furtick's salary is not published. He has a separate LLC that charges Elevation Church for absolutely everything. It charges for his time, his travel, his expenses. Elevation Church then 'works' for him in marketing his books, promoting his appearances and 'elevating' his celebrity. So, you please do your research. There is absolutely nothing that is transparent about this personal money machine. --- Call the church -- ask the salary. Also, ask about the money to send staff members to Aruba, South Beach and other vacation destinations!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Over 3 million dollars in personnel expenses!!! Wake up people! With all the transparency, where is Steven's salary listed on that report? That's not transparency.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous @ August 5, 2011 4:18 PM

That is in no way their "full financial report", it's a small summary.

So let me get this straight, outreach giving is 12%, while personnel is more than double that? $3.2mil for personnel last year? That alone should be a red flag.

LXIX said...

crazy is as crazy does

Anonymous said...

Elevation has one of the lowest staff to in attendance ratios in the 'business'. They are rightly proud of that fact. They simply work the 'volunteers' like dogs. So, if any report shows $3.2 million in personnel expenses then please do the math. In addition, the 'charge back' arrangement previously mentioned is in addition to any other 'direct' payment arrangements. --- Simply ask the office the questions. No one will answer. 'Pastor' is a performer and celebrity wanna be. He is paid accordingly --- growing his brand. He hopes to hit a $billion...

Anonymous said...

Further, as to 'transparency', staff members and spouses are required to sign confidentiality agreements. Ask yourself, why would a church staff person and spouse be subject to a confidentiality agreement??? ---

Silicon28 said...

Don't forget the article didn't just mention Elevation. (Although it's "issues" and Furtick's celebrity wannabe disorder are HUGE red flags.) It also mentioned Chadwick's little kingdom building all around us and Meck. Community's "also ran" status in this "building war."

You get what you pay for - and these folks do deliver: They give you one of the best "shows" around. If that's religion for you? Then have at it and enjoy every second.

Just quit calling them churches - they are more a part of the entertainment industry than anything remotely connected to the New Testament Church.

Anonymous said...

God, protect me from your followers.

Anonymous said...

When a friend said hundreds of thousands are being offered for services I am suspicious. Especially when it is seems to be under the radar. All legal I am sure.

But I believe people are being duped into thinking that the entertainment of this church is a ministry. No I believe the real purpose is money.

But then again PTL almost got away with it.

Anonymous said...

The church isn't about entertainment!! And it's so sad to see how ignorant people are! Pastor steven doesn't give the glory to himself, he gives it to God. Completely! You guys are all going crazy, talking about the "money"? Money that goes to help not only other churches, but also homeless people, people who need care, people all around our city and the world. We have a society where soon as somethings is big its an automatic " oh theres something wrong with this" NO. Those of you who put done a church that has changed so many lives and helped some many people, restored marriages and families! That's showen people the love God has for all his children, that we don't have to worry because God's in control! Serving and reaching out to people who are far from God so that they may be filled with life in christ and you guys are gonna sit here and bash a wonderful church because you may not like the genre of music? or that were opening 2 new campuses because god has blessed us with the money to do so? I mean come on, quit being so judgemental and rude. For once something that's being so called " big" is a good thing. We're changing the world for the kingdom of God. We give all our praise and thanks to the lord for without him none of it would be possible. He gives us the strength to make a difference and bring people who are far from him to be filled with him. and the devil tries to destroy that in everyway possible. Point proven by the way people bash the church. Those who call it a cult, and talk badly of a pastor that loves god whole heartedly. Thats exactly what the devil wants. But god never said it would be easy, and he tells in the bible we'll be rejected. were never more like jesus than when were rejected. But guess what, we stand tall and strong! For God who gives us all our strength. Because it's about him and praising him, for he sent his only son to die for us! We do things the BEST way we can, and to the best of our abilitys! Stop going by what you see but by what God says. Sure okay, elevation may not be the church for you some other may be and we dont look down upon you for that! We instead pray you find a church you can call home! But don't go dissing churches because thats absolutly wrong

Carrie said...

I don't know anything about the church but I do have 1 question - what's up with all the Elevation Church bumper stickers pasted to every other mini van and cute 'ute in South Charlotte? Is all the advertising and self-promotion really necessary?

Anonymous said...

All that matters is that when you die you will go to heaven or he'll for ETERNITY! Because of Elevation many people will be in heaven. How can that be a bad thing? I'm proud to go to a church where people are being saved!

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me? Just because we have the church we go to on our cars doesn't mean anything. That's not advertising. If it were something else you'd think oh they have that on their car they must love that. But since our stickers are of our church that we LOVE. Suddenly that's advertising? No, incorrect. If your so bothered by people putting something on their car that they love or love going to, then don't look that peoples cars. There's no harm being done in putting them on .

Anonymous said...

They want to put a church on school grounds?

No way. Not even in South Carolina.

Anonymous said...

At the very least, the mere entertainment techniques will never substitute the hard work of teaching believers to acquire the divine life of the Father by the Son through the Holy Spirit. This kind of life may well entail sacrificing certain pleasures of one's former life or rejecting certain elements of Western culture.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious reading all of the "cult" or "too much money" comments. Religion has always been about power and money, don't hate on the folks who at least try to make it relevant to life in the last 50 years.

Really, someone complained that the church is too "experience based". Grow up grandma! Not everyone wants to sing from the ol' Cokesbury every Sunday.

Anonymous said...

Amen, to the comment above me! Couldn't have said it better myself.

Ghoul said...

Anonymous said...

All that matters is that when you die you will go to heaven or he'll for ETERNITY! Because of Elevation many people will be in heaven. How can that be a bad thing? I'm proud to go to a church where people are being saved!

August 5, 2011 7:37 PM



The Catholic church sold indulgences for salvation, not much has changed in 1000 years.

Grown People Talking said...

Elevation also streams services online:

The Elevation Experience--Having Church At Home
http://www.grownpeopletalking.com/2010/11/elevation-experience-having-church-at.html

Timothy Whitson said...

Cult? Really? Religion in general is like-minded people who come together and believe in a common way to worship. People give freely. I've been to lots of different churches, and while the message may have encouraged it, no one held a gun to my check book. We are given free will; the real test of faith comes when you apply what you read in your daily walk, strive to be more like Christ, and try to grow in your personal relationship. It's up to each believer to find a group that fosters these things and helps you develop your moral compass; which mostly comes from within.

leah.wright16 said...

i'm a 14 year old girl, and elevation church saved my life. i wasn't making the best desicions, but elevation taught me the word of god in a way that was intresting and spoke to me. Who knows how i'd be if it wasn't for that church. And at the end of the day, isnt that what its all about, saving peoples lived for christ. and thats what elevations doing. so i would apreciate it if you wouldn't talk about the house of god in such nasty ways. especially the house of god that lead me to give my life to christ and save me from my old ways, thanks.

Anonymous said...

For all of the "Separation of church and state" posters, school facilities are routinely allowed to rent school facilities at night or weekends when there are no school activities scheduled.

Anonymous said...

I just want to know how you all know you are saved? Because a guy says you are? So, you have elevated him to God status? I kind of thought God was the only personification that could confirm that.....hmmmmm......maybe you all want to believe so much you are willing to believe someone who seems real, but still....just a guy.....nothing more....a dude with nothing more than charisma....are you all that dumb? Oh well.....luck to you all.....Wow!!!

Anonymous said...

Elevation church helped me save myself from a terrible addiction; I've gone there for three years.
What Elevation has accomplished (under Pastor Steven's leadership) in just over 5 years is quite wonderful.
I am by nature somewhat cynical, but I know that I am not a member of a cult. I knew the salary of the Pastor at my last church only because I was on the Staff Parrish Committee.
If Pastor Steven is doing anything wrong, he will have to answer for that eventually. I would truly hope that all of
those who are so critical would just come one Sunday and experience Elevation for themselves. I know that Elevation isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I guarantee you will experience genuine Christian love from everyone you
encounter there.
We are only saved by the grace of Jesus Christ as we learn from the Bible, not by what Pastor Steven or any other pastor tells us. Pastor Steven would be the first person to tell you that.
Peace and blessings.

Anonymous said...

A 27 year old girl that I've known since she was 2 is a member at elevation. It's definitely a bunch of koolaid drinking members of a personalilty cult. They've even duped these young adults into selling Amway with good old Stevie at the top of the pyramid.

I'm still trying to figure out how they can not see through that special 3-D movie he made. Las Vegas??? Really? What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas?

It's only a matter of time before most of the brainwashed start seeing through this. It will take a big scandal, but that is likely just around the corner.

Google "elevation church cult" and read some personal accounts.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I am saddened by the hateful words against Elevation Church. I just went to the elevation cult site and after reading the first paragraph I closed it. It is sad to see such hateful and false words. That is not the Elevation church that I have experienced. Being a Christian is about a personal relationship with Jesus. The Bible says we were created for the purpose of worshiping God. It also says we grow by hearing and reading the Word of God. Elevation is a place of lifting our God up in praise. Pastor Steven encourages and directs all glory to God. He teaches a lesson that is biblically solid and relevant to today's world. When I leave an Elevation service I feels fed, encouraged and excited about serving a living God!!

Anonymous said...

Saying prayers for all the atheists, the haters and other religions who put themselves (men) over God and their fellow humans.....

Anonymous said...

The last time I saw a church and its leader grow this fast was Jim Baker and PTL. Rev. Steve could just purchase Ft. Mill and save himself a lot of time.

Anonymous said...

See you at cult, er, church on Sunday!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Where as I don't agree with a lot of Elevation's quote "showy" practices; I would advise anybody calling themselves a Christian to be careful how you judge. You might be right about all this, but you might not at the same time. Don't catch yourself judging and fighting with other believers because that is a hindrance to the mission Jesus gave us.

Anonymous said...

For the person who talks about how do we know were saved? We know were saved because we've prayed a prayer in our heart for Jesus to come into our hearts. Pastor Steven doesn't tell you your saved he asks you if you truly want to except Jesus in your life then pray a prayer from your heart. He doesn't force it upon you . You have the decision to ask Jesus into your heart! Not him. And the 3-d thing, did you even watch it? You obviously didn't get what the real message was. I feel sorry for those of you who are to ignorant and cruel to say such horrible things about how gods working through not just our church but the lifes of others to make a difference and show his love for all his children. Were not a cult, were not worshiping pastor Steven or the devil. Were praising and worshiping our god who gives us more than we deserve!

Anonymous said...

I went to that "cult" website to take a look. and I'm in such shock of how someone could just make all of that up. None of that isnt even in any way true. Were not worshiping satan? Were worshiping God. The person who created that page, they seem more with satan. I mean how could you just make up all those things, that are not even true? That's exactly what satan does. I find it ridiculous how people think our church is a cult? How does it even at all come across as that? It doesn't.

Anonymous said...

First rule of a cult, deny its a cult.

Anonymous said...

If you don't sin, Jesus died for nothing.

Anonymous said...

Jesus told him, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

jholmes44194419 said...

"Good morning congregants. If you give us your money, we will take what is left after we stuff our pockets.....and we will build satellite churches so that our message can reach more people, and they can give us more money." ....."Oh, and the bible says we should be more like Jesus, and be prophets for Jesus, and we should read the bible...etc" ....Have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

Learn what a cult even is! Obviously you don't know.

Anonymous said...

The devil is really working overtime with these comments today. Just because the elevation service is not the boring, dress up in a suit, fire and brimstone preacher church that I grew up doesnt make it a bad thing or a cult. I have met a lot of genuine god loving people there that love the lord. Why put down anything that helps to bring people to god.

Anonymous said...

If you give money directly to a charity, it all goes to that charity in some way. If you give money to a church, they take their share first and give whatever's left to charity. Seems like charities would benefit more from direct donations...

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Many red flags at Elevation. Keep in mind, big crowds and money mean nothing to God. This Pastor's discernment is at an all-time low. He stands behind, and criticized anyone who says a bad thing about false teacher, Joel Osteen????? (He has his picture taken with Osteen.....it's online) Check out his "Hey Haters" video on YouTube. This video is from a humble and mature Pastor who is over hundreds of people????? People beware!

Anonymous said...

What bothers me is when a church seems to be built around the personality of one individual. It never ends well.

Anonymous said...

"I keep hearing comments about "all the money" the church makes. You can see for yourself where the money goes. Elevation releases a financial report every year for all to see. http://www.elevationchurch.org/2010annualreport. As a church, 12% of everything Elevation makes goes back into the city of Charlotte through Outreach Programs. Before you hate, do the research."


May you have a point. But then 88% of everything they make goes back into the church. (Much into people's pockets). One suggestion is that you see who counts the cash coming in each week. It must ALL be reported.

But some there are into big money. Do you know the millions that are passing through a few hands over the music and video sales. And that does not show up in the annual report since it is separate isn't it? Some in music there brag about this big money. I believe it can be millions over a few years of virtually untraceable money. The IRS is going to have a difficult time tracing this. Hopefully they can.

I think they will eventually make PTL look like child's play.

Anonymous said...

I saw the following post. If true and people are going to Aruba and steve has a LLC that bills for his tim then this is indeed a fraud.

'Pastor' Furtick's salary is not published. He has a separate LLC that charges Elevation Church for absolutely everything. It charges for his time, his travel, his expenses. Elevation Church then 'works' for him in marketing his books, promoting his appearances and 'elevating' his celebrity. So, you please do your research. There is absolutely nothing that is transparent about this personal money machine. --- Call the church -- ask the salary. Also, ask about the money to send staff members to Aruba, South Beach and other vacation destinations!!!!!!"

Anonymous said...

Too bad it's false teaching and these poor, unsuspecting, unknowledgeable people are follwoing...how sad...

Anonymous said...

Half of these comments are ridiculous, and its not false teaching.

Anonymous said...

I love how these people keep saying the money thing is 100% transparent. IS IS NOT. Elevation has some general figures posted on what they call a financial statement, and then they state, "contact Elevation Church for a more detailed statement." I have contacted them 3 TIMES, and I even stated I'm not with any news organization, yet still nothing from them...zero. One of the 3 emails was even answered, and it said "someone will get back to you," and that was several months ago. They do not and will not disclose the salary of the pastor. Yes, I know his salary is decided by a 5 other "pastors," but guess what, he decides who these 5 are, and guess what else, he doesn't disclose who these 5 are. As long as this continues, there will always be questions. If he has nothing to hide, why not disclose it? I have several friends who went there and left, because no discourse is tolerated. You are either a "yes" person, or you're not welcomed there, according to them. I've never heard of a church where the pastor's salary isn't known to the congregation. Will someone give me just ONE example? Further, I can't imagine a pastor of mine ever addressing his "haters." Nothing screams insecurity like someone who is worried about what people say. I don't care what the guy wears or how much gel is on his hair, and he shouldn't make an issue of it either. There is ONE truth, and nothing else matters: the life, death, and Resurrection...that's it, nothing more, nothing less. By most all definitions, this is a cult. One leader, who can't be questioned, is blindly followed (don't ask how much you pay me) to wherever he takes them. Then , the "congregation gets defensive as well. They are taught to attack the "haters." Doesn't it bother you people just a little that it has become about the preacher and the money, and not about the Gospel? I know you're going to say it is about the Gospel, but that is never what I hear. As long as there is no transparency with things like finances, there will always be questions. Someone said he gives 40% of his salary in tithes, and I asked how he knows if the salary isn't disclosed, and he had no answer, of course. The thing that bothers me the most, at the end of the day, is that our young people are getting caught up in this debacle. If something doesn't feel or seem right, it probably isn't people.

Kelly Brown said...

Cult: great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book) - By this definition, wouldn't the disciples & followers of Jesus have been considered a cult? I AM IN NO WAY SAYING PASTOR STEVEN IS EQUAL TO JESUS! However, he does deliver God's word boldly, without compromise, and points people to the only one that can help them JESUS!
Visionary: having or marked by foresight and imagination - Why is a visionary considered great in any occupation except that of a Pastor? If someone says God told me, culture looks at them as crazy. However, if someone says my psychic told me or I have a vision for where I want to take this company, it seems to be more accepted.

THESE ARE THE FACTS:
- Pastor Steven Furtick is a man. However, he is a man of God who should be honored as such as instructed in God's word(Heb. 13;17; 1Tim.2:1-6;Paul teaches in I Timothy 5:17, "Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.")
BTW, I don't believe he is the only man of God in Charlotte who should be honored.
Honor has definitely been lost in our culture. In some cultures, people stand when a senior citizen enters a room. When have you seen someone do that lately. Just because our culture doesn't practice such things doesn't mean we are right!

-Pastor Steven is a man that made a commitment to Christ at a young age, has stuck to that commitment when it wasn't easy, and God is blessing his life!
- The staff at Elevation does not consist of 10 people who are just filling their pockets! There is a good size staff(whose ratio is still less than most church/staff ratios)that work 50 to 60 hrs a week, if not more!
- I volunteer in the office at Elevation & get to see what very few do. I help with reports of how money is spent. I can honestly say, NOT ONE PENNY IS SPENT FRIVOLOUSLY! I see the dedication, hard work, and selflessness this staff serves with & believe they are worth so much more monetarily (no matter what they are making)!
I give to God thru this church & other worthy organizations without hesitation!
-In reference to the "Aruba" trip won by staff members, many organizations religious and not are promoting better health, exercise, etc... It is much more cost effective for businesses to offer incentives to their employees to make healthy life style changes than to pay higher premiums for health insurance because of an unhealthy staff.
- I have a 17 yr old who is in such a great place relationally with God because of the ministry at Elevation. She would walk their if We didn't take her and I can't put a price on that!
-My husband and I have been challenged with God's word as never before - relationally, spiritually, financially, and even physically! We are better because of the ministry at Elevation Church!
I am praying for you Pastor Steven, Elevation Staff & your families! I know you will continue to keep your knees bent in prayer and honor before our Lord & Savior! The bulls eye is only going to get bigger as we advance the cause of Christ!

Anonymous said...

I know some folks who left well established churches in our community to attend Elevation because in their words "it fits our lifestyle."

What they actually mean is "We're not going to change the way we live, we're just going to find someone to tell us it's OK."

The fact is God's instructions for our life are written in black & white and it appears Elevation is doing their best to smudge all that into a comfortable gray area.

Mr. Furtick, you are the one who has to stand face-to-face with God someday. Telling God how great the band sounded when they were playing those pop tunes instead of delivering His message might not fly too well.

I've known Jesus Christ as my personal Savior for many years and I've visited your church in Matthews. I'm really sorry to say God wasn't there that day.

Anonymous said...

"Cult: great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book) - By this definition, wouldn't the disciples & followers of Jesus have been considered a cult?"

Yes, they would have. It's funny, when I was a kid and attending church (Baptist), they'd show us videos that specifically talked about how followers of the Catholic and Mormon churches were cults. Yes, they used the word cult. I always wondered how they could classify those flavors as cults but not themselves. Funny how no one could ever give me a decent answer on that.

On the main topic, I'm of the opinion that Furtick is a genious. At 16, he figured out he was charismatic enough to get people to hand over a sizeable portion of their money each week. For those who go there, how big is his house? What kind of cars do he and his wife drive?

I honestly have no idea what the answers are to either of those questions, but in many of these cases, the "minister" is living the good life, all while some members of the church "willingly" tithe while they're struggling to make ends meet. Sorry, but I have a serious problem with that, and to me, it underminds any message he's delivering.

Anonymous said...

If money is being misused eventually it will come out. For me I prefer to go somewhere where I can find out where my money goes. I want to know the pastor's salary, expenses, cars, monthly housing allowance, suit cost, vacation house cost, whatever. Sometimes, because of the tax laws, the housing allowance can far exceed the salary I believe.

Anonymous said...

Just got back from Elevation Blakeney and it is so exciting to see hundreds of people who have chosen to follow Jesus now coming forward in obedience for believers baptism. A church I went to 10-15 years ago decided to add a Praise & Worship service on Sunday. Some of the people didn't like that idea because that was not what they were use to. The pastor gave a great analogy. He said some of us listen to 45 vinyl records when we were growing up, then the 8 track tape came along, then the cassette and now the CD. They all produced music but the delivery was different as our culture changed. God's message is always the same but the delivery can change. I know Elevation might not be for everybody but it's beliefs are biblically based, it's leaders are men of God, and hundreds of lives are being changed through Jesus. My God was there today!

Kelly Brown said...

@Anonymous:
I REALLY DON'T THINK I NEED TO DEFEND PASTOR STEVEN & HIS WIFE AS IT WILL PROBABLY NOT CHANGE YOUR OPINION. HOWEVER, I CAN TELL YOU WHAT I KNOW. BTW, I AM NOT A CLOSE PERSONAL FRIEND. I AM A MOM WHOSE 17 YR OLD DAUGHTER WANTS TO BE AT CHURCH & HAS EXPERIENCED LIFE CHANGE FOR THE BETTER BECAUSE OF IT & A WIFE WHOSE MARRIAGE IS CONTINUING TO CHANGE FOR THE BETTER BECAUSE OF THE TEACHING AT ELEVATION!
TO ATTEMPT TO ANSWER YOUR ?'S:
"On the main topic, I'm of the opinion that Furtick is a genious. At 16, he figured out he was charismatic enough to get people to hand over a sizeable portion of their money each week."[WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT FOR YOU TO BELEIVE THAT PASTOR STEVEN MAY HAVE A GENUINE WALK WITH GOD & EXPERIENCED THAT LIFE CHANGE AT 16?]

"For those who go there, how big is his house?"[COMING FROM SOMEONE WHO HAS A 1300SQ FT HOUSE, BELIEVE ME, HIS IS NOT EXCESSIVE] "What kind of cars do he and his wife drive?"[THESE TO ARE NOT EXCESSIVE, I SEE MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE CARS AROUND CHARLOTTE]

"I honestly have no idea what the answers are to either of those questions,"[YOU DO NOT HAVE THE ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS BUT, YOU ARE PASSING JUDGEMENT] "but in many of these cases, the "minister" is living the good life, all while some members of the church "willingly" tithe while they're struggling to make ends meet."[WHETHER YOU ARE STRUGGLING OR NOT, WE ARE COMMANDED IN SCRIPTURE TO GIVE! I CAN SAY FROM EXPERIENCE, NO ONE AT ELEVATION IS TWISTING ARMS! ALSO, FROM EXPERIENCE, I HAVE NEVER OUT GIVEN WHAT GOD HAS FIRST GIVEN TO ME! I GIVE BECAUSE HE FIRST GAVE AND IT'S MY HONOR TO! IF ELEVATION OR ANY OTHER CHURCH MISAPPROPRIATES FUNDS THEN THAT IS BETWEEN THEM AND GOD AND I HAVE STILL BEEN OBEDIENT TO GOD'S WORD!]
"Sorry, but I have a serious problem with that, and to me, it underminds any message he's delivering."[JUST CURIOUS, HAVE YOU EVER ATTENDED ELEVATION? IT MAY NOT BE THE CHURCH GOD WANTS YOU AT & THAT'S OKAY. I WOULD SUGGEST YOU VISIT ANY CHURCH YOU ARE CONSIDERING AT LEAST 3 TIMES. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH SAYING IT'S NOT THE CHURCH FOR YOU.
HOWEVER, BE CAREFUL HOW & WHO YOU JUDGE. REMEMBER, BELIEVE ONLY HALF OF WHAT YOU SEE AND NONE OF WHAT YOU HEAR! WE ARE NOT PERFECT AT ELEVATION BUT, JESUS NEVER SAID FOLLOW MY FOLLOWERS, HE SAID FOLLOW ME!
MAY GOD BLESS YOU AS YOU SEEK HIM AND HIM ALONE!

Anonymous said...

Christians have always felt like they had to "defend" their faith. But in reality, it is a choice that everyone of us makes between our Lord Jesus Christ and own selves. We were born in sin and by accepting Him as our Savior, we are one with Him. We need to walk with Him daily in His Word. By doing this, we learn more about Him and what He expects of us as His children. Those who have been so critical about religion be very careful about what you say as being judge mental. You really should read a lot about this in the Bible. This subject will come up again before you and you might not like the true ending of His story.

Anonymous said...

Folks, there is a large staff. About 60 plus with the size of the church. Don't whine about the salaries and expenses for personnel. These people give their lives, time and sacrifice each day to make it possible for those far from God to be filled with life in Christ. That's a high calling I'd like to see some of you try to take on. It takes it's toll in many ways and they are due some respect, honor and yes - reward. Been at the church for 5 years - I can tell you a Sunday off is rare for anyone. They love what they do, work hard and they do it with passion. So they build community with a little staff competition with a trip reward? Big deal - if they can do it with a God focus in mind (and the premise was much more deep that someone presented in their comments here-you're not on staff, you don't know the context) and can offer one staff member among many a well deserved weekend away, good for them! Also - the high percentage for personnel pay - if the church has about 9000 in attendance and about 60 staff members then they are on the right track. Thats a ratio of 1 staff member to every 150 people who attend. Pretty good (much better than it had been just a few months ago) but it's still a work in progress.

Anonymous said...

I deeply understand someone's comments about wanting to know where the pastor's money is spent, but as a pastor's daughter myself, that makes me sick. I recognize some churches misuse money. Shame on them. But that isn't all churches. I believe Elevation has yearly finance checks done on it, preps an annual report and anyone can call in to get a copy, talk with the folks who deal with the finances on staff. That being said - wanting to know how much is spent on suits, vacations, etc. That still makes me sick. People seem to forget pastors have a regular family and are "just like everyone else". It shouldn't be everyone's business to know when he had to spend money on a surgery and how much it was or how much it cost to go on vacation with his family the one or two Sundays he MAY have been gone in one year's time or how much the used car he drives costs. His paycheck is his paycheck. My dad NEVER used regular church funds for cars, clothes, etc. I regard Pastor Steven and Elevation very highly and in the years I've known him I would NOT assume that he does this either.

Anonymous said...

Read your Bible...King David wasn't judged according to how much he had, but how much he GAVE! He was a man after God's own heart...and God didn't mind a bit that King David had plenty of money and possessions. It was all about David's heart!!! Money is an issue with so many people because they DON'T have any but WANT someone else's! In this case, they wish they were in Pastor Steven's shoes, but aren't willing to step out and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ or pay the price!

Anonymous said...

wow. you know, they call their pastor "the visionary." that alone is creepy as hell.

James Sharrett (Mint Hill, NC) said...

Evangelical Church???? PLEASE! You need to understand the Gospel vs. this self-centered, milk-water, hurray I don’t have to miss the football game on Sunday FALSE gospel that is being preached at Elevation and the other health and wealth (ala Joel Osteen) churches like it. They portray the gospel as God is your bro’ and if you’re a good Christian you’ll be healthily, wealthy and happy in this sinful, fallen world. This is a damnable lie clearly refuted by Scripture and will lead people happily to Hell (a real place). This false happiness message always has and always will fail. The sad part is when it does fail (you lose your job, you lose your health, you lose a loved one) you’re left with one of two people to blame: 1. It must be me, I’m not good enough for God, 2. God is a liar (or doesn’t exist) and this Christian none-sense is a bunch of fairly tales.
This is the danger of this type of gospel vs. the true Gospel that the salvation for the descendents of Adam is Jesus Christ and that Jesus’ primary concern isn’t your momentary happiness on this side of Heaven but your eternal joy in Heaven. If you want a far clearer rebuke of this type of gospel listen to the message preached AT ELEVATION by Matt Chandler. Matt is a Gospel centered Bible preaching pastor at a “Mega-church” in Dallas, Tx. I guess Steven Furtick expected a mega-church bro and didn’t do his homework (along with his Bible study) on Matt.
This is a truly God center, Bible based, compassionate Christian message that pulls the mirror out of your hand and puts a Bible in it. You can tell by the hands in his pocket, pacing at the end of the message that Steve isn’t getting the “Amen” he was expecting and the audience (they don’t have members so I cannot call them that. Anyone see a problem here already?) is getting a clear dose of Salvation they’re not use to.
Elevation originally refused to post this sermon in their sermon archives and had to lament after a lot of pressure but they (Steve) do everything they can to suppress it (e.g. they had UTube pull the video) to avoid the just slap on the back of the head they deserve.
SIN IS SIN. Stop trying to put a politically correct marketing spin on it so you can keep doing it and feel better about it and stop trying to fit God and the Gospel into our fallen world and take His infallible, inerrant Word as it is written in the Bible and get on with following it. Jesus isn’t interested in fans, He’s interested in followers.
Here is a link to the sermon at Elevation by Matt (I’m sure his last).
http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2012/01/16/matt-chandler-at-elevation-church/?comments#comments

Anonymous said...

All the "cult" comments remind me of the way that the pharisees in the bible saw the teachings of Jesus as a threat. Elevation is trying to lead by the example that Jesus set and it's obvious the WANNABE "blameless" pharisees of today are still afraid of being exposed as the sinners they are, that we all are.

Anonymous said...

Just a question. To those stating Pastor Furtick's house is not "excessive" in size, what does that mean to you?
He has an almost 4000 square foot house, but the best part?
He and his wife's names are misspelled on the deed. Coincidence? I don't think so. This makes it hard for anyone to look up public record for them- and should be illegal!
http://meckcama.co.mecklenburg.nc.us/relookup/
Go to that webpage and search for "FUTRICK." He and his wife, and their huge house pop up. Hey pastor Futrick!