Carlton D’Metrius Pearson is a gospel singer, author, and preacher from the United States. In San Diego, California, he was born on March 19, 1953, to Rev. Adam Louis Pearson and Lillie Ruth Johnson Pearson. Pearson’s father was the pastor of La Jolla’s St. John’s Church of God in Christ. Pearson, who grew up with one brother and four sisters, started his first “church” at the age of six, with the children using pie pans as tambourines.
Pearson was a theology student and World Action Singer at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by 1975. Pearson, a licensed and ordained minister in the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), pastored Higher Dimensions Evangelistic Center, later renamed Higher Dimensions Family Center, a megachurch in Tulsa with 5,000+ diverse congregation members and staff, at the age of 22.
Pearson served on the board of Oral Roberts University and hosted the annual Azusa (named after the location where the COGIG was founded) conference in the Oral Roberts University Mabee Center, which was packed to capacity with 50,000 people from all over the world. Pearson was nominated for a Dove award and won two Stellar awards for his Live at Azusa music projects. He was a regular on global Christian television, appearing on Larry King Live, advising Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and serving as spiritual mentor to NFL player Dion Sanders.
Pearson married Gina Marie Gauthier on September 3, 1993, when he was 40 years old, and they had two children, Julian D’Metrius Pearson (born July 9, 1994) and Majeste Amour Pearson (born October 29, 1996). Pearson was ordained as a bishop on the first night of the annual Azusa conference in 1996 and consecrated on the same night in 1997. Despite being diagnosed with prostate cancer, Pearson ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the 2002 primary election.
Pearson began preaching a controversial doctrine that everyone goes to heaven after pondering his uncle’s salvation after his death at the Ysidro Detention Center in San Diego, California, and receiving an epiphany while watching the news about the Rwandan genocide crisis in 1994. He got this idea from 1 John 2:1-2 and 1 Timothy 4:10.
This new teaching, dubbed the “Gospel of Inclusion,” was quickly deemed to be outside theological boundaries of orthodox Christianity. Higher Dimensions Family Church lost the majority of its members as a result of the ensuing controversy. Pearson lost the Higher Dimensions church building on South Memorial Drive in Tulsa when it was foreclosed in 2006 due to the mass exodus of tithers.
Pearson’s remaining members went to Trinity Episcopal Church, then to All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa. Pearson relocated to Chicago, Illinois, in 2009 to serve as interim senior minister of Christ Universal Temple. In the summer of 2014, he returned to Tulsa to be with his ailing father, who died on March 21, 2015, at the age of 88. The Netflix film Come Sunday is based on a portion of Pearson’s controversial life.