Updated Thursday, October 31, 2013 at 6:12 p.m., ET
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The pastor of a Charlotte church says his large home is a gift from God.
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Elevation Church pastor Steven Furtick did not apologize Sunday for the 16,000-square-foot home in an exclusive community in neighboring Union County, The Charlotte Observer (http://bit.ly/191oDl0) reported.
“My wife and I made a decision, and we built a house,” Furtick said at the church’s Blakeney location in Charlotte. “It’s a big house, and it’s a beautiful house, and we thank God for it.”
He spent about 10 minutes of his sermon on the explanation to the congregation, as well as those watching on screens in seven other locations. The church has about 12,000 followers.
Watch Furtick respond to his critics below
Furtick did tell members he was sorry for any uncomfortable conversations they may have had about the home in Waxhaw.
“I have always tried to make this a church where you could be proud of your church,” Furtick said. The congregation gave him a standing ovation.
The 19-acre property has a tax value of $1.6 million, although a church financial officer said Furtick paid $325,000.
Furtick said only about 8,400 square feet of the house is heated, with the rest consisting of basementattic, garage and porch space. A church official said Furtick is paying for the home with money from book sales.
Furtick has not said how much he makes from books and speaking engagements. He also has not disclosed his salary, which is determined by an appointed “Board of Overseers” comprised of other mega-church pastors, the newspaper reported.
What do you think?
A number of callers Thursday to ”NewsOne Now,” with Roland Martin thought that while it’s okay for a pastor to be prosperous, if the flock is hurting then a display of wealth isn’t appropriate. One caller said that the wealth that comes to churches because of tithing “has become about an image that no one in the congregation can live up to.”
Listen to what other callers had to say, in the clip below, and tune in to “NewsOne Now” weekdays at 7 a.m. ET., starting Monday, Nov. 4.