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Steven Furtick

Steven Furtick’s Elevation Church Leaves The SBC

The Annual Southern Baptist Convention saw Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church kicked out of the convention in spectacular fashion. The ripple effect of that vote has had massive consequences on the perception of the Southern Baptist Convention. Now, Steven Furtick’s Elevation Church has announced its departure from the SBC. Elevation Church was the largest church in the SBC. It is currently listed as the 11th largest church in the United States, right behind Saddleback on Wikipedia.

The letter from Elevation Church reads:

We would like to thank the Southern Baptists for the privilege of partnering with you, especially through the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina for nearly two decades.

This letter is to inform you that Elevation Church is withdrawing its affiliation with the Southern Baptist Convention effective immediately. You will find that our Statement of Beliefs on our website is very much in line with the Baptist Faith and Message – we have no intention of changing those core beliefs.

We have no plans to make a public announcement on this decision – we have too much to do in reaching a world that needs the love of Jesus. Should your Credentials Committee decide to make this decision by Elevation public, we will only respond with a copy of this letter in anyone inquiring about the notification.

Thank you again for the privilege of having been affiliated with the SBC all these years. Please know that our withdrawal from affiliation in no way means that we will withdraw from praying for you and your ministries and mission work in the future – we are all on the same side! We pray that we will continue to be able to work alongside many SBC churches in the coming years. We know there is much we can do more effectively in partnership than we can do alone. May God bless the SBC and her churches in the years ahead.

It’s worth noting that a Baptist church should have a congregational vote on this disaffiliation, but there’s no indication that they followed this process. Elevation Church touts its adherence to the Baptist Faith and Message 

It has long been a mystery why the SBC tolerated Elevation Church despite the errant teachings and practices of Steven Furtick, a notorious false teacher. But since the SBC messengers sent a message that even Rick Warren was no longer untouchable, perhaps Furtick decided that he didn’t want to debate the merits of female pastors.

Elevation Church currently listed Steven Furtick’s wife, Holly, as a pastor when she delivered a sermon last month on Mother’s Day. This would be in violation of the BFM 2000. Holly Furtick is not listed as a pastor on Elevation Church’s website or her own website. Coming out and affirming Holly Furtick as a pastor could be the reasoning behind this decision.

In any case, this is good news for the Southern Baptist Convention.

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