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.