Charlotte, NC – Pastor Steven Furtick dedicated part of his sermon Sunday to the controversy over his new 16,000-square-foot Waxhaw home. Despite criticisms of dramatic excess from observers, Pastor Furtick regards his wealth and new home as gifts from God.
“My wife and I made a decision, and we built a house,” he said during his sermon, according to the Charlotte Observer. “It’s a big house, and it’s a beautiful house, and we thank God for it …. We understand everything we have comes from God.”
Furtick drew national attention and criticism over the 19-acre property last week, the tax value of which is said to be at $1.6 million (though Union County tax records shows that Furtick paid $325,000 for it).
He noted that it’s “not that great of a house,” in response to criticisms that it would be a lavish estate, and said that he had paid for it with money he made from writing books, and not from church donations.
During his most recent sermon, Furtick didn’t apologize for the 16,000-square-foot home, but told his followers that they shouldn’t vilify the media for mis-representing the story. “I do not call this an attack,” he said. “This is a news story, and the media is not our enemy.”
He did apologize to the members of his 12,000-strong church for any awkwardness they may have encountered last week due to the story.
“I’m sorry for the uncomfortable conversations you had to have this week,” Furtick said. “I have always tried to make this a church where you could be proud of your church,” he said as the crowd rose to grant him a standing ovation.
He said that he is still dedicated to creating a ministry of integrity, despite the media fallout over his new home. “That has not changed, and that will not change,” he said.
Furtick, 33, has grown Elevation Church from a small congregation into a thousands-strong megachurch with multiple campuses. Several of his flock said after the Sunday service that the news coverage of his new home has not shaken their view of him.
“It’s his money; he can do what he wants with it,” said one congregation member.