Steven Furtick & Elevation Worship Among Top Nominees for Dove Awards

By Julie Roys
Steven Furtick Elevation Church
Steven Furtick, pastor and songwriter at Elevation Church in North Carolina. (Source: Elevation Church)

Controversial megachurch pastor, Steven Furtick, of Elevation Church in North Carolina has just received 10 nominations for the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Awards, making him Dove’s top non-artist nominee. In addition to his preaching role, Furtick is a songwriter for Elevation Worship.

Elevation’s lead singer and songwriter Chris Brown earned nine nominations. And Elevation Worship received seven Dove Award nominations, as did Brandon Lake, a songwriter and worship leader with the Bethel Music Collective and a worship pastor at Seacoast Church in South Carolina. Bethel Music is a ministry of the controversial Bethel Church in Redding, California, known for its unorthodox charismatic practices and questionable theology

Furtick, who’s been featured on the popular Instagram page, PreachersNSneakers, for his expensive Nikes, owns a 8,500-square-foot home valued at $1.7 million in 2013. Furtick’s church also reportedly has no elders or deacons and Furtick’s salary, which is undisclosed, is set by a board of out-of-state megachurch pastors.

The 52nd annual Dove Awards are planned for Oct. 19 in Nashville, Tennessee, where the leading voices in gospel and worship music will be honored. The annual awards were originally conceived by Gospel singer and songwriter Bill Gaither at a Gospel Music Association (GMA) board meeting in 1968. As of 2011, the organization had 4,000 members.

According to GMA, 53 million Americans listen to Christian and gospel music several times a week.

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Other artists with several nominations include for KING & COUNTRY, CeCe Winans, Ed Cash, and Zach Williams.

Artist of the year nominees include Elevation Worship, for KING & COUNTRY, Lauren Daigle, Phil Wickham, and Zach Williams. Gospel artist of the year include CeCe Winans, Jonathan McReynolds, Kirk Franklin, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, and Travis Greene.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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14 thoughts on “Steven Furtick & Elevation Worship Among Top Nominees for Dove Awards”

  1. I am at a loss of how one rapidly builds a “brand”, has a massive following, and is “suddenly” (from all outward appearances) “pastor” of a “megachurch”. It seems the individual is more acclaimed as an entertainer than for any ministry, and there is serious question regarding sound theology. So, when so many average-sized church groups faithfully labor on uncelebrated week after week, year after year, why do people (Christians?) make idols of these men/women?

    1. It has been a methodical climb, not officially “rapidly”. He was born in 1980 and has an M.DIv. Assuming no gaps in his education he could have started doing ministry at 22-27 years old. So he’s been at this for possibly 20 years. Keep in mind that coming of age in the Youtube generation allows ANYONE producing content to become famous.

      Steven certainly is charismatic and a good speaker, and he’s capitalized real well on earning his undergrad degree in communications.

  2. Christian music is another of those bubbles in which isolation and a rejection of the “world” convinces those within it that they are more important/talented/smart than they actually are.

  3. The stuff that is being turned out by mega church “worship” music aint worship. It is all about the brand, the songwriter and how much Mammon can be made off of giving people what they want. The industry putting this stuff out is making sacrilegious music. They could care less about actual worship of God which is a private affair. You either do it when you are alone in your prayer closet all you do not do it at all…

  4. I’ve discussed this phenomenon with some musical friends. Furtick’s name shows up on many of the songs created at his church. How much does he actually contribute? Does he have a contract that guarantees him a cut of every song from Elevation? If someone writes a song based on a thought from a sermon, does he get credit? Either way, this is a major income stream. Another guy who seems to be in the same situation is Louis Giglio, the man who gave us Chris Tomlin. His name shows up on lots of songs. Did he really take part in the writing, or just toss out an idea? Christian songs these days are written by committee.

    1. Furtick is actually musical!

      From the Charlotte Observer in 2017 (paywall, however):

      https://www.charlotteobserver.com/living/religion/article166692427.html

      Before starting Charlotte’s Elevation Church in 2006, Furtick led a musical worship team at Christ Covenant, a Baptist church in Shelby. He and others started Elevation Worship, the Charlotte church’s worship band, in 2007. Since then, some of their albums and songs have climbed to high spots on Billboard’s Christian music charts.

      Their song, “O Come to the Altar,” is one of 11 Dove Award nominees for Song of the Year and one of five for Worship Song of the Year.

      Read more here: https://www.charlotteobserver.com/living/religion/article166692427.html#storylink=cpy

  5. Is Elevation still an SBC church and if so, how? How does this SBC give “passes” to churches that go against what the SBC stands for. I knew they would not act on Saddleback or other California SBC churches for suddenly “okaying” women pastors. I knew it. They are worried so much about the fact that “the world is watching.”

  6. In my opinion, the Dove awards are a lot like the Grammys in that they have more to do with popularity and sales than they do with recognizing artistry.

  7. “Controversial “ is not the first word that should begin this article. False teacher or heretic is more appropriate.

    May God raise up truly discerning Bereans among us!

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