SBC-megachurches

On occasion I will write a blogpost specifically related to my denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention. I am aware that a large number of my readers are not a part of the SBC. Thanks for your willingness to “listen in” as I write about my denominational family, the largest Protestant denomination in the world.

We now have the most recent data on the churches of the SBC. In this post I simply note the largest churches, those with an attendance of 1,000 and above. My purpose is simply to inform, not to make qualitative comments, at least at this point.

Here is some additional information related to these churches:

  • All numbers are self-reported by the churches.
  • If a church does not report, it obviously is not on this list. I know of at least a few churches that did not report.
  • There are 603 reported churches in the SBC with a worship attendance of 1,000 or more. With approximately 46,000 churches in the denomination, only 1.3% of the churches are this large. Inversely stated, 98.7% of the churches in the SBC have an attendance under 1,000.
  • There are 190 reported churches in the SBC with a worship attendance of 2,000 or more. With approximately 46,000 churches in the denomination, only 0.4% of the churches are this large. Inversely stated, 99.6% of the churches in the SBC have an attendance under 2,000.

CHURCH CITY, STATE WEEKLY WORSHIP ATT
1. Second Baptist Church Houston, TX 25,221
2. Woodlands Church The Woodlands, TX 18,322
3. Saddleback Valley CC Lake Forest, CA 18,000
4. Fellowship Grapevine, TX 17,418
5. Prestonwood Baptist Church Plano, TX 14,395
6. Thomas Road Lynchburg, VA 13,500
7. NewSpring Church Anderson, SC 13,472
8. Potential, Fort Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale, FL 12,513
9. The Village Church Flower Mound, TX 10,000
10. Elevation, Matthews Matthews, NC 9,747
11. The Fountain of Praise Houston, TX 9,000
11. Higher Dimension Church Houston, TX 9,000
13. Lake Pointe Church Rockwall, TX 8,691
14. Cross Church Springdale, AR 7,849
15. Bay Area Fellowship Corpus Christi, TX 7,600
16. Shepherd of the Hills Porter Ranch, CA 7,500
17. Shadow Mtn Cmty Church El Cajon, CA 7,148
18. Christ Fellowship, Palmetto Bay Palmetto Bay, FL 6,838
19. Voices of Faith Ministries Stone Mountain, GA 6,800
20. Idlewild, Lutz Lutz, FL 6,518
21. Bellevue, Cordova Cordova, TN 6,483
22. Elizabeth, Atlanta Atlanta, GA 6,300
23. Albq Sagebrush Albuquerque, NM 6,284
24. First, Woodstock Woodstock, GA 6,270
25. Pinelake, Brandon Brandon, MS 6,075
26. Hope Community Church Raleigh, NC 6,060
27. Long Hollow, Hendersonville Hendersonville, TN 5,844
28. The Summit Church, Durham Durham, NC 5,750
29. Church by the Glades, Coral Springs Coral Springs, FL 5,731
30. Brentwood, Brentwood Brentwood, TN 5,710
31. Orlando First Orlando, FL 5,583
32. Fallbrook Baptist Church Houston, TX 5,300
32. Crossing, Tampa Tampa, FL 5,300
34. Emmanuel Bapt Ch, Pa Pago Pago, AS 5,144
35. Saint Paul’s Richmond, VA 5,122
36. First, Atlanta Atlanta, GA 4,980
37. Houston’s First Baptist Church Houston, TX 4,964
38. Hillvue Heights Baptist Church Bowling Green, KY 4,855
39. Biltmore, Arden Arden, NC 4,839
40. Green Acres Baptist Church Tyler, TX 4,713
41. Cascade Hills, Columbus Columbus, GA 4,575
42. West Ridge Dallas, GA 4,541
43. Franklin Avenue, New Orleans New Orleans, LA 4,500
44. Clear Creek Community Church League City, TX 4,444
45. Champion Forest Houston, TX 4,317
46. Brentwood Baptist Church Houston, TX 4,300
47. Johnson Ferry, Marietta Marietta, GA 4,281
48. Hickory Grove, Charlotte Charlotte, NC 4,255
49. Greater Cornerstone Baptist Church Dallas, TX 4,250
50. Jacksonville First Jacksonville, FL 4,200
51. Lenexa Westside Family Lenexa, KS 4,089
52. Faith Promise Church, Knoxville Knoxville, TN 4,079
53. Brook Hills Birmingham, AL 4,000
54. Sagemont Church Houston, TX 3,956
55. Hebron, Dacula Dacula, GA 3,902
56. Sandals Church Riverside, CA 3,800
57. Metropolitan Baptist Church Houston, TX 3,700
57. Brookwood Community Simpsonville, SC 3,700
59. Gardendale First Gardendale, AL 3,607
60. McGregor, Fort Myers Fort Myers, FL 3,606
61. Sugar Creek Baptist Church Sugar Land, TX 3,581
62. Sevier Heights, Knoxville Knoxville, TN 3,552
63. Riverbend Baptist Church Austin, TX 3,500
64. Celebration Church (SBC), Metairie Metairie, LA 3,484
65. Naples First Naples, FL 3,420
66. Southwest Community Baptist Church Houston, TX 3,400
66. Spartanburg First Spartanburg, SC 3,400
68. Liberty-Hampton Hampton, VA 3,399
69. Calvary, Win Winston Salem, NC 3,323
70. First Baptist Church Pasadena, TX 3,300
71. Valley Baptist Church Bakersfield, CA 3,258
72. Highview Baptist Church Louisville, KY 3,200
73. Hunter Street Hoover, AL 3,115
74. Church at the Mall, Lakeland Lakeland, FL 3,086
75. Olive, Pensacola Pensacola, FL 3,036
76. Church at the Springs, Ocala Ocala, FL 3,000
76. Sharon Baptist Ch Philadelphia, PA 3,000
76. Central Bryan, TX 3,000
76. Community of Faith Sugar Land, TX 3,000
80. Mud Creek, Hendersonville Hendersonville, NC 2,940
81. Highlands-Abingdon Abingdon, VA 2,930
81. Bear Creek Baptist Church Katy, TX 2,930
83. The People’s Church, Franklin Franklin, TN 2,901
84. The Heights Baptist Church Richardson, TX 2,875
85. First Baptist Church Dallas, TX 2,874
86. Concord First, Knoxville Knoxville, TN 2,860
87. Kingsland Baptist Church Katy, TX 2,835
88. Bell Shoals, Brandon Brandon, FL 2,824
89. Dawson Birmingham, AL 2,820
90. Indian Rocks First, Largo Largo, FL 2,812
91. Beltway Park Baptist Church Abilene, TX 2,800
91. Brandon First Brandon, FL 2,800
91. Metropolitan Bapt Washington, DC 2,800
94. Hendersonville First, Hendersonville Hendersonville, TN 2,795
94. Blackshear Place, Flowery Branch Flowery Branch, GA 2,795
96. Baptist Temple Mcallen, TX 2,786
97. Grace, Knoxville Knoxville, TN 2,785
98. Pleasant Valley, Liberty Liberty, MO 2,766
99. Calvary, Clearwater Clearwater, FL 2,725
100. Oakwood Baptist Church New Braunfels, TX 2,700
101. Abundant Life Lees Summit, MO 2,698
102. Cleveland First, Cleveland Cleveland, TN 2,654
103. Edmond, Henderson Hills Edmond, OK 2,614
104. Crossroads, Newnan Newnan, GA 2,606
105. LifePoint, Smyrna Smyrna, TN 2,604
106. First-Norfolk Norfolk, VA 2,583
107. Cedar Creek Aiken, SC 2,555
108. Willowbrook Huntsville, AL 2,546
109. Rock Bridge Community, Dalton Dalton, GA 2,545
110. The Church on Rush Creek Arlington, TX 2,533
111. Waters Edge-Yorktown Yorktown, VA 2,517
112. First Euless Euless, TX 2,510
113. Sojourn Community Church Louisville, KY 2,508
114. FBC Jackson Jackson, MS 2,500
114. Shandon Columbia, SC 2,500
114. New Faith Church of Houston Houston, TX 2,500
114. Sweet Holy Spirit Baptist Church Chicago, IL 2,500
114. Rock Springs Easley, SC 2,500
114. Cleveland Community, Clayton Clayton, NC 2,500
120. First Baptist Indian Trail Indian Trail, NC 2,497
121. First Baptist Church Midland, TX 2,476
122. Opelika First Opelika, AL 2,466
123. Shadow Hills, LV Las Vegas, NV 2,461
123. Englewood, Jackson Jackson, TN 2,461
125. Ames, Cornerstone Ames, IA 2,450
126. Oviedo First Oviedo, FL 2,421
127. Arnold, First Arnold, MO 2,418
128. Faith, Bartlett Bartlett, TN 2,413
129. North Spartanburg First Spartanburg, SC 2,400
129. Sunnyvale First Baptist Church Sunnyvale, TX 2,400
131. New Vision  (Mboro), Murfreesboro Murfreesboro, TN 2,397
132. Springfield, Second Springfield, MO 2,396
133. Park Cities Baptist Church Dallas, TX 2,375
134. Colonial Heights-Colonial Heights Colonial Heights, VA 2,370
135. Central Jonesboro, AR 2,365
136. Valley View Baptist Church Louisville, KY 2,356
137. First, West Monroe West Monroe, LA 2,350
138. Shades Mountain Vestavia Hills, AL 2,323
139. Fort Lauderdale First Fort Lauderdale, FL 2,300
139. The Journey Saint Louis, MO 2,300
141. Lenexa Lenexa Baptist Lenexa, KS 2,299
142. Glenview Baptist Church Fort Worth, TX 2,280
143. Fielder Road Baptist Church Arlington, TX 2,278
144. First Baptist Church Arlington, TX 2,275
145. Broken Arrow, BattleCreek Tulsa, OK 2,249
146. Mobberly Baptist Church Longview, TX 2,232
147. Geyer Springs First Little Rock, AR 2,228
148. Broken Arrow, First Broken Arrow, OK 2,222
149. Burnt Hickory, Powder Springs Powder Springs, GA 2,218
150. Silverdale, Chattanooga Chattanooga, TN 2,217
151. Woodcrest Columbia, MO 2,200
151. LifePoint, Tampa Tampa, FL 2,200
151. Russian Baptist Church West Sacramento, CA 2,200
151. Igl Bau Glenview Ponce, PR 2,200
151. Apex Kettering, OH 2,200
151. Grace Community, Clarksville Clarksville, TN 2,200
157. Eagle’s Landing First, McDonough McDonough, GA 2,189
158. East Cooper Mt Pleasant, SC 2,183
159. New Vision Church Milpitas, CA 2,160
160. Second – North Kingwood, TX 2,150
161. First Baptist Church Mckinney, TX 2,134
162. East Bayou, Lafayette Lafayette, LA 2,131
163. Alamo City Christian Fellowship Church San Antonio, TX 2,125
164. Calvary Baptist Church Beaumont, TX 2,106
165. Casas Church Tucson, AZ 2,100
165. First, Bossier City Bossier City, LA 2,100
165. Central, Hixson Hixson, TN 2,100
168. Carmel, Charlotte Matthews, NC 2,083
169. Broadmoor Madison, MS 2,076
170. Simpsonville First Simpsonville, SC 2,068
171. Crossgates Bapt Ch Brandon, MS 2,067
172. First Baptist Church Amarillo, TX 2,050
172. First Baptist Church Woodway Waco, TX 2,050
174. Hyde Park Baptist Church Austin, TX 2,046
175. First Baptist Church Wichita Falls, TX 2,015
176. Ingleside, Macon Macon, GA 2,011
176. Spotswood Fredericksburg, VA 2,011
178. Skyland, Kannapolis Kannapolis, NC 2,006
179. Bethlehem, Gastonia Gastonia, NC 2,005
180. Sherwood, Albany Albany, GA 2,004
181. First, Jonesboro Jonesboro, GA 2,000
181. Sixth Avenue Birmingham, AL 2,000
181. Cottonwood Creek Baptist Church Allen, TX 2,000
181. East Brent, Pensacola Pensacola, FL 2,000
181. Greenforest Community, Decatur Decatur, GA 2,000
181. Northstar, Kennesaw Kennesaw, GA 2,000
181. First Baptist Church Forney, TX 2,000
181. Riverland Hills Irmo, SC 2,000
181. St Paul Msny Baptist Church Sacramento, CA 2,000
190. Midway Macedonia, Villa Rica Villa Rica, GA 1,992
190. Mosaic LA Los Angeles, CA 1,992
192. Taylors First Taylors, SC 1,989
192. NorthPointe Community Church Fresno, CA 1,989
194. Cuyahoga Valley  Church Broadview Heights, OH 1,983
195. Living Hope Baptist Church Bowling Green, KY 1,979
196. Immanuel Baptist Church Highland, CA 1,961
197. Marathon Community Piedmont, SC 1,952
198. Providence, Raleigh Raleigh, NC 1,928
199. Northwood Church Keller, TX 1,926
200. Tallowood Baptist Church Houston, TX 1,925
201. Thompson Station, Thompson Station Thompson Station, TN 1,906
202. Temple, New Bern New Bern, NC 1,904
203. Colonial Hills Bapt Southaven, MS 1,902
204. Hillcrest, Pensacola Pensacola, FL 1,900
204. Rock Creek Little Rock, AR 1,900
206. Humble Area’s First Humble, TX 1,886
207. North Metro First, Lawrenceville Lawrenceville, GA 1,881
208. Ridgecrest, Springfield Springfield, MO 1,878
209. Summit, Estero Estero, FL 1,871
210. First Baptist Church, Rockwall Rockwall, TX 1,860
210. Oasis, Pembroke Pines Pembroke Pines, FL 1,860
212. Mount Pleasant Baptist Church Herndon, VA 1,850
212. Mandarin First, Jacksonville Jacksonville, FL 1,850
214. Hutchinson Cross Point Hutchinson, KS 1,848
215. First Baptist Montgomery, AL 1,842
216. Warren, Augusta Augusta, GA 1,839
217. Mountain Lake Community, Cumming Cumming, GA 1,835
218. Chets Creek, Jacksonville Jacksonville, FL 1,832
219. St Stephen Baptist Church Louisville, KY 1,825
220. Panama City First Panama City, FL 1,817
221. Sevierville First, Sevierville Sevierville, TN 1,802
222. Berendo St Baptist Church Los Angeles, CA 1,800
222. Broadmoor, Shreveport Shreveport, LA 1,800
222. First Baptist Church Texarkana, TX 1,800
225. Church On the Eastern Shore Fairhope, AL 1,796
226. Fairview Bapt Ch, Co Columbus, MS 1,795
227. New Hope, Fayetteville Fayetteville, GA 1,785
228. Johenning Temple of Praise, Wash Washington, DC 1,763
229. Omaha Westside Church Omaha, NE 1,750
229. North Jacksonville Jacksonville, FL 1,750
229. Columbia First Columbia, SC 1,750
232. First, Snellville Snellville, GA 1,745
233. True North Church North Augusta, SC 1,740
234. First, Augusta Augusta, GA 1,729
235. CrossPointe, Valdosta Valdosta, GA 1,725
236. Dallas Bay, Hixson Hixson, TN 1,720
236. First, Covington Covington, LA 1,720
238. Brand New Harrison, AR 1,714
239. Forest Park Joplin, MO 1,713
240. First Baptist Church Wylie, TX 1,700
240. Cornerstone Arlington, TX 1,700
240. La Familia de Dios Ontario, CA 1,700
240. The Fort Bend Church Sugar Land, TX 1,700
244. Raytown, First Raytown, MO 1,697
245. Trinity, Lake Charles Lake Charles, LA 1,695
245. Global Mission Silver Spring, MD 1,695
247. Galilee Baptist Church Suitland, MD 1,694
248. Twin Cities Cmty Church Grass Valley, CA 1,691
249. Ridgecrest Dothan, AL 1,675
250. Mandarin Baptist Church of LA Alhambra, CA 1,658
251. Jersey BC Pataskala, OH 1,655
252. Temple Bapt Ch, Hatt Hattiesburg, MS 1,654
253. Jacksonville FBC Jacksonville, NC 1,653
254. First Chinese Baptist Church Los Angeles, CA 1,650
254. Cornerstone Peaceful Upper Marlboro, MD 1,650
254. Tuscaloosa First Tuscaloosa, AL 1,650
257. Scotts Hill, Wilmington Wilmington, NC 1,648
258. Trussville First Trussville, AL 1,645
259. Middleburg First Middleburg, FL 1,638
260. Millington First, Millington Millington, TN 1,635
261. Brainerd, Chattanooga Chattanooga, TN 1,634
262. First Baptist Church of O’Fallon OFallon, IL 1,620
263. North Monroe, Monroe Monroe, LA 1,614
264. Clarksville First, Clarksville Clarksville, TN 1,611
265. Greater Exodus Baptist Church Philadelphia, PA 1,600
265. Stonegate Fellowship Church Midland, TX 1,600
265. Mt Calvary Baptist Church Fairfield, CA 1,600
265. North Phoenix Baptist Church Phoenix, AZ 1,600
265. Calvary, Alexandria Alexandria, LA 1,600
270. West Palm Beach First West Palm Beach, FL 1,598
271. Rogers First Rogers, AR 1,595
272. Westwood Alabaster, AL 1,585
273. Cowboy Church of Ellis County Waxahachie, TX 1,581
274. Okc, Quail Springs Oklahoma City, OK 1,580
275. North Richland Hills Baptist Church North Richland Hills, TX 1,561
276. Mount Ararat Stafford, VA 1,556
277. Whitesburg Huntsville, AL 1,555
278. First Baptist Church Garland, TX 1,551
279. Istrouma, Baton Rouge Baton Rouge, LA 1,546
280. FBC, Hattiesburg Hattiesburg, MS 1,532
281. Kirby Woods, Memphis Memphis, TN 1,525
282. Moore, First Moore, OK 1,520
283. First Redeemer, Cumming Cumming, GA 1,507
284. Okc, Newchurch Oklahoma City, OK 1,500
284. Zion, Marietta Marietta, GA 1,500
284. Crossword Christian Fellowship Riverside, CA 1,500
284. Grace Point Church San Antonio, TX 1,500
284. Shawnee, Immanuel Shawnee, OK 1,500
284. Woodland, Bradenton Bradenton, FL 1,500
284. Foothills Community Seneca, SC 1,500
284. Hibernia, Green Cove Springs Fleming Island, FL 1,500
284. First Baptist Church Hurst, TX 1,500
293. ClearView, Franklin Franklin, TN 1,499
294. Harvester, First Saint Charles, MO 1,497
295. Richland Creek Community, Wake Forest Wake Forest, NC 1,492
296. Anastasia, St Augustine St Augustine, FL 1,490
297. First Baptist Church San Antonio, TX 1,483
298. Roswell Street, Marietta Marietta, GA 1,457
299. Bannockburn Austin, TX 1,454
300. Tulsa, First Tulsa, OK 1,451
301. University, Coral Gables Coral Gables, FL 1,450
301. Benton First Benton, AR 1,450
301. Genoa BC Westerville, OH 1,450
301. Skyway Church of the West Valley Goodyear, AZ 1,450
305. Bon Air Richmond, VA 1,440
305. Albq Hoffmantown Albuquerque, NM 1,440
307. Graceland Baptist Church New Albany, IN 1,425
308. Collierville First, Collierville Collierville, TN 1,422
309. Powell First, Powell Powell, TN 1,421
310. Lakewood, Gainesville Gainesville, GA 1,418
311. Oak Ridge Baptist Church Salisbury, MD 1,417
312. Hope Las Vegas, NV 1,413
313. SouthCrest, Newnan Newnan, GA 1,411
314. First Baptist Church of Maryville Maryville, IL 1,408
315. Fellowship of the Parks Keller, TX 1,405
316. Fruit Cove, Jacksonville Jacksonville, FL 1,404
316. Lee Park, Monroe Monroe, NC 1,404
316. Hendersonville First, Hendersonville Hendersonville, NC 1,404
319. First Keller Keller, TX 1,400
319. Plant City First Plant City, FL 1,400
319. Greater St Matthew Baptist Church Houston, TX 1,400
319. Community Life Church Forney, TX 1,400
319. Canaan Christian Church Louisville, KY 1,400
319. Okc, Southern Hills Oklahoma City, OK 1,400
319. Vaughn Forest Montgomery, AL 1,400
319. Boiling Springs First Boiling Springs, SC 1,400
319. Valley Creek Baptist Church Flower Mound, TX 1,400
319. Cross Pointe, Duluth Duluth, GA 1,400
319. Fellowship-Salem Salem, VA 1,400
319. Concord Missionary Baptist Church Dallas, TX 1,400
319. First St John Missionary Baptist Fort Worth, TX 1,400
319. 121 Community Church Grapevine, TX 1,400
319. Hopewell, Gainesville Gainesville, GA 1,400
319. Grove Level, Maysville Maysville, GA 1,400
319. Praise Temple, Shreveport Shreveport, LA 1,400
336. Germantown, Germantown Germantown, TN 1,392
337. Bay Leaf, Raleigh Raleigh, NC 1,380
337. New Life Community Baptist Church E Saint Louis, IL 1,380
339. Paramount Baptist Church Amarillo, TX 1,379
340. Westside, Fort Pierce Fort Pierce, FL 1,378
341. St Stephen Baptist Church Houston, TX 1,375
342. First Baptist Church Carrollton, TX 1,365
343. Spring Baptist Church, Spring Spring, TX 1,361
344. First, Conyers Conyers, GA 1,354
345. Central Florida First, Orlando Orlando, FL 1,353
346. Lawndale, Greensboro Greensboro, NC 1,350
346. Resurrection Baptist Church Schertz, TX 1,350
348. Enid, Emmanuel Enid, OK 1,348
349. Great Hills Baptist Church Austin, TX 1,347
350. Aloma, Winter Park Winter Park, FL 1,346
351. Cornerstone Community Orangeburg, SC 1,345
352. Sarasota Sarasota, FL 1,344
353. First-Roanoke Roanoke, VA 1,342
354. First Baptist Church Lubbock, TX 1,335
355. PaulAnn Baptist Church San Angelo, TX 1,332
356. First Baptist Church Georgetown, TX 1,330
357. Westside, Jacksonville Jacksonville, FL 1,328
358. Longview Heights Bap Olive Branch, MS 1,326
359. Hopeful, Lake City Lake City, FL 1,325
359. Johns Creek, Alpharetta Alpharetta, GA 1,325
361. CrossPoint Trussville, AL 1,312
362. Windermere First Windermere, FL 1,308
363. Pioneer Drive Baptist Church Abilene, TX 1,307
364. Fort Smith First Fort Smith, AR 1,304
365. Bayside, Harrison Harrison, TN 1,300
365. Greenwell Springs, Greenwell Springs Greenwell Springs, LA 1,300
365. Clovis Hills Cmty Church Clovis, CA 1,300
365. Dsm, Grace Des Moines, IA 1,300
365. East Leesville, Leesville Leesville, LA 1,300
365. Heartland Worship Center Paducah, KY 1,300
365. Del City, First Southern Oklahoma City, OK 1,300
365. First, Gainesville Gainesville, GA 1,300
365. Mesquite Friendship Baptist Church Mesquite, TX 1,300
374. First Baptist Church Universal Cty, TX 1,298
375. Second, Warner Robins Warner Robins, GA 1,291
376. Hyland Heights-Lynchburg Lynchburg, VA 1,290
377. Jersey Village Baptist Church Houston, TX 1,283
378. Eden Westside Pell City, AL 1,280
379. Beach Church Myrtle Beach, SC 1,279
380. New River Community Lake Wylie, SC 1,275
380. Avalon Church, McDonough McDonough, GA 1,275
380. Immanuel Little Rock, AR 1,275
383. Green Street, High Point High Point, NC 1,273
384. Osborne, Eden Eden, NC 1,272
384. Peace, Decatur Decatur, GA 1,272
384. First Baptist Church Lone Oak Paducah, KY 1,272
387. Lindsay Lane Athens, AL 1,270
388. Prattville First Prattville, AL 1,267
388. Westside Baptist Church Lewisville, TX 1,267
390. Lakeview Auburn, AL 1,260
390. Dogwood Church Peachtree City, GA 1,260
392. Ocean View Church San Diego, CA 1,259
392. Merritt Island First Merritt Island, FL 1,259
394. Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church Houston, TX 1,258
395. Mount Hebron Missionary Baptist Church Garland, TX 1,256
395. Hermitage Hills, Hermitage Hermitage, TN 1,256
397. Higher Ground, Kingsport Kingsport, TN 1,253
397. Gladeville Gladeville, TN 1,253
399. Tacoma First Tacoma, WA 1,250
399. Friendship Baptist Church The Colony, TX 1,250
399. Southcrest Baptist Church Lubbock, TX 1,250
399. Antioch Church Long Beach, CA 1,250
399. First Baptist Church Allen, TX 1,250
399. The River Community Church, Cookeville Cookeville, TN 1,250
399. Bentonville First Bentonville, AR 1,250
399. Dickson First, Dickson Dickson, TN 1,250
399. Lexington Lexington, SC 1,250
399. Daybreak Community Carlsbad, CA 1,250
399. Arran Lake, Fayetteville Fayetteville, NC 1,250
399. Hilldale, Clarksville Clarksville, TN 1,250
399. Stevens Street, Cookeville Cookeville, TN 1,250
399. Morristown First, Morristown Morristown, TN 1,250
413. Jacob’s Well Eau Claire, WI 1,248
414. Ardmore, First Ardmore, OK 1,242
415. The Fellowship at Two Rivers, Nashville Nashville, TN 1,231
416. Consolidated Baptist Church Lexington, KY 1,228
417. Parkwood, Gastonia Gastonia, NC 1,226
418. West Jackson, Jackson Jackson, TN 1,225
419. Severns Valley Baptist Church Elizabethtown, KY 1,224
420. Metro Community Church Edwardsville, IL 1,215
421. Alice Drive Sumter, SC 1,212
422. Kissimmee First Kissimmee, FL 1,211
423. First Baptist Church Denton, TX 1,209
424. Dothan First Dothan, AL 1,207
425. Calvary Tuscaloosa, AL 1,206
426. Bethany, Council Road Bethany, OK 1,205
427. Golden Acres Phenix City, AL 1,201
428. Russell, Green Cove Springs Green Cove Springs, FL 1,200
428. Cedar Street Baptist Church of God Richmond, VA 1,200
428. Woodland Park, Chattanooga Chattanooga, TN 1,200
428. Fairview, Corryton Corryton, TN 1,200
428. First, Lafayette Lafayette, LA 1,200
428. Emmanuel Haitian, Miami Miami, FL 1,200
428. Hope, Ocala Ocala, FL 1,200
428. Northeast Houston Church Humble, TX 1,200
428. Faith, Youngsville Youngsville, NC 1,200
428. First Baptist Church Richardson, TX 1,200
428. West Acres, Evans Evans, GA 1,200
428. Rock Hill First Rock Hill, SC 1,200
428. Bay Life, Brandon Brandon, FL 1,200
428. Fraternite Haitian, Miami Miami, FL 1,200
428. Westside, Gainesville Gainesville, FL 1,200
428. Oakwood, Chickamauga Chickamauga, GA 1,200
428. First, Douglasville Douglasville, GA 1,200
428. Travis Avenue Baptist Church Fort Worth, TX 1,200
428. Heritage Baptist Church, Texarkana Texarkana, TX 1,200
428. New Port Richey First New Port Richey, FL 1,200
448. First, Watkinsville Watkinsville, GA 1,196
449. Brushy Creek Taylors, SC 1,195
449. First Baptist Church Bryan, TX 1,195
449. North Side Greenwood, SC 1,195
452. Waterstone Community Church Littleton, CO 1,194
453. Columbia Baptist Church Falls Church, VA 1,187
454. Harrisburg Baptist Church Tupelo, MS 1,185
455. Copperfield Church Houston, TX 1,182
455. First Baptist Church Lewisville, TX 1,182
457. Keystone Community Fellowship North Wales, PA 1,175
458. Binghamtown Baptist Church Middlesboro, KY 1,174
458. Immanuel Baptist Church Lexington, KY 1,174
458. South Biscayne, North Port North Port, FL 1,174
461. Pelham First Pelham, AL 1,170
462. Grand Avenue Fort Smith, AR 1,168
463. Northside, Liverpool Liverpool, NY 1,167
464. Columbia First, Columbia Columbia, TN 1,163
464. Harvest Baptist Church Watauga, TX 1,163
466. Warrensburg, First Warrensburg, MO 1,160
466. Tallahassee First Tallahassee, FL 1,160
468. Magnolia Ave Baptist Church Riverside, CA 1,158
469. NorthPark Trussville, AL 1,156
470. Weston First Weston, FL 1,153
471. Hill Crest Anniston, AL 1,151
471. Columbus Avenue Baptist Church Waco, TX 1,151
473. Temple Terrace First Temple Terrace, FL 1,150
473. North Oxford Oxford, MS 1,150
473. Hardin Baptist Church Hardin, KY 1,150
473. The Journey New York, NY 1,150
473. Lifepoint-Fredericksburg Fredericksburg, VA 1,150
478. Dauphin Way Mobile, AL 1,149
479. Florence Baptist Church Florence, KY 1,147
480. Crossland Community Church Bowling Green, KY 1,146
481. Western Avenue, Statesville Statesville, NC 1,136
482. Second Baptist Church Baytown, TX 1,133
483. Little Flock Baptist Church Shepherdsville, KY 1,131
484. Church at Viera, Melbourne Melbourne, FL 1,130
484. Fellowship  The Rockies, Pueblo Pueblo, CO 1,130
486. First Baptist Church Midlothian, TX 1,129
486. Charlotte First, Charlotte Charlotte, NC 1,129
488. Northcliffe, Spring Hill Spring Hill, FL 1,125
488. Grove Avenue-Richmond Richmond, VA 1,125
490. Pathways Community Church Santee, CA 1,120
491. Sugar Hill Church Sugar Hill, GA 1,118
492. West Conroe Baptist Church Conroe, TX 1,117
493. Village, Fayetteville Fayetteville, NC 1,114
494. Walnut Ridge Mansfield, TX 1,111
495. Central Bearden, Knoxville Knoxville, TN 1,110
495. Stuart Heights, Chattanooga Hixson, TN 1,110
497. Immanuel, Tallahassee Tallahassee, FL 1,109
497. Deep Creek-Chesapeake Chesapeake, VA 1,109
499. Calvary, Shreveport Shreveport, LA 1,108
499. Highland Baptist Church Waco, TX 1,108
501. Southcliff Baptist Church Fort Worth, TX 1,107
501. First, Lilburn Lilburn, GA 1,107
503. Mount Zion Huntsville, AL 1,106
504. Englewood, Rocky Mount Rocky Mount, NC 1,105
505. FishHawk Fellowship, Lithia Lithia, FL 1,104
505. Anderson Mill Road Moore, SC 1,104
507. Franklin Heights Rocky Mount, VA 1,103
508. Grace Fellowship Church Paradise, TX 1,100
508. Vanguard Church, Colo Spgs Colorado Springs, CO 1,100
508. Cielo Vista Church El Paso, TX 1,100
508. Parkway Baptist Church Victoria, TX 1,100
508. Cornerstone Baptist Church Roseville, MI 1,100
508. Redeemer Fellowship Kansas City, MO 1,100
508. Oakland, Corinth Corinth, MS 1,100
508. Belle Aire, Murfreesboro Murfreesboro, TN 1,100
508. Hunters’ Glen Baptist Church Plano, TX 1,100
508. Old Fort Summerville, SC 1,100
508. New Song Church Carrollton, TX 1,100
508. Central, Warner Robins Warner Robins, GA 1,100
508. Branson, First Branson, MO 1,100
508. Rich Fork, Thomasville Thomasville, NC 1,100
522. Summit North Little Rock, AR 1,099
523. North Asheville Baptist Church Asheville, NC 1,094
524. First, Cumming Cumming, GA 1,093
525. Crossroads Baptist Church The Woodlands, TX 1,091
526. High Rock Salisbury, NC 1,090
526. Houston Northwest Houston, TX 1,090
528. West University Baptist Church Houston, TX 1,086
529. Brookwood, Shreveport Shreveport, LA 1,085
530. Hot Springs First Hot Springs, AR 1,080
531. Ocala First Ocala, FL 1,079
531. North Augusta First North Augusta, SC 1,079
533. Foothills Community, Arvada Arvada, CO 1,077
534. First Baptist Church Belton, TX 1,075
534. First Baptist Church Burleson, TX 1,075
536. First Baptist Church Richmond, VA 1,072
537. Del Sol Church El Paso, TX 1,071
537. First, Loganville Loganville, GA 1,071
539. Journey, Evans Evans, GA 1,070
539. Coral Park Hispana, Miami Miami, FL 1,070
539. First, Statesboro Statesboro, GA 1,070
539. Leesburg First Leesburg, FL 1,070
539. Calvary Baptist Church Lexington, KY 1,070
544. FBC Madison Madison, MS 1,063
544. Dayspring Mobile, AL 1,063
546. Salem, McDonough McDonough, GA 1,062
547. Castle Hills First Baptist, San Antonio San Antonio, TX 1,058
548. North Side Baptist Church Weatherford, TX 1,056
549. Millbrook Aiken, SC 1,050
549. University Heights Baptist Church Huntsville, TX 1,050
549. Crestview Baptist Church Georgetown, TX 1,050
549. Hillcrest, Lebanon Lebanon, TN 1,050
549. Harris Creek Baptist Church Mc Gregor, TX 1,050
549. Russellville First Russellville, AR 1,050
555. Life Community Church Jamestown, NC 1,049
555. First Baptist Church Odessa, TX 1,049
557. St Luke Missionary Baptist Church Humble, TX 1,045
558. First Baptist Church of Alexandria Alexandria, VA 1,043
559. Hillcrest Baptist Church Hopkinsville, KY 1,042
560. Gulf to Lake, Crystal River Crystal River, FL 1,040
561. Forest Hills, Nashville Nashville, TN 1,038
562. Immanuel, Lebanon Lebanon, TN 1,036
563. First Baptist Church Colleyville, TX 1,034
564. Altus, First Altus, OK 1,030
564. First Baptist Church Woodbridge Woodbridge, VA 1,030
566. Morrison Heights Bap Clinton, MS 1,027
567. Porter Memorial Baptist Church Lexington, KY 1,025
567. Fort Mill First Fort Mill, SC 1,025
569. Mt Pleasant First Mt Pleasant, SC 1,020
570. FBC, Brandon Brandon, MS 1,019
571. Iglesia Bautista West Brownsville Brownsville, TX 1,018
572. North Mobile First Saraland, AL 1,013
573. Cornerstone, St Cloud St Cloud, FL 1,012
573. River Oak Chesapeake, VA 1,012
575. Pleasant Garden, Pleasant Garden Pleasant Garden, NC 1,011
576. Tri-Cities, Gray Gray, TN 1,006
577. Broadview Missionary Baptist Church Broadview, IL 1,005
577. New Hope Church Lorton, VA 1,005
577. Lifepoint Church Albertville, AL 1,005
580. Severn Run, The Church at Severn, MD 1,004
580. First Baptist Church The Woodlands, TX 1,004
582. Valley View Tuscaloosa, AL 1,003
583. Cross Brand Cowboy Church Tyler, TX 1,001
583. Wallace Memorial, Knoxville Knoxville, TN 1,001
583. First Baptist Church Magnolia, TX 1,001
586. New Life Christian Fellowship Blacksburg, VA 1,000
586. Tabernacle-Danville Danville, VA 1,000
586. Sharon-H, McDonough McDonough, GA 1,000
586. Brazilian First, Pompano Beach Pompano Beach, FL 1,000
586. First, Rincon Rincon, GA 1,000
586. First Baptist Church on the Square LaGrange, GA 1,000
586. Village, Destin Destin, FL 1,000
586. Daystar Church, Greensboro Greensboro, NC 1,000
586. Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church Indianapolis, IN 1,000
586. Indian Springs Bryant, AR 1,000
586. Wilshire Dallas, TX 1,000
586. Amite, Denham Springs Denham Springs, LA 1,000
586. Emmanuel, Grenada Grenada, MS 1,000
586. Family Fellowship Greenville, TX 1,000
586. Mims Conroe Conroe, TX 1,000
586. Sardis Birmingham, AL 1,000
586. Second Missionary Grandview, MO 1,000
586. Tulip Grove, Old Hickory Old Hickory, TN 1,000

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Comments

  1. Adam says

    Is there a link somewhere to a more detailed list? For example, I would like to know where all these FBC’s are that have no geographic designation. For that matter, I would like to see the states for all churches to get a feel for distribution. Also, would like to see the numbers.

      • says

        I’ve been in the Southern Baptist Convention for 58 years since I was in the Beginners Dept. in Sunday school. I’m weary about hearing about numbers! I remember hearing about “A Million More in ’54″ when I was a teenager, thinking that Southern Baptists were only concerned with “dipping them (members) and dropping them” with little or no discipleship. As an aging “Boomer, ” I now know this not to be true, but the perception persists, especially among we much smaller SBC congregations.

        The average-sized SBC church has about 300 members on roll. We active laymen know that that means that of those members, half attend regularly and only half of those who go frequently, give tithes and offerings, not to mention those who never give to “Annie Armstrong” or “Lottie Moon.”

  2. Steve Drake says

    Here’s a shout out to all churches regardless of size that are exercising obedience to God and have an outward focus to share the gospel. You may be smaller than some churches, but you are faithful and God will give you victories along the way.

  3. Ashley S says

    It would be interesting to see out of this list who is actually planting more churches instead of focusing on getting bigger.

    • says

      In answer to Ashley’s question, our church (FBC Rincon, GA *#586 above) planted the Baptist Church at Ebenezer in Rincon a few years ago, and we are currently sponsoring Rincon Hispanic Baptist Mission as a new church plant.

  4. Travis says

    It would be interesting and helpful to know how many campuses each church had. Service times would be a great help as well.

  5. William says

    I find it interesting that if you look at churches over 2000; 3000; and 5000 they group this way
    (as best I could count, I might have missed some)

    East Coast (FL, GA, SC, NC, VA) – 64 (2000+); 30 (3000+); 15(5000+)
    Texas – 49; 22; 10
    Tenn&Kent – 21; 7; 2
    Deep South (AL, MS, LA. AR) – 19; 7; 2
    AR, MO, OK – 12; 1; 1
    California – 8; 5; 3
    All the rest – 11; 4; 2

    Its understandable that the traditionally Southern states would have more than the rest, but I was intrigued that they seem to group in the East Coast and Texas, with a relatively large number in California and Tennessee. Is this simply a factor of the size of the cities or is there another reason why the east coast, Texas, and Tennessee attract large churches (and possibly California given its not a traditionally Southern area)?

    • Jeff says

      William, more than anything you will find high concentrations of large churches in large metroploitan areas. Dallas/Ft Worth is the 4th largest metro area in the country, Houston is 5th, and Atlanta is 9th. You will find over 25% of SBC megachurches just in these three areas. When Miami is added (8th largest), those four areas will account for about 30%. California is not a traditional SBC stronghold, but there are about 38 million people there, so..

  6. John Strickland says

    I’d be interested in a per capita CP giving column next to these attendance numbers…probably won’t happen because of how embarrassing it would be to the powers that be.

  7. says

    Good morning, Thom. Thank you for the report. When I came to First Baptist Arnold in 1997, I began getting Lifeway reports for top 200 churches in worship, Bible Study , baptisms and budgets, I always got the report at or near the end of April each year. When Jimmy Draper left Lifeway, for some reason the requested reports stopped coming. 1- Is it possible for me to get those reports? 2- If so, when? 3- If not, why? Thanks for the excellent job you are doing at Lifeway. Your brother, Brad East, senior associate pastor, First Baptist Church Arnold.

    • Thom Rainer says

      Brad -

      I am not familiar with those reports. I have not found anyone at LifeWay that has recollection of them either. I am in my eighth year at LifeWay, so there is obviously an information gap. Do you have some old reports you can send me?

      Thanks.

  8. David Eaton says

    Thom,

    Do you know what fraction of SBC people attend the big churches? While it’s true that only 1.3% of churches are above 1,000 in attendance, my guess is that they make up a large fraction of attendance. It would be fun to get into that data and ask it some interesting questions (says the nerdy economist).

    • Thom Rainer says

      Dave -

      Less than one-half of one percent of SBC churches report an average worship attendance of 2,000 or more, but 12.6% of the total attendance of the denomination is now concentrated in these relatively few churches.
      Only 1.3% of all SBC churches have an attendance of 1,000 or more, but 22.2% of the total denominational attendance is in these congregations.
      Only 4.4% of the churches have an attendance of 500 or more, but 35.3% of the attendance of 46,000 churches is concentrated in just those few churches.

  9. Mike N says

    Dr. Rainer,

    Thanks for sharing this information. In response to some of the replies above, I find it interesting that the first reaction of some in the SBC to information like this is to be suspicious and to attempt to discredit these churches. Why raise the issue of CP giving? Why ask if these churches are planting other churches or just focusing “on getting bigger,” as if seeking to reach as many people as possible for Christ with the gospel was a negative thing.

    This information was not posted to denigrate smaller churches. God has a purpose in his kingdom work for churches of all sizes and styles and strategies. Why not just accept that and rejoice in what God is doing?

    Pride comes in many forms. And if a large church is proud of its size, while a smaller church is proud of its CP giving, etc., isn’t God dishonored and displeased in either case? Envy or jealousy is sin too. If you feel compelled to cast suspicion on larger churches, that says more about you than it does about those churches.

    Some large churches may be shallow and led by egotistical leaders (some small churches are as well… maybe that’s why few attend). Some large churches are gospel-centered, with rich discipleship and equipping ministries to go along with effective evangelism. Some small churches are effective in reaching their community with the gospel, and make sacrificial contributions to the cause of global mission. Some small churches are insular, bound by their traditions, uncaring about those around them and ineffective in reaching their communities. And some of those churches give lots of money to CP.

    In the end, why not be gracious and loving toward all churches, especially all of these churches all across the SBC that none of us can really know much about? Love believes all things (1 Cor 13:7). It isn’t suspicious. Let’s stop passing judgment on one another… let’s make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification… we’re all servants who will stand or fall before our Master. (Rom 14).

    • says

      Both large, medium and small congregations are needed in the Kingdom of God. We need not compete, but complement one another. We smaller SBC churches may need the resources (both spiritual and financial) of our larger sister churches from time to time at some level to advance the Kingdom. On a socio-economic level, some of our “poor” congregations in poor neighborhoods are rich spiritually! Amen?

  10. David Eaton says

    It would be interesting to see the time series on this data, is it a recent phenomenon that 1/3 of the attendance comes from the top 4.4% of churches? Robert Frank wrote “the winner take all society” about the factors that caused the top performers in a field to claim a larger and larger share of resources; it would be interesting to look at ACP data through that lens. This is especially true as technology allows us to have multiple campuses.

    It would also be interesting to look and see the impact of larger churches on growth patterns of the smaller churches in their region. I think the “Beyond Megachurch Myths” book looked at some of that, but it’s been a while since I looked in that area, and I lost my copy of that book quite a while ago…

    The economist in me sees a lot of interesting questions that could be asked of ACP data…

  11. Lee says

    I think it’s pretty cool to realize that in a town with just a little more than 50,000 population, two of its churches make the top 100…Hendersonville, TN has Long Hollow Baptist (5,844…and this number is outdated by now) and FBC H’ville (2,795)! I’m a member of LHBC and, to answer one of the questions somebody asked above, yes, we’re planting churches all over the place! We have satellite churches in Nashville, Springfield, Madison, Gallatin, and plan to open another one soon. We also have built an orphanage compound in Jeremie, Haiti consisting of a church, kitchen, school, and housing for (I believe) 300 children; have another one in the works in Uganda, one in the planning stages for the Philippines and I think a 4th someplace else; and our members go on dozens of mission trips all over the world every year!!! This past Sunday, with a visiting evangelist, dozens of folks (I think a more accurate estimate would be hundreds, but I don’t know about any service but the one I was in…and I’m sure well over 100 in ours) made professions of faith!!! I agree that a big, “mega-church” is not for everybody, since it’s really hard to have the close fellowship we used to have when we were much smaller, and some other things are just impossible when a church becomes so enormous. However, it’s really hard to find too much fault when the people continue flooding through the doors and so many are being so blessed! As an older member now, I might not like everything as much as most of the younger ones, but to see all the lives that were changed Sunday was worth it all!!!

    • Tim Morrison says

      Why does the amount given to the “local Baptist association” equate to “where the rubber meets the road”? I thought that terminology should be attributed to what the church is doing to further the Kingdom of God? Last time I checked, you could do that apart from the “local Baptist association.” Give me a break.

  12. says

    I have a question. What does the churches on the list have to do in order to be considered Southern Baptist? I know of two churches on the list that promote themselves as non-denominational. Just curious.

    • says

      “Two churches on the list that promote themselves as non-denominational” probably don’t want the negative connotation associated with “Baptist,” particularly among this generation. As an active layman, I try to tell my home church folks that our present generation could not care less about the Southern Baptist Convention except for those contemplating the ministry and eventual “retirement.”

      Outside the eleven states of the old Confederacy, there is little knowledge of the SBC, despite the fact that we’re the largest (there go “numbers” again) Protestant denomination. It has been my experience that even here in an historical and traditional SBC stronghold such as Virginia, our (lay) young people are uneducated about our history, traditions, crises and controversies. I learned about such things in Training Union.

      Not to be “into” the SBC as an institution, is not a bad thing. As a “black sheep” of my young Boomer generation, I came to idolize the SBC. As an aging Boomer, I struggle with not denying who we Southern Baptists are now and not denying our past. Are there others out there who feel as I do? Help me, brothers and sisters!

      • says

        Mark … at some point, for the sake of Kingdom work – this must change. I suspect I will see it in my lifetime. This perceived exclusivism of the SBC is unfortunate and not consistent with the generous and caring hearts of those within the leadership. History has taught us – the name of Jesus trumps the mere preservation of institutions … A re-branding of sorts has the potential of restarting and invigorating a wonderful body of believers with a greater emphasis on Missions (reaching out) rather than preserving the past (preservation). Given a Kingdom mindset, in my estimation you make a very valid point … Grace and Peace.

      • says

        Just to clarify who we Baptist are [e.g. - SBC, NBC, GARBC, Independent, and so on] … we are not ”Protestants” as we were never in the Catholic Church to protest and leave the Great Whore. It demeans the great heritage of the Baptists to be referred to as ”Protestants.” Baptist believers can be traced back to the Upper Room in the Book of Acts and being distinctively recognized in Acts 8:37 [you'll have to refer to the KJV to find this verse, being also in the Textus Receptus] and v. 38 wherein Philip the Evangelist answers the Ethiopian eunuch’s question on baptism. Then, after the Ethiopian believes, Philip baptizes him. All of the “Protestant” churches follow the same method of baptism as the ”Mother Church”… they sprinkle babies or when they are older, just as a rite or sacrament; Baptist immerse believers. For more evidence on ”Baptists are Not Protestants”, pick up a copy of Dr. J. M. Carroll’s booklet called ”The Trail of Blood”, available on Amazon. After reading this great resource on Baptist History, you’ll be ashamed to have called yourself a “Protestant.”
        In Christ’s grace,
        Todd @ WTSA
        Mark 16:16
        Revelation 17:1, 5 [KJV]
        http://www.amazon.com/The-trail-blood-J-Carroll/dp/B00086IVIY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1379924912&sr=8-1&keywords=trail+of+blood+by+jm+carroll

      • says

        Baptists are NOT ”Protestants” as we were never ”in” the Catholic Church to protest against her then leave her.
        Read J.M. Carroll’s ”The Trail Of Blood”, found @ http://www.amazon.com/The-trail-blood-J-Carroll/dp/B00086IVIY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1379924912&sr=8-1&keywords=trail+of+blood+by+jm+carroll afterwhich, you will be ashamed that you call yourselves ”Protestants.”
        In Christ’s grace,
        Todd
        Matthew 16:18b & Mark 16:16 – KJV

      • says

        I think it is very important to uphold the name Baptist. There is a lot of history of those who have shed their blood for the truth of God’s word. Those who were named by their enemies “Anabaptist”, should not be forgotten. It takes away from lumping all different beliefs that are now called “Christian” into one pot. It describes who we are, where we came from, and what we stand for, and how we should be reminded not to compromise no matter what. I also do not believe necessarily that Baptist is protestant. Baptist beliefs came from the Word of God through a heritage that never strayed away from God’s Word. There is no origination in the Catholic Church which from it’s beginning as an organization has added to God’s Word. If you believe in Scripture alone as your authority which leads to believers baptism by immersion only then you can call yourself a Baptist and be identified with those believers through history who never compromised with God’s Word.

  13. says

    Very interesting data. Just wondering if there was anything significant about the way the data plots in a linear plot. The change in church size seems linear up to about 3000 and then from there the sky is the limit. It seems to jump into an exponential change. Does this say anything?

  14. John says

    Thom, I was wondering where you list was originated? SBC?

    I, too, recognized a few churches on the list that do not identify themselves as SBC churches. For instance, Crossing Church in Tampa (#32 on the list) has this at their website:

    The Crossing Church is an independent non-denominational church. We are not formally aligned with a specific denomination or governing body, but we believe in accountability in the body of Christ and have relationships and fellowship with several churches and Christian organizations.

    • Thom Rainer says

      John -

      The churches submit the data directly to their respective state conventions. The SBC does not generate the data on its own.

      • says

        Tom, I found your blog during some research on church growth. It is interesting to hear discussions concerning church size.
        First, the discussion on membership/attendance is interesting as always. My husband and I have served churches for 39 years, and in many churches I served as Sunday School Director. Therefore it became my duty to fill out annual reports. In “each” church I found discrepancies in record keeping. Most of the churches we served averaged between 150-250 in worship attendance. Their memberships were always way off. When reporting numbers for the SBC annual report CHURCH POP, the report ask for church membership. One secretary actually told me she was told to add a few numbers per year to show growth. Being an “outsider” as staff is often perceived, I had to tread with gloves to actually clean up the church books. Updating records will more likely show decline rather than growth. Most of the time, we found so call “members” who were deceased, moved out of state, not attending any church. We have come to value membership in the church more sacred than salvation of lost. In other words their membership takes the place of a persons relationship with Jesus and the Body of Christ.
        Church size may seem irrelevant to some but my reason for studying church growth is that churches that we served some 10, 15, 30 years ago have only maintained or slightly declined in attendance while population growth has exploded. There is a need for small churches, but small churches should be growing. We have hid behind the idea that small churches are meeting the needs of a certain group. Moving from one size of church to another calls for a mindset change that involves a different set of skills and knowledge just as meeting the needs of our children from infancy to adulthood requires a different mindset. Whether we want to agree or not, these mega churches started as small churches but were willing to embrace the changes needed to allow God’s spirit to work. Most small churches are stuck in the relational mindset, focusing on the inner relationships, members needs, comforts, and opinions rather than moving to interrelationships where the church is willing to include others. All churches regardless of size have a place in God’s Kingdom but it they do not have a heart for growth and a willingness to do whatever it takes to expand God’s Kingdom then we have missed our calling.
        Secondly, someone ask about the churches that did not call themselves Baptist but took other names rather than identifying themselves to Baptist. A church is affiliated with the SBC through the contribution in the Cooperative Program. While we seem to be concerned with upholding a set of beliefs, each church is autonomous therefore unless a church body is really out on a limb they operate and worship as they wish. I contend that we should focus on completing each other rather than competing with each other. Both small and large churches have something to learn from each other.
        Mr. Rainer, thanks for the information. This question may show my ignorance but without having to study each church my question would be not about CP participation but are any of these Cooperative Baptist Fellowship?

        • Kismet Kechejian says

          Patsy is correct regarding over reporting memberships at least from my limited perspective here in the North West. I work among both Anglo and mixed Churches of less than 100 members and a few slightly over 100 members. I have been admonishing against inflated annual numbers as both lies and fraud while being deceptive within the Church itself. One such Church claimed over 1170 members for successive years and I kept asking were they all were while only 65-70 ever came to worship. As I asked other Church’s and denominational leaders I was told it related to how much funding would be allocated back to local Conventions and associations, that is was a long established practice. It took over a decade to get this one Church to research the “official rolls”, accumulated over the previous 50 years. I was also informed that many who had moved away had never reported a change of membership so they were justified as remaining as members until such time as we received a request. Planning for a 50 year reunion and attempting to invite all members back it was discover over 1000 had either died in the past 50 years or could no longer be located. Eventually nearly 70 came from across the nation to join the 60 who remained, some of them I had never met and when the reunion was over I never saw them again. Finally and with strong reluctance the reporting numbers were reduced but the reporting is now secret, when it is made, which is not annually after all. Meanwhile the ethnic works start small groups/church’s which open are annually reported and many close but are still kept on associational and convention rolls, even when reminded annually that those closed or merged years ago. While we like to focus on numbers and applaud increases they are always suspect at best and should not be a criterion for success. In our region/association we lost over a dozen older Church’s/ Pastors this year alone. Few of our Pastors can claim even one baptism this year or last year. There is what appears to be a culture here that says “let the old Church’s die, we are being financed to plant new Church’s”. We need to do a better job at focusing on Church integrity, Christ like obedience to the Great Commission, to discipleship and confession. I applaud all the hard work that goes into these studies and I am grateful to Thom and the Baptist leaders nationally. We all have a lot of work to do, let it be all about building up the kingdom of God, about obedience and Christ like integrity!

  15. says

    Tom … thanks for the info, this is actually most interesting. It is clear to me – God is doing a new work in the SBC. Thanks to you and Ed S., for your continued leadership.

    Grace and Peace,

      • Tripp Battle says

        I happen to know that one of the churches towards the end of the list actually runs about 350 people in their Sunday morning services. How they ended up on the 1,000 and up list is obvious. Pride, desire for recognition, and the furtherance of their own personal kingdom rather than God’s kingdom. I know that you are only reporting what you are given, so you would have know way of knowing who was and was not honest. Sad…

  16. Don Cox says

    If Newspring is the one in South Carolina it is not an SBC church even though SBC gave money to help start it. They are independent evangelical.

    • Thom Rainer says

      The numbers and churches we show are submitted by the churches to their respective state conventions. We simply report what we are given.

  17. Keith says

    Dr. Rainer,

    To put these numbers into context, what was the total average Sunday AM attendance for all SBC churches combined in 2012? I am curious what percentage of the overall attendance is reflected in these 603 churches. I calculated about 1.3 million total avg attendance in the 603 mega churches listed. I am curious what percentage of the total attendance is found in this 1.3% of the churches.

  18. says

    Thom,

    Thanks for posting this. Do you have the churches with the most members of a church? I’m speaking of meaningful membership in the 9marks vein of thinking and not the names on the list who may be at other churches, fallen away, or passed away. It may be encouraging to see a list like that so that attendance is not the focus as much as members discipled and deployed for making more disciples.

    In Christ,
    PJ

    • Thom Rainer says

      PJ -

      No I don’t. Such a list does not exist because, unfortunately, most churches do not have meaningful membership.

  19. Keith says

    A second question. I am curious if the distribution of the mega churches is similar to or different from the distribution of SBC churches overall. 74.5% of these 603 churches are in 8 states: Texas(22.6%), Florida(11.1%), North/South Carolina (10.9%), Georgia (10.3%), Tennessee (8.5%), Alabama (6.1%), and Virginia/DC (5%). Do these states hold close to 75% of the churches overall regarldess of size or is the distribution substantially different?

    • Thom Rainer says

      Keith -

      Good analysis. Perhaps one day in the near future I can do a similar analysis on all the churches. For now, I can say anecdotally that the states you named would have similar representation among all the churches.

    • Keith says

      These same 8 states have 77% of the attendance out of the 603 churches (1 million of the 1.3 million total attendance).

  20. David A Booth says

    Thom,

    It is always a bit difficult to tell how accurate such statistics are. A couple of years ago, First Baptist Church in Dallas reportedly had more than 10,000 members. Given that they have just built a $130 million facility which is opening this Spring (with a 3,000 seat sanctuary and multiple services) I wonder if they really have declined to less than 3,000 members.

    Best wishes,

    David

    • Thom Rainer says

      True, but those numbers are self-reported by the church, and they represent attendance, not membership.

  21. JR says

    I would like to know how many of these churches are reaching immigrants in their communities? And what kind of things are doing?

    Thanks

  22. says

    Thom:
    I realize that it was not the intention of your post, but it has raised a need in God’s Kingdom work that can become a great blessing for Southern Baptists and the lost in our communities. Some of the comments your post received from smaller churches, I believe, come out of a feeling that our contexts and needs have not been addressed and given as much emphasis as those of the “big boys”. Instead of trying to analyze and/or bemoan that, the truth of the matter appears to be that the Lord is leading toward more intensified focus on different aspects of the Kingdom work. At the SBC Bivocational/Smaller Church Leadership Network, we’re trying to bring interested parties together to seek the Lord for how He would have us do a better job to utilize the parts of LifeWay and other SBC agencies that DO work well for churches of 125 or fewer on Sunday morning, along with the same of state conventions and associations, AND the 30,000 SBC churches of that size and their pastors themselves. This will be a major discussion among DOMs at our upcoming national meeting in Mississippi in April. To see more, please go to http://www.bivosmallchurch.net . Praise the Lord—He is at work, doing BIG things in SBC churches, from the smallest to the largest!
    Kenny Heath
    Associational Missionary, Western Baptist Association, Cumberland, MD
    CPC, Western & Blue Ridge Baptist Associations
    VP for DOMs, SBC BSCLN

  23. Eugenia Freiburger says

    Dr. Rainer, The list of SBC churches is very timely. I’m working on a research project for VA Baptists exploring the various governance models used by Baptist multisite churches. Currently, I have a list of 22 churches, and have interviewed close to 10 churches. Would you be able to resource me with the SBC churches that also have multiple locations/campuses? Please let me know.

    I serve as an independent church consultant. My D.Min. project focused on the multisite church movement where I developed a framework and a checklist for churches to use when launching multiple locations. I’m currently working with several churches in Virginia launching their 3rd and 4th locations and governance has become the hot topic for the day.

    Any assistance or continued conversation would be greatly appreciated.
    Dr. Eugenia Freiburger

  24. Allen James says

    The list includes “New Life Christian Fellowship” in Blacksburg, VA. I’ve looked at their website and can’t find anything about them being a part of the SBC. Is it possible they were previously but are not now? Or are they just doing a really good job of hiding their connection? (My son attends so I want to find out more about this church.) Thanks!

  25. Vanja says

    Dear,
    I am writing from Croatia from city called Varaždin. I attend Christian baptistic church Emanuel. We are little community which purpose is to do big things.
    Our community includes about 60 people, including youth and elders. Last year three missioners from Brazil came to Croatia to serve in our community. This year pastor and his family joined them. Our mission and purpose is spreading gospel which includes helping people and their families in needs.
    Members of our church are as well members of Association of citizenship Emanuel which except in Varaždin acts in cities Ivanec and Novi Marof. It is an association which deals with humanitarian-human activities and socially useful work for common good. Essence of association is counseling, family and personal , based on gospel values, providing psycho-social assistance to every person regardless of their religion and ethnicity. Our organizations work is focused exclusively on the human and his needs. We organize trainings, seminars, lectures and conferences of religious, social, community and family areas.
    From this year on, along with others communities and associations we started organizing humanitarian concerts. More preciously, on our initiative, we began organizing charity concerts to help other organizations in need. So this year we organized two concerts. The first, smaller, was in town Ivanec for the Association foster hope, and the second bigger, in Mursko Sredisće for Association for Foster County Međimurje. All funds raised went for the foster children. We also have in mind plenty more charity concerts.
    And now the reason why I am sending you this mail. Our desire is to buy one building which costs 180.000,00 euros. This building would use as missionary center for the reception and accommodation of missionaries from around the world in order to provide gospel values of all Croatian and the wider region. Also it would use for our worship service.
    We need donations, we need this money. Can you help us? We really need it. We are afraid that the building is not sold before collect money. We believe that with God’s help we can collect the money, but your help we also need.
    Soon, I will send you a pictures of the building!

    I hope you will answer me!
    Thank you!

  26. Randy Lankford says

    What difference does the number make? Those days are LONG gone. The right wing extremists have all but RUINED the SBC name..so I figure it would be much more important to share the Gospel and love and acceptance in the way that Christ himself would.. you know,,NOT like pharisees or sauces do..so many of our church are acting that way, with evil, hatred, and hiprocracy—but with the compassion in which Jesus Christ himself came. Those guys, Presslar, Tenery, and many others that smacked us down with black marks, will have a reap a heavy heavy response from God for the many lost people that WOULD have come to Christ but did not. Remember… keep politics OUT of the pulpit. It is dangerous.. it is Illegal.(to keep your non-profit status). and it is divisive.

  27. Paul Kim says

    Dear SBC Pastors,
    Hi, I’m a Korean pastor and I’ve been a senior pastor for the Korean baptist churches in US for the last 18 years.
    Last year, Lord gave me a strong vision for multi-cultural ministry and I’m trying to find a right church and right Pastor who might has a same vision. If anyone/church interested, please let me know. I’ll explain you the details. I believe multi-cultural ministry is one of the best way for the outreach today. God bless.

    Paul

    • says

      Paul Kim,

      I am interested in the Detroit area we are seriously working with a variety cultures and as a African American church planter, I am strategically and intentionally seeking to plant a multi-ethnic church because of the diversity of cultures her several of our communities.

  28. says

    What about FBC Merritt island Fl Dr Rogers former chuch or Whitesburg Baptist Chuellch in Huntsville Al
    or Belleview Baptist in Memphphis TN Dr Rogers church before he passed away?

    John Wilder

  29. Katie Bartee says

    Please tell me what exactly means to be an affiliate of the SBC. If New Spring, Anderson, SC is listed as an affiliate, what does that mean? Does it mean they give money to SBC? Does it mean SBC gave them money to get started? I am confused about the relationship. Thanks in advance for your answers.
    Katie

    • Thom Rainer says

      Katie: in simple terms an SBC congregation is one that gives a minimum contribution to the denomination each year. I suggest you go to SBC.net to see more about the denomination.

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