World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0000340618
Reproduction Date:

Title: Megachurch  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Lighthouse Evangelism, Perry Noble, New York Presbyterian Church of Long Island City, New York, Televangelism, McChurch
Collection: Christian Terminology, Megachurches, Superlatives in Religion
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


NorthRidge megachurch Plymouth, Michigan

A megachurch is an American term for a church having 2,000 or more people in average weekend attendance.[1][2] The Hartford Institute's database lists more than 1,300 such Protestant churches in the United States; according to that data, approximately 50 churches on the list have average attendance exceeding 10,000, with the highest recorded at 47,000 in average attendance.[3] While 3,000 individual Catholic parishes (churches) have 2,000 or more attendants for an average Sunday Mass, these churches are not seen as part of the megachurch movement.[4]

Globally, these large congregations are a significant development in Protestant Christianity. In the United States, the phenomenon has more than quadrupled in the past two decades.[5] It has since spread worldwide. In 2007, five of the ten largest Protestant churches were in South Korea.[6] The largest megachurch in the United States is Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas with more than 40,000 members every weekend and the current largest megachurch in the world is South Korea's Yoido Full Gospel Church, an Assemblies of God church, with more than 830,000 members as of 2007.[6][7]


  • History 1
  • Largest megachurches 2
  • Criticism 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5


Lakewood Church meets in a former sports arena with seating for 16,000

The origins of the megachurch movement, with a large number of local congregants who return on a weekly basis can be traced to the 1950s.[8] There were large churches earlier in history, but they were considerably rarer. Examples include Charles Spurgeon's Baptist Metropolitan Tabernacle in London which attracted 5,000 weekly for years in the late 19th century, and religious broadcaster Aimee Semple McPherson's Angelus Temple in Los Angeles, which was similarly large.[9]

Largest megachurches

Average weekly attendances are shown in parentheses:

  • Yoido Full Gospel Church, Seoul, South Korea (253,000)
  • Jotabeche Methodist P. Church, Santiago, Chile (150,000)
  • Calvary Temple, Hyderabad, India (120,000)
  • Deeper Life Bible Church, Lagos, Nigeria (120,000)
  • Elim Church, San Salvador, El Salvador (117,000)
  • Nambu Full Gospel, Seoul, South Korea (110,000)
  • AOG Grace and Truth, Kyanggi-do, South Korea (105,000)
  • Kum Ran Methodist, Seoul, South Korea (80,000)
  • Vision de Futuro, Santa Fe, Argentina (70,000)
  • Ondas del Luz, Buenos Aires, Argentina (70,000)
  • Victory Christian Fellowship, Philippines (110,000)
  • Christ's Commission Fellowship (60,000)
  • Young Nak Presbyterian Church, South Korea (60,000)
  • Winners Chapel, Ota, Nigeria (50,000)
  • Soong Eui Methodist, Inchon, South Korea (47,000)
  • Lakewood Church, Houston, Texas (45,000)


The majority of North American churchgoers attend small churches of fewer than 200 members.[10]

Civil rights activist and minister Al Sharpton has claimed that such churches focus on personal morality issues while ignoring social justice.[11]

Some megachurches, such as the Christian Open Door, are sometimes criticized by former members and anti-cult associations for an alleged use of cultic practices.[12]

See also


  1. ^ USA Churches : Church Sizes Retrieved 2011-02-05
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^ In Pictures: America's 10 Biggest Megachurches, Forbes.
  8. ^
  9. ^ National Historic Landmarks Program, Angelus Temple
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.