Americans like things big, and their churches are no exception. The United States is home to thousands of ‘mega-churches’, churches that are roughly defined as having two thousand or more regular weekly worshippers. While Catholic cathedrals have long since boasted such numbers, it is a relatively recent phenomenon among Protestant churches, and the majority of these are classified as Non-Denominational. However, even among traditional Protestant congregations there are a few giants. Here are the largest of each denomination in the United States:
Largest Baptist (Southern Baptist Convention), Est. 20,000-24,000 members
Web: www.fellowshipchurch.com (official website)
The Fellowship Church is the largest Baptist congregation in the United States, and regularly counted among the top ten largest churches in the country. Founded in 1989, it has been under the pastoral leadership of Ed Young almost since its inception. While the main church campus is in Grapevine, there are additional satellite locations in the Dallas area as well as in Miami and London. Fellowship Church is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.
Phoenix First Assembly of God
Largest Pentecostal (Assemblies of God), Est. 10,000-21,000 members
Web: http://dreamcitychurch.us (official website)
The Phoenix First Assembly of God, also known as Dream City Church, is the largest Pentecostal congregation in America. Dating back to 1924, it is one of the oldest churches in Arizona, and is currently under the leadership of Luke Barnett. Worship services are held in an immense sanctuary known as the Pavilion of Light, which was just completed in 2015. The Dream City Church is a member of the Assemblies of God USA, which is part of the family of Pentecostal churches.
First African Methodist Episcopal Church
Los Angeles, California
Largest Methodist (African Methodist Epsicopal), Est. 10,000-19,000 members
Web: www.famechurch.org (official website)
The First African Methodist Episcopal Church is the largest AME congregation in the United States, and is possibly the largest traditional African-American church in the country. Founded in 1872, it is one of the oldest African congregations west of the Mississippi. The current pastor is Reverend J. Edgar Boyd. First AME Church of Los Angeles is one of the most prominent churches in California, and was honored by President Bush (senior) for its outreach.
Mack Oates says
Howard, Outreach is Lifeway. That’s the 3 month (Jan, Feb,Mar) Avg count from 2017 6292. This year it was 6403 for the same period -Mack
Howard Kramer says
Very hard to keep up. Thanks for the update!
Mack Oates says
Howard, This is Mack Oates. I keep the numbers at Hope Church (Presbyterian – EPC). I get asked by LifeWay and Church Growth Today for our attendance. I have never been asked by your organization. According to both of them and Outreach Magazine Hope is the largest Presbyterian Church in America. Membership is Right this Second 8506 and Avg attendance in 2017 was 7043. I don’t know how you do attendance. Lifeway does Jan-Mar not including Easter. Church Growth does the whole year. No Idea where Outreach got their number. They have us at 6292. That might be an avg from a single month.
If you want my numbers in the future, feel free to ask. I can be as exact as you want..
Howard Kramer says
Hey Mack. I am sure your numbers are correct. Sometimes I have to work in bulk data, so while I do my best to weed out bad information, sometimes I do miss things.