By Victor Ochieng
In what’s reportedly the biggest preaching contract ever, Pastor Steven Furtick sealed a 6-year, $110 million deal with Lakewood Church, a contract that will see him share the word alongside Pastor Joel Osteen, as he works with a “superstar preaching team.”
Pastor Furtick, in an emotional two-hour televised special called “The Decision” on TBN Thursday night, broke the news about his new deal.
“I’m going to take my talents to Houston and join Joel’s legendary squad,” said Furtick. “I wish Elevation the best of luck in the seasons to come, and hope they can find someone as ripped and godly as me.”
The 37-year-old pastor’s celebrity preaching life was distracted when his contract with Elevation Church expired this past June, triggering widespread speculations that he’d be keen on finding a better deal instead of penning another average contract with Elevation.
It became apparent from the blog that shared the news about “The Decision” special that things were looking up for the preacher. In fact, he allegedly made the announcement while donning the church’s hat and suit.
Was the news true?
Well, it’s satire website, Babylon Bee, that broke the news, leading to questions as to the authenticity of the report. Whatever the case, so many people believed the story and shared it widely on other blogs and social media pages, seeing social media users divided in support and opposition of “Furtick’s move.”
Then came Sunday when Furtick posted a video on Facebook, distancing himself from the reports. He wrote above the video: “CONSIDER THE SOURCE.”
From the video, it became known that the whole thing was nothing more than a fabrication by the satire website. Furtick made it clear he wasn’t leaving Elevation Church and that the Babylon Bee website’s report was cooked. “Of course, none of that is true. I am not leaving Elevation Church.”
Furtick’s video was widely shared and received more than 460,000 views.
Babylon Bee has been releasing a lot of fake news. Funny enough, there are many people who still fall to their “bulletins” even when they’re blatantly satirical. Why that’s happening in spite of the website giving a disclaimer on their website about the things they share isn’t clear.