Steven Furtick's Elevation Church separates from Southern Baptist Convention

Steven Furtick

After after more than two decades in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), Steven Furtick's Elevation church has separated from the organisation.

This development was stated in a letter sent to the SBC’s Executive Committee in Nashville and to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, Charlotte-based Elevation Church, saying it was “withdrawing its affiliation with the Southern Baptist Convention effective immediately.”

Though the Elevation Church chose not to make this separation public, the letter was published by Baptist Press, an official SBC publication.

“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,” the letter reads. “Should your Credentials Committee decide to make this decision by Elevation public, we will only respond with a copy of this letter to 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."

Though the North Carolina megachurch did not give any reason for this separation, it may not be unconnected with the passage of a proposed constitutional amendment that would bar churches that have women pastors of any kind. It added that the amendment must be ratified in 2024.

It is worthy of note that Holly Furtick, wife of Elevation pastor Steven Furtick, is described as a church cofounder and preaches on a regular basis.

In the earlier part of this year, five congregations, among them Saddleback Church—one of the largest churches within the SBC—were removed from the SBC due to the presence of women pastors.

As per the data provided by the church to the SBC, Elevation Church had an average of 10,185 weekly attendees and received $103 million in donations during 2021. Additionally, the church contributed $10,000 to the SBC's Cooperative Program.

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