2017 Largest Participating Churches

The shape of the American megachurch is constantly shifting.
What are the churches at the forefront of the movement and how are they innovating?

Each year, the Lifeway Research team surveys churches, verifies the numbers, calculates the results and compiles the lists. In preparation for this annual report, they solicited participation from more than 13,000 churches. Through the process, they were contacted multiple times by email and fax. This is a self-reported survey, based on attendance averages, not membership. Churches that participated answered questions about their 2023 in-person, weekend attendance averages for February and March as compared to their 2022 numbers.

To provide as complete of a list as possible for the Largest Churches, in addition to the Lifeway Research survey, we drew numbers from Hartford Institute for Religion Research—which is not a survey, but is secondary research drawn from publicly available attendance data. This included the church’s own website, year-end reports, public interviews and attendance reporting in sermons online. We integrated that public data with the self-reported survey from Lifeway. Whenever the survey and the public data reported on the same church, we reported the church’s response to the survey. Although we go to great lengths to confirm data, the information is reported by pastors, staff or church officers, or was publicly available at the time the information was collected. The timing of these attendance estimates varies. As such, the reporting reflects their perception and the attendance figures they have published on the internet or disclosed in services. And, of course, this is a survey (for those who responded) or a publicly available number (for those on the Hartford site, HIRR.Hartsem.edu ). This is not an investigation of those numbers, but is a survey and list.

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Church of the Highlands
Church of the Highlands Birmingham, AL - Chris Hodges
● Fastest ● Largest
North Point Ministries
North Point Ministries Alpharetta, GA - Andy Stanley
● Largest
Gateway Church
Gateway Church Southlake, TX - Robert Morris
● Fastest ● Largest
Crossroads Church
Crossroads Church Cincinnati, OH - Brian Tome
● Fastest ● Largest
CCV (Christ's Church of the Valley)
CCV (Christ's Church of the Valley) Peoria, AZ - Ashley Wooldridge
● Fastest ● Largest
Saddleback Church
Saddleback Church Lake Forest, CA - Andy Wood
● Largest
Christ Fellowship Church
Christ Fellowship Church Palm Beach Gardens, FL - Todd Mullins
● Fastest ● Largest
Willow Creek Community Church
Willow Creek Community Church South Barrington, IL - Dave Dummitt
● Largest
Elevation Church
Elevation Church Matthews, NC - Steven Furtick
● Fastest ● Largest
Southeast Christian Church
Southeast Christian Church Louisville, KY - Kyle Idleman
● Largest ● Reproducing
Eagle Brook Church
Eagle Brook Church Centerville, MN - Jason Strand
● Fastest ● Largest
Second Baptist Church
Second Baptist Church Houston, TX - H. Edwin Young
● Largest
Mount Zion Baptist Church
Mount Zion Baptist Church Nashville, TN - Joseph W. Walker III
● Fastest ● Largest
Flatirons Community Church
Flatirons Community Church Lafayette, CO - Jim Burgen
● Largest
Mariners Church
Mariners Church Irvine, CA - Eric Geiger
● Largest
Bayside Church
Bayside Church Roseville, CA - Ray Johnston
● Fastest ● Largest
12Stone Church
12Stone Church Lawrenceville, GA - Kevin Myers
● Largest
LCBC Church
LCBC Church Manheim, PA - Jason Mitchell
● Largest
Family Christian Center
Family Christian Center Munster, IN - Steve Munsey
● Largest
The Rock Church
The Rock Church San Diego, CA - Miles McPherson
● Largest