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After less than two years, Bishop Carlton Pearson, the controversial interim pastor of Christ Universal Temple, one of Chicago’s largest churches, has stepped down from the position.

Bishop Pearson was once one of the nation’s most popular Pentecostal preachers, and took the helm of the church in 2009 amid a pile of controversy.

As you may recall he lost his mega-church in Tulsa, Okla. for teaching that Muslims, Buddhists, and homosexuals go to heaven, he joined the New Thought movement when selected to lead Christ Universal Temple.

But some members of the congregation objected to Pearson’s appointment, saying he lacked the theological training to lead a New Thought church. The movement uses a metaphysical interpretation of the Bible and focuses on healing, meditation and thinking positive thoughts to improve one’s life.

New Thought pioneer, the legendary Rev. Johnnie Colemon, founded Christ Universal Temple in 1956. In 1974 she formed her own denomination, the Universal Foundation for Better Living (UFBL). Then in 2006, after building a $10 million religious empire, Colemon retired with no succession plan in place.

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