Evangelist Carlton Pearson was a premier preacher of the Gospel during the 1990's into the early 2000's. Almost anyone that is familiar with the black church world knows the reputation that he carried. In his prime, Pearson was to his church, Higher Dimensions in Tulsa Oklahoma and abroad what Dale Earnhardt was to American professional stock car racing! He had one of the most watched TV programs on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. Yes, he was a big deal and had it all, but what happened??? Well, back in 2004, after watching a program on television about the genocide in Rwanda Pearson heard a voice from the Lord. Pearson states that the Lord told him "...there is no Hell" and we are all "...covered by the blood of Christ". Needless to say, this was the beginning of the end for the religious rock-star that was Carlton Pearson.
"Come Sunday" (2018) is the story about the fall of Evangelist Carlton Pearson played by the phenomenal Chiwetel Ejiofor of "12 Years a Slave" (2013) fame. The film opens up with a visual example of him witnessing to a stranger while on a flight followed by a compelling message regarding the power of love under the body of Christ. The message, which brilliantly sets the over all tone for the film, focuses on how one must be "...a Soldier in the army of the Lord" adhering to God's calling and the ministry. The intense level of commitment to God and the interpretations of His messages are what consumed the character of Evangelist Pearson.
Chiwetel Ejiofor, "Come Sunday" (2018)
In early 2004, Person had an epiphany in light of the tragedy in Rwanda. As a result, he decided preach a message on how one doesn't need to get "Saved" (delivered from sin through the confession of said sins asking for forgiveness from God the Father) to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Now, for anyone that came up in a Christian-based faith this is known as heresy. The film goes on to show us the church's response to such a claim. We learn that Pearson's conviction is simply beyond unfavorable. He presents a variation on universal reconciliation—the Gospel of Inclusion and many in his congregation began to leave.
The film goes in depth on all of the pain and confusion Pearson's decisions caused those close to him. Condola Rashad as his wife Gina, and Martin Sheen as Oral Roberts did excellent jobs as their characters weathered the storm. Rashad's (daughter of Phylicia and Ahmad Rashad) performance was particularly interesting as we get a glimpse of how difficult it must have been to be married to a man that was married to the church first.
"Come Sunday" (2018) is really a significant depiction of one man's adherence to his convictions as it relates to the voice of God. The film delivers this in detailed fashion showing how each layer of his illustrious life was brought to a halt. Director Joshua Marston takes us on a journey of how serious doctrine is to the church. Pearson's offense was so great that the Joint College of African-American Pentecostal Bishops weighed in, calling his claims heresy; this pretty much ended his career as a preacher.
Condola Rashad, "Come Sunday" (2018)
The true heart of the film shines bright through veteran actor Chiwetel Ejiofor as Pearson. This is the type of actor that reminds me of why I love movies so much. The way he portrays Pearson's conviction throughout the duration of this film is admirable. His level of commitment to the role and the finished product is well worth 1 hour and 45 minutes of your life. Try and enjoy it this weekend on my recommendation!