CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Four days after the NBC station in Charlotte broke the story that the pastor of North Carolina’s largest megachurch is building a 16,000 square foot home, Pastor Steven Furtick addressed his congregation saying, “I don’t call this an attack. I don’t.”
Furtick spent about eight minutes before his 5 p.m. Saturday sermon stepping down from the pulpit and addressing the congregation directly, saying he was sorry if the house and surrounding questions caused them, the congregation, to have difficult conversations with coworkers, friends and neighbors.
“Having to have those conversations – that really bothered me. And it made me sad and I am sorry that you had to have those conversations this week,” Furtick said, sitting on the edge of the stage.
Then the audience at the Blakeney location of Elevation Church gave him a standing ovation on camera.
“Holly and I made a decision to build a house. It’s a big house. It’s a beautiful house. It’s 8,400 square feet of heated living area to be exact. That’s a big house; no doubt about it,” he said.
Furtick told his followers they could always have copies of audited financial statements of the church but he has yet to make those statements public.
“I have always promised this ministry would be a ministry of integrity,” Furtick said.
And while he once said reporters were trying to make Elevation Church look bad, he now says the news media has every right to ask questions.
“This is a news story and the media is not our enemy,” he told the congregation.