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.