A North Carolina megachurch pastor who was scrutinized for building a 16,000 sq. ft. mansion, said in a rare interview that he will not divulge his annual income because it would go against the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Pastor Steven Furtick, 35, of the Elevation Church sat down with Charlotte’s local news station WCCB to discuss a variety of controversies surrounding the opulent parish.
“I know that we have to have integrity and we have to be generous, and I know the extent of which that is true for me and [my wife],” Futick said. “So to go on record and say here’s how much money we’ve given and here’s what we do with our finances, to me, that would be the most arrogant thing I could do and it would rob me of the blessings of what Jesus said, which is that when you give, you don’t get up and tell everyone how much you’ve given.”
According to Furtick, some of the church’s employees have shared information about the congregation’s finances but he himself would not violate biblical teachings to satisfy the“agenda of a reporter.”
— Anna Keith (@annakeith) October 30, 2015
The megachurch did however post some of its financial records from last year on its website. The site reported some $33.5 million in offerings and gave away about $3.8 million in outreach, while spending $9 million on personnel with $13.9 million in cash assets.
The high energy preacher built a multi-million dollar state-of-the-art church facility in Charlotte which attracts roughly 20,000 congregants each week, but he refrained from calling his parish a “megachurch” during the interview.
“I think the size of something has to be kept in the context of the need,” Furtick said. “So when I look at the size of the need in our state and in our country and our world, I don’t feel like we’re a megachurch.”
Furtick has been criticized in the past for the construction of his million dollar home, which he describes as a “gift from God.” However during one of his sermons, he stated that the house was in fact “not that great of a house,” referring to its 16,000 sq. ft. dimensions, and that he only paid $325,000.
Independent sources would later value the property somewhere around $1.6 million.
Watch WCCB’s interview with Furtick in the video below: