From AP via Texarkana Gazette

Bishop Carlton Pearson preached his final sermon at New Dimensions Church on Sept. 7. The church has been folded into All Souls Unitarian Church, the world’s largest church in that denomination.

Carlton Pearson once presided over a large Charismatic church in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  With a seat on the board of trustees at Oral Roberts University, and a working relationship with Trinity Broadcasting Network, Pearson was an influential voice.  This was further validated when then newly elected President George Bush consulted with Pearson in 2000.

As XGW reported last year, this changed drastically in 2003 when Pearson began to embrace what he called a “gospel of inclusion,” a fundamental tenant of which is that all people would end up in heaven equally no matter their beliefs or actions on earth.  Since a predominant central tenant of Christian faith is a belief that repentance and faith in the sacrifice of Christ is essential for one’s salvation, Pearson’s new direction clashed with most of his contemporaries, clergy and congregant alike.

Person’s own ministry’s “salvation” then seemed to come from gay and lesbian faithful, who appreciated his acceptance of them before God.  Pearson began to support gay rights in a tangible way, participating in rallies in support of bias crime legislation in Washington DC. Pearson seemed to find a new direction with his support of gay believers and GLBT causes in general.

In this brief recounting we are not yet sure what happened to bring things to a close for his church.  We have left a message to ask just that.  It appears that the remaining members of his New Dimensions church, which had been meeting at Trinity Episcopal Church, have been merged with a Unitarian congregation, but we are not sure which one.

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