Bishop Carlton Pearson is addressing the church's response to President Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage during an appearance Thursday morning on CNN.
A protege of televangelist Oral Roberts, Pearson founded the Tulsa-based Higher Dimensions Church, which was once one of the largest evangelical churches in the nation. He has also met and counseled with former Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
Pearson has since left the evangelical world to preach what he calls the "Gospel of Inclusion." He believes there can be reconciliation between sexuality and spirituality, which is a message that resonates with many gay and lesbian Christians.
In 2010 Pearson told CNN
, "Until the Church—the Church, black or otherwise—confronts—not combats—confronts this issue of human sexuality and homosexuality, which is not going away. Homosexuals and homosexuality is not going away. If every gay person in our church just left or those who have an orientation or preference or an inclination, or a fantasy, if everyone left, we wouldn't have -- we wouldn't have a church."
He has also addressed the black church's tradition of homophobia in an editorial published on CNN.com
Pearson and his wife, Gina, live in Chicago where they head New Dimensions Ministry.
Watch Bishop Carlton Pearson on CNN Live Thursday morning, May 10th @ 9:05 AM ET/ 8:05 CT. Related: Obama backs same-sex marriage