Carlton Pearson is a controversial figure because he preaches what he calls the "Gospel of Inclusion." Pearson believes God has already saved everyone, including non-Christians. This belief puts him at odds with some Christians and led the Joint College of African-American Pentecostal Bishops to declare him a heretic in 2004.
Pearson, who was an ordained minister in the Church of God in Christ, began preaching the Gospel of Inclusion around 2002. He says he had an epiphany after seeing a television program about genocide in Rwanda. Aside from his new belief that God had saved everyone regardless of their faith, Pearson states that he no longer believes that hell exists in the afterlife. Rather, he thinks that humans create their own hell through their behavior. In addition, he thinks that all religions have value and similar beliefs. Pearson also supports the inclusion of homosexuals in church.
When Pearson began preaching the Gospel of Inclusion, some members of his church in Tulsa left. After he was declared a heretic, Pearson became a United Church of Christ minister. Pearson served a church in Chicago before returning to Tulsa in 2014 to become a preacher at a Unitarian church. As of 2015, he often appears in the media to discuss the Gospel of Inclusion.