You Have Heard of Carlton Pearson, Right? or Letting The Opportunity Pass Us By

I was in a conversation recently talking about the fact that Carlton Pearson is going to be up around my way for an installation service at the end of March. After talking about the fact that the service is going to be at a really small, out-of-the-way church, the conversation turned to question why, in heaven’s name, some UU church in one of our major urban centers hasn’t snapped this man up?

For goodness sake, why aren’t we taking advantage of the opportunity that is staring us right in the face?

Carlton Pearson would set us on the national stage. He has a following. He crosses barriers that traditional UUism wouldn’t dream of going over. So why in the hell aren’t we trying to get this man a church?

Why is the church that he’s ministering to Christ Universal Temple (established by the legend Rev. Johnnie Colemon) and not First Unitarian in Schaumburg? (before you comment that there is no Unitarian church in Schaumburg, I know that. Chicago is in my home district. I’m just making a point.) Granted, I know some of the reason he’s at Christ Universal is that he’s being compensated well, but that ain’t all the reason.

This man is more connected with Universalism in the public mind than we are. Why aren’t we taking advantage of the this? Are we really that scared of thinking out of the box?


5 thoughts on “You Have Heard of Carlton Pearson, Right? or Letting The Opportunity Pass Us By

  1. I’m an admirer of Carlton Pearson, and we’re studying him in the Universalism course I’m teaching for Starr King right now. I would be very interested to attend a church led by him, at least for a while, though I wouldn’t necessarily join. But I’ve ben talking with Jonathan Walton, and there are some significant reasons why Pearson might not be a good fit for leading a UU church, at least not an established one (it would be different if he started his own new congregation). For one thing, he is a big-time proponent of New Thought, and teaches that illness is basically caused by negative thinking. Thus there is a lot of faith-healing and metaphysical “woo-woo” in his preaching that would probably strike the majority of UUs as irrational and naive, including those with a more Christian theistic orientation.

    By the way, he has now left Christ Universal.

  2. My two cents. It seems that ministers with a bit of fame or ambition, particularly come-inners from a more conservative tradition, treat the mainline of Unitarian Universalism as a passing phase. I don’t think you can let a meteor “pass you by” — you just need to get out of its way.

  3. I’ve not noticed faith healing in the books I’ve ready by him, on the other hand the the belief of the effects of positive thinking on illness is certainly not that far afield from mainstream UU – depending on how it’s presented.
    I would guess that if he wanted a UU congregation, he could easily have one – he is certainly familiar enough with us via All Souls, Tulsa. I would suspect that he doesn’t want the limitations
    If rumors are true about Rob Bell, then they’ll be another mega-pastor in the Christian Universalist filed.

  4. Pingback: Boy in the Bands - Fresh crop of universalists?

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