with Harry’s guest Reverend Carlton D. Pearson
Recognized as a voice of reason and moderation in a world of extremes, Carlton Pearson has made a choice. A choice to move away from the exclusiveness of the religious traditions he was raised in and adopt a more embracing, affirming, welcoming and inclusive approach to faith. He has chosen to tell the world that the love of the Ultimate Reality we like to call God, is absolute, complete and all-inclusive. His message boldly declares that God wants and indeed equals relationships with all of humanity: Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Gays, the spiritual unresolved and any other groups which have been considered “unfit” and unacceptable or have been marginalized by the Christian church at large. Furthermore, Pearson, through both scriptural re-interpretation and heartfelt conviction, is absolutely convinced that God is not sending people to a customized torture chamber called Hell, nor does such a place exist except in an unregenerated or unenlightened mind and imagination. He believes that institutionalized religion has misinterpreted and misrepresented the Infinite Intelligence called God, causing destructive and counter-productive fear and paranoia.
Pearson believes that fundamentalism in any religion is the greatest and most pronounced and organized threat to peace on earth and good will towards all of humanity.
Pearson founded and was Sr. Minister of the New Dimensions Worship Center located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for over 30 years, and was the host and overseer of the annual AZUSA Conferences, held each year in Tulsa and occasionally conducted Coast-to-Coast Conferences across America, for more than 15 years. AZUSA became known for its high-energy music, powerful preaching, integrated crowds, and for presenting a number of now well-known ministries to the world.
Carlton Pearson served for 15 years on the Oral Roberts University Board of Regents, of which he is also an alumnus, where he majored in Biblical Literature/English Bible and minored in Theology/Historical Studies. In 1978, Bishop Pearson founded Higher Dimensions Ministries (now New Dimensions), which grew from a traveling evangelistic team in 1977, to a multi-faceted ministry, which included a local church in Tulsa, prison and nursing home outreaches, a national Purity With Purpose Discipleship Program for men and women, with graduates nationally and internationally. Of late Pearson’s ministry targets specifically and primarily the “un or less-churched”. His ministry now addresses issues of social, moral, cultural, religious and political concerns in a practical, yet provocative manner relating faith to culture. He likes to call himself a sacred activist.
Bishop Pearson places high priority on personal integrity, meaning the integration of all in the global human family. He believes the opposite of that is disintegration of the human race and of civil society.
More recently, he has been given a mandate to proclaim the “Gospel of Inclusion” and has written a widely acclaimed book by that name, published by Simon and Schuster. The book confronts the Christian church’s exclusivism as being inconsistent with the teachings of Jesus and that it is more important what Jesus said about God than what the church says about Jesus.
Bishop Pearson has served on the College of Bishops of the International Communion of Charismatic Churches, and on the boards of several other charitable and humanitarian organizations. He has authored a variety of books and booklets, and is a two-time Stellar Award-winning and Dove Award-nominated recording artist.
Pearson feels the mandate to help enhance the possibilities of peace on the planet through mutual respect for all the cults and cultures of the world, encouraging interfaith dialogue and fellowship. Pearson 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 toward racial reconciliation, bridging the gap between ethnic groups, nations and denominations, has given him audience with kings, presidents and other government officials, both in America and abroad. He has been welcomed in and invited to speak in Synagogues, Islamic groups, along with developing relationships with non-believers as a means of fostering cooperation and respect and bridging the gap between Pentecostal/Evangelicals and other faith persuasions and traditions, both in and out of Christianity. The ministry and message of Carlton Pearson is committed to ?reconciling our differences, celebrating our diversity, and acknowledging our oneness in worship.
Believing that a silent church is a saltless church,Bishop Pearson’s frank and often controversial take on a number of different subjects has earned him appearances on television programs such as CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, BET Tonight with Tavis Smiley, The Edge with Paula Zahn and Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, NBC Dateline, ABC’s Nightline, 20/20 and a number of other television, radio and print media outlets. Bishop Pearson was recognized as one of America’s 10 Most Influential Black Ministers by Gospel Today and Belief.net. He has received several honorary doctoral degrees.
In 1993, Carlton married the former Gina Marie Gauthier (pronounced Go-chay). They are the proud parents of one son, Julian D’Metrius, and a daughter, Majestè Amour.