Steven Furtick buys entire shopping mall to house his church

Steve Furtick heads one of the fastest growing churches in the United States, the Elevation Church.Photo: Facebook

Charlotte-based Elevation Church will no longer lease space in the Matthews Plaza Shopping Center in Independence Boulevard.

That is because, according to the Charlotte Observer, Steve Furtick's church has closed a deal to purchase the shopping centre. The recently signed purchase agreement is valued to be at $10.2 million, and was closed Wednesday by George Macon of MPV Properties and Will Whitley of New South Properties.

Macon represented Elevation, while Whitley signed for the seller, NSP Matthews Plaza.

The agreement gave Elevation Church full control of the 140,000 square feet of property covered by Matthews Plaza Shopping Center's title.

Elevation was founded by Pastor Furtick in 2006. It had previously leased a total area of around 45,000 square feet in the shopping centre.

The shopping centre is in addition to the church's many campuses, as Elevation has succeeded in setting up more than 10 of these in Charlotte in a span of only nine years. For its progress, the church has been recognised as one of the fastest growing congregations in the United States.

Matthews Plaza Shopping Center was formerly leased to supermarket giant Kmart. However, Kmart stopped leasing Matthew Plaza in 1994. The Center remained vacant until 2004, when NSP Matthews Plaza acquired the property and worked to revive the building. In 2012, the building was reopened for leasing and the Elevation Church became one of its tenants.

NSP Matthews Plaza reportedly spent $12 million for the renovation of Matthews Plaza Shopping Center.

In addition to this acquisition, The Elevation Church's annual audit for 2013 reveals that the Church also has a new campus being constructed in the Lake Norman area. This construction project is worth $10.5 million.

The audit states that the church earned $2.52 million from offerings in 2013, and that it still holds $40.6 million remaining out of a $50 million non-revolving credit facility that it uses to fund construction projects.