Skip to main content

Bishop Carlton Pearson Passes Away at 70 After Battling Cancer

Share This article

Former megachurch pastor Bishop Carlton Pearson died Sunday in hospice care in Tulsa after battling cancer for two decades. He was 70. 

A statement on his Facebook page announced, "We are saddened to inform you that Bishop Carlton D'Metrius Pearson, one of the most popular and influential preachers in America and around the world, who sacrificed everything for a message of unconditional love and acceptance by God, died peacefully the night of November 19, 2023, at the age of 70, after a brief battle with cancer that had returned after first defeating it 20 years ago. He was surrounded by his family."

As CBN News reported earlier this month, Pearson's family had shared in a post that he faced serious health challenges for the last three months after the return of cancer. 

"To all of you who love Carlton as a Friend, Teacher, Mentor, Pastor, and Bishop: Our dear Carlton was diagnosed with cancer in 2001 and was declared cancer-free shortly thereafter. Just recently the cancer has returned and has been a significant challenge, especially in the last 120 days," the family statement said.

"Since his last post, we wanted you to be among the first to know that as a family we have invited comfort care on our team in this critical time. We have prayerfully and intentionally walked this journey with him as we all face our mortality," they said.

At the time, Pearson's family said, "Thanks for your continued prayers and love. Many of you have asked how you can support Bishop and his family. First, please continue to pray. Carlton has asked that people pray that he would live out the 'full number of his days.'"

Pearson rose to prominence in the 1980s. In 1981, he founded the Higher Dimensions Evangelistic Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The church grew from 75 to more than 5,000 members, according to the Christian Research Institute.

He also started the Azusa Conferences at Oral Roberts University in the latter part of the decade and made several television appearances on Christian TV. 

However, things eventually fell apart after he declared Hell doesn't exist and began to endorse aspects of Unitarianism that contradict Christian beliefs. 

He told KJRH-TV that he found a "new kind of spirituality" in 2018 after the release of the Netflix film "Come Sunday," which documented his rise and fall.

slider img 2

In a recent message posted to TikTok, Pearson thanked his "streaming consciousness" followers for their support and told them, "When I am in heaven, on the other side or the other iteration I will be thinking of you."

Many Christian believers who were impacted by his early ministry had still called for others to pray for him as he faced his final days on earth. 

"Virginians and former residents of the Commonwealth I spoke with all had the same thing to say. Penny Sanders, Lyndon Jones, Gary Michaels, and Elizabeth Presscot all say they didn't agree with Bishop Carlton Pearson's belief that there is no hell and the Bible was not inspired by God but each indicated they would pray for him and his family," wrote Cheryl E Preston with NewsBreak.

Pastor Greg Roth of Florida wrote, "Will you join me in praying that Carlton would have a supernatural encounter with Jesus before He passes or is miraculously healed."

"I was in some of his meetings when I lived in Tulsa. He was anointed and the presence of the Lord filled the house. The Bible verse is so true 'If possible, that even the elect can be deceived,'" he wrote.

***Please sign up for CBN Newsletters and download the CBN News app to ensure you keep receiving the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective.***

Share This article

About The Author


Talia Wise has served as a multi-media producer for, CBN Newswatch, The Prayer Link, and CBN News social media outlets. Prior to joining CBN News she worked for Fox Sports Florida producing and reporting. Talia earned a master’s degree in journalism from Regent University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia.