Heavy/Getty American Idol season 10 male finalists.
According to local news station WATN, former “American Idol” contestant Steven “Stevie” Flockhart has been charged with identity theft and receiving stolen property in Memphis. Today, Flockhart is the senior pastor at a popular church there and almost made it through Hollywood Week on two seasons of “Idol” (2010 and 2011) before deciding to go into pastoral ministry.
Flockhart was arrested on November 2, 2023, according to WATN, and was released the next day after posting $2,000 bail. He appeared in a Memphis courtroom on Nov. 6 to face the charges and is scheduled to return on Nov. 20, the station reported.
The singer-turned-pastor has spoken publicly about some of his experiences on “Idol,” including a 2012 video in which he initially ignored the idea of starting a church because he was “focused on the Chasing the dream of winning ‘American Idol.'”
Here’s what you need to know:
Pastor Stevie Flockhart is accused of using a church member’s name and information to open a new credit card
Flockhart tried to start churches in Georgia and Florida, he told the Leadership Conversations podcast in 2022, before moving to Memphis in 2019 to start 901 Church. According to 901’s website, he is senior pastor there and the church has two worship locations. Flockhart was accused of theft and fraud by one of his parishioners.
In 2019, Flockhart and the parishioner opened a joint credit card specifically for the new church, according to court documents reviewed by WREG. The victim said Flockhart “called him and asked for his personal information, which he was reluctant to provide,” the station reported.
In September 2023, the church member discovered that his credit score had “dropped significantly,” according to WREG. While searching for the reason, he discovered that a separate credit card had been opened under his name via PayPal. The credit card currently has approximately $6,410 in unpaid charges, according to WREG.
When the church member said he had contacted Flockhart about the credit card, according to WREG, the pastor admitted to opening it without the person’s permission. A credit company confirmed that although Flockhart used a different name on the application, he had provided his own phone number.
While media reports did not reveal the identity of the alleged victim, 901 Church outed the church member in a statement posted on Facebook following Flockhart’s arrest. It also says that the church “does not believe the allegations are factual” and that “we believe that justification comes from God and firmly adheres to his sovereignty and truth.”
On September 28, an online petition was launched via Change.org by “concerned citizens” calling for a criminal fraud investigation against Flockhart for “misuse of funds.” At the time of publication, 111 people had signed the document, which accuses Flockhart of “living a lavish lifestyle at the expense of his community members.”
WREG spoke with several people whose church membership was revoked after complaining to church elders about Flockhart.
When former church member Scott Hibbard learned of the allegations against Flockhart, he told FOX 13, “That was not what was explained to us at all. We were told this was something like him dropping someone in an accident.”
This isn’t the first time Flockhart has been accused of identity theft. He was sued in 2020 for forging documents and impersonating the account holder of a credit card at a separate church in Georgia, according to an affidavit viewed by WREG.
Stevie Flockhart’s wife said he became ‘obsessed’ with music
Flockhart has spoken publicly about his experiences during one season of “American Idol,” but according to archived blogs and chat rooms reviewed by Heavy, he made it to Hollywood in two seasons – Season 9, which aired in early 2010, and in Season 10 the following year.
In August 2012, Flockhart and his wife Whitney appeared in a video for West Ridge Church in Georgia to discuss his past “obsession” with becoming a music star, including joining a boy band and moving to Nashville in 2001 . Flockhart said that at times, he felt that “God was calling him” to start a church, but he ignored that instinct to continue to devote himself to music.
Whitney then said in the video, “When Stevie and I met, he was so excited about singing lessons, piano lessons, all that kind of stuff.” And I actually didn’t have a problem with that. We both love music and it was just a cool thing. When we got married, that obsession didn’t subside at all. It’s actually increased in size.”
“I didn’t know it at the time, but… it became an idol,” Flockhart explained, pardoning the pun. “I just didn’t want to do it for what I was called to do years ago in the ministry, but I just loved the hype. You know, I love going to a different city every night. I thought maybe the money that might be involved would be great.”
When “American Idol” held auditions in Atlanta, he said, he stood in a line with thousands of contestants and estimated that out of 15,000 contestants at the Georgia Dome, “about 11 of us were chosen to go to Hollywood.” He said in the video that he auditioned for judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, who first appeared on the show together in Season 10 when Scotty McCreery won the show.
“I’ll never forget it,” Flockhart said. “Looking back now, God must be in all of this because I forgot the lyrics to the simplest, dumbest song in history. I forgot the words. Randy (said), “Hey buddy, you know, stop it!” He said, “You can’t forget the lyrics, you know?” Get out. You’re out of here.’”
“But there was still something deep inside me that said, ‘Man, you could have won that show,'” Flockhart said. “You forgot some stupid lyrics.”
However, there is evidence that Flockhart was also part of the ninth season, which featured a different group of judges, although Jackson was part of the jury. Flockhart is briefly seen in the Atlanta casting episode from Season 9, which was ultimately won by folk rocker Lee DeWyze.
In a Hollywood Week season 10 recap, Idol Chatter reported that Flockhart also made it to Hollywood last year, but “admits he became ‘extremely nervous’ during Hollywood Week and passed up a ‘big opportunity.’ The magazine also shared that Flockhart said he “worked for hours with Lee DeWyze and Casey James last year and uses that as inspiration.”
In the West Ridge video, Flockhart said he bought a plane ticket to New York to attend next season’s auditions, which would have been his third attempt, and said he was “determined” to win the show.
“I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was going to win the damn thing this year,” he recalled.
But on the way to the airport, he said, he started talking out loud to God about his desire for fame and money through music and eventually felt the urge to turn his car around, drive home and tell Whitney that she should start a church instead.
“There are just these moments of truth, you know,” he said, “and I feel like I was in that car.”
Multiple media outlets, including WREG, have reported that Flockhart also appeared on NBC’s “The Voice” in 2012. His church biography says he was “selected as a contestant” on the show.