Funk on Faith

A few more interesting things about Elevation Church

Elevation CFO “Chunks” Corbett talked with the Observer recently at the church’s latest campus in University City. The site opens this weekend.
Elevation CFO “Chunks” Corbett talked with the Observer recently at the church’s latest campus in University City. The site opens this weekend. jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com

Last Sunday, I wrote about Elevation Church’s galloping growth.

The church is one of the subjects I write about that always seems to attract a lot of readers – those who support Elevation and those who don’t.

So I figured I’d share some more information I picked up in the course of my reporting:

▪ On Feb. 5, Elevation Church’s weekly staff meeting turned into an anniversary celebration. It was on that date nine years earlier that the Charlotte church held its first worship service.

Turnout that day in 2006: 121. Number of full-time Elevation employees attending last month’s staff meeting: 135.

That’s one measure of how much – and how fast – this megachurch has grown since Pastor Steven Furtick, wife Holly and seven other couples left a Southern Baptist church in Shelby to start one in Charlotte.

▪ Elevation CFO “Chunks” Corbett got his nickname in the third grade because he was a little overweight. The name stuck, but he’s long since lost the chunkiness.

▪ For its upcoming Ballantyne site, Elevation purchased 22 acres off Lancaster Highway and U.S. 521. The land was previously owned by a company run by members of the Yager family, which made its fortune through Amway, the direct sales company.

▪ Elevation launched a site in the suburbs of Toronto, Corbett said, after a group there started watching the church’s videos. It grew from one of Elevation’s residential “extensions” to an official site. Now the church rents a school for worship services – with Furtick preaching on screen – Saturday nights and Sunday mornings.

▪ I asked Corbett to comment on why the church uses an orange inverted-V logo instead of the traditional cross you see in most churches. Some online readers who commented on the story posed that question.

Here’s Elevation’s answer:

“Our logo represents the resurrection of Christ. But there is no resurrection without the cross. So our logo remembers the cross while celebrating the central purpose of the cross, which is ultimately the resurrection. Just like in a few weeks when churches all around the world will remember what happened on the cross on Good Friday and celebrate the resurrection on Easter Sunday.”

tfunk@charlotteobserver.com

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