Steven Furtick

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Steven Furtick
Steven Furtick cropped.jpg
Furtick in 2019
Larry Stevens Furtick

(1980-02-19) February 19, 1980 (age 41)
Alma materNorth Greenville University
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
OccupationGospel preacher, pastor
Years active2006-present
Holly Furtick
(m. 2002)

Steven Furtick Jr. (born February 19, 1980) is an American pastor and songwriter. As founder and lead pastor, he has helped grow the multi-site Elevation Church into a global ministry through online streaming, television, and the music of Elevation Worship. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Crash the Chatterbox, Greater, Sun Stand Still, (Un)Qualified, and Seven-Mile Miracle.

Early life and education[edit]

Furtick was born and raised in Moncks Corner, South Carolina, and attended Berkeley High School.[1] At the age of 16, after reading the book Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala, he felt called to pastor a church in a major city.[2] Furtick received a Bachelor of Arts in communications from North Greenville University and a Master of Divinity from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.[3]


After serving as music director at Christ Covenant Church in Shelby, North Carolina, he moved to Charlotte and started Elevation Church. The church had their first service on February 5, 2006.[4]

In 2007, he made headlines when his church gave $40,000 to members in envelopes with $5, $20, and even $1,000, telling them to spend it kindly on others.[2]

Furtick speaks at events all over the world including the 2011 Global Leadership Summit hosted by Bill Hybels,[5] the C3 Conference 2012 hosted by Ed Young Jr.,[6] the Hillsong Conference 2012 hosted by Brian Houston,[7] and the Presence Conference in 2012 and 2013 hosted by Phil Pringle.[8] Furtick also participated in The Elephant Room 1 and The Elephant Room 2 hosted by James MacDonald.[9] Furtick was named to Oprah's SuperSoul100 list of visionaries and influential leaders in 2016.[10]

In 2012, in response to a need of 1,000 mentors for students in area schools, Furtick launched an outreach program at Elevation Church called the M1 Initiative. Furtick said, "We have always said we want to be a blessing to our city and support our leaders with a volunteer force they can count on." More than 1,600 members responded and committed to mentoring a child for the 2012–2013 school year.[11] The LGBT community raised concerns about the initiative and the well-being of LGBT students in the program because Furtick had publicly called homosexuality a sin.[12]


In 2012, evangelical pastor and theologian John F. MacArthur called Furtick "unqualified".[13] One of Furtick's critics, Grayson Gilbert, further explains the "unqualified" statement by arguing that Furtick is unable to understand and explain the Bible's message properly to his audience and that he has explicitly taught heresy as a result.[14] Furtick responded to this comment in his 2016 book Unqualified: How God Uses Broken People to Do Big Things.

Personal life[edit]

Furtick and his wife Holly (née Boitnott) live in Waxhaw, North Carolina, a suburb of Charlotte, with their three children Elijah, Graham, and Abbey.[3] In 2013, the couple built a home on 19 acres (7.7 ha) of land in Waxhaw.[15] Furtick stated that his home was paid for with money from his book sales and publisher advances, rather than his salary from Elevation Church.[16][17] The church refused to answer questions about Furtick's salary, his tax-free housing allowance, and how much he makes from books and speaking fees.[18] Elevation has stated that Furtick is generous to the church with the money he receives from writing books—that he arranges for the church to purchase his books directly from the publisher, allowing Elevation to receive the author's discount and keep the money from sales. They have also reported that the publisher pays the church to produce marketing materials to promote Furtick's books. Elevation has confirmed that Furtick's salary is set by a Board of Overseers composed of other megachurch pastors, who vote on his salary based on a compensation study conducted by an outside firm, and that Furtick does not vote on his own salary.[19][20] In response to the news report, before his sermon on the weekend of October 27, 2013, Furtick addressed the congregation directly, saying he was "sorry if the house and surrounding questions caused them to have difficult conversations with co-workers, friends, and neighbors."[18]


  • Furtick, Steven (2010). Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible. Multnomah Books. ISBN 978-1-60142-322-1.
  • Furtick, Steven (2012). Greater: Dream Bigger. Start Smaller. Ignite God's Vision for Your Life. Multnomah Books. ISBN 978-1-60142-325-2.
  • Furtick, Steven (2014). Crash The Chatterbox: Hearing God's Voice Above All Others. Multnomah Books. ISBN 978-1-60142-456-3.
  • Furtick, Steven (2016). (Un)Qualified: How God Uses Broken People to Do Big Things. Multnomah Books. ISBN 978-1601424594.
  • Furtick, Steven (2017). Seven-Mile Miracle: Journey into the Presence of God Through the Last Words of Jesus. Multnomah Books. ISBN 978-160142-922-3.

Awards and nominations[edit]

GMA Dove Awards[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2017 "O Come to the Altar"
(credited as songwriter)
Song of the Year Nominated
Worship Song of the Year Nominated
2018 "Do It Again"
(credited as songwriter)
Worship Song of the Year Nominated
2020 "See a Victory"
(credited as songwriter)
Song of the Year Nominated
"The Blessing (Live)"
(credited as songwriter)
Worship Recorded Song of the Year Won


  1. ^ "Students win in QUEST contest for knowledge". The Post and Courier. May 21, 1998. p. 4.
  2. ^ a b Funk, Tim. "A cool pastor, and a hot church." Archived September 19, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Charlotte Observer September 14, 2008: A1. Retrieved September 3, 2009.
  3. ^ a b Elevation Church. "Pastor Steven Furtick". Retrieved August 25, 2011.
  4. ^ Elevation Church. "History" Archived September 2, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved August 25, 2011.
  5. ^ City of Athens, TX. "Things to do: 2011 Global Leadership Summit". Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  6. ^ C3 Conference. "Speakers" Archived April 23, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
  7. ^ Hillsong Conference. "Speakers". Retrieved July 6, 2012.
  8. ^ My C3 Church. "Presence 2012. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
  9. ^ The Elephant Room. "Conversations". Retrieved April 23, 2012.
  10. ^ "Meet the SuperSoul100: The World's Biggest Trailblazers in One Room". O Magazine. August 1, 2016. Archived from the original on July 5, 2018. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  11. ^ "Over 1,600 Elevation Church Volunteers Answer Call to Mentor Students". Christian Post, September 25, 2012. Accessed October 27, Elevation is the greatest church in America, raising people far from God to life in Christ. 2012.
  12. ^ Comer, Matt (December 21, 2012). "Concerns raised as anti-gay Elevation Church makes inroads at local schools". QNotes. Retrieved September 29, 2014.
  13. ^ Buttel, Cameron (May 9, 2016). "Unqualified, Not Unworthy". Grace To You. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  14. ^ Gilbert, Grayson (August 22, 2018). "Steven Furtick is the Most Dangerous Kind of False Teacher". Patheos. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  15. ^ Funk Tim and David, Maria. "Elevation pastor building big home in Waxhaw" Archived October 23, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved October 23, 2013.
  16. ^ Hallowell, Billy. "Should Pastors Live in Extravagant Homes? Preacher's 16,000-Sq.-Foot House Sparks Debate" Archived October 28, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  17. ^ Furtick, Steven. "Sermon: Scar Shaper" Archived October 29, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved October 23, 2013.
  18. ^ a b Watson, Stuart. "Pastor responds to critics of his $1.7M home" Archived October 29, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  19. ^ Watson, Stuart. "I-Team: How a pastor built a multi-million dollar home" Archived October 29, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved October 27, 2013.
  20. ^ Wilson, Jen. "Elevation Church pastor's home draws scrutiny" Archived October 25, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved October 23, 2013.

External links[edit]