Often meeting in stadiums or sprawling campuses, the biggest churches in the U.S. are known for their size, popular profile, and economic impact on the local community. They also reflect a growing diversity of people and worship methods, combining online resources and multiple locations to maximize their size. Here are the ten biggest churches at the end of 2009…
Location: Houston, Texas
Total attendance: 43,500
Pastor: Joel Osteen
Even compared with the other churches on this list, Lakewood is a behemoth, packing more than 40,000 people into what used to be the Compaq Center, formerly the Summit arena home of the Houston Rockets. The evangelical congregation is nondenominational, and weekly services are broadcast in local markets nationwide as well as on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
Location: Based in Edmond, Oklahoma
Total attendance: 26,776
Pastor: Craig Groeschel
What began as a tiny congregation meeting in a garage in the mid-1990s has since become a mult-site church with a number of campuses that use satellite video to coordinate worship. There are now venues in Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee, Florida, and New York, and services are also streamed online for people who wish to watch from home.
Location: South Barrington, Illinois
Total attendance: 23,400
Pastor: Bill Hybels
Located in a suburb of Chicago, Willow Creek was the first church to deploy giant HD screens in its theater to aid those who can’t quite see the action on stage. They’ve also got services across an array of locations in and around Chicago.
Location: Alpharetta, Georgia
Total attendance: 23,377
Pastor: Andy Stanley
Founded in 1995, North Point now utilizes three campuses for its weekly services. They’ve also planted more than 20 churches throughout the country and in Canada that serve their communities as partner churches with the flagship location in Alpharetta, a suburb of Atlanta.
Location: Houston, Texas
Total attendance: 22,723
Pastor: Ed Young, Sr.
The Young family is famous in megachurch circles: Ed Young, Sr. heads up Houston’s Second Baptist Church, while his son oversees Grapevine’s Fellowship Church. Second Baptist has five locations around the city to help reach more worshippers, with numerous groups that meet throughout the week to connect with people on a more intimate level.
Location: Lake Forest, California
Total attendance: 22,418
Pastor: Rick Warren
Saddleback Church, in Southern California’s Orange County, is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. Founded in 1980 by Rick Warren, the church is one of the most prominent evangelical bodies in the nation, and Warren is best known as the author of the 2002 devotional book The Purpose-Driven Life.
Location: Grapevine, Texas
Total attendance: 18,355
Pastor: Ed Young, Jr.
Fellowship Church is tied to the Southern Baptist Convention in a very loose way, opting not to emphasize its connection in order to avoid scaring off new converts who might be uncomfortable with the SBC label. It began in 1989 as an offshoot of First Baptist Church of Irving, Texas, but a name change and more people-oriented services led to quick and steady growth.
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Total attendance: 17,261
Pastor: Dave Stone
This 17,000-strong congregation in Kentucky is affiliated with the Independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, which differ from other autonomous Churches of Christ in the use of instrumental worship music. The church has been growing since its founding in 1962, and in 2009 opened a satellite campus in Jeffersonville, Indiana.
Location: The Woodlands, Texas
Total attendance: 17,142
Pastor: Kerry Shook
Located in a suburb outside Houston, Woodlands Church was founded by pastor Kerry Shook in 1993 and has since grown to be one of the biggest in the nation. The main campus in The Woodlands also supports three other campuses in the outlying Houston region. There’s also an “online campus” for people to stream sermons and worship services.
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Total attendance: 15,921
Pastor: Bob Coy
The biggest megachurch in Florida has been going strong for 25 years under the direction of Bob Coy. In addition to a thriving variety of small groups for people of all ages, the church’s site archives worship services for streaming or download.
Yes, We know it’s not the size of the church, But its health that counts! But we feature these churches in this article just for your information so that if you go past these places in future, its worthwhile to make a visit to these wonderful churches in United States.
Tags: Church, Cross, Download, Holy Places