Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Only One Church in Pennsylvania

One of the magazines that I greatly enjoy reading as soon as it arrives in the mail is called Outreach and each issue is filled with innovating ideas that churches are using all across our country to reach lost people for Christ. The recent issue was dedicated to over viewing the largest 100 churches in American and the 100 fastest growing churches in America. The top 10 largest churches in America were as follows (the name of the pastor and the weekly average attendance follows in parenthesis):

1. Lakewood Church in Houston, TX (Joel Osteen…47,000)
2. Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, IL (Bill Hybels…23,500)
3. Second Baptist Church in Houston, TX (Ed Young, Sr…23,198)
4. Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA (Rick Warren…22,000)
5. LifeChurch.tv in Edmond, OK (Craig Groeschel…19,907)
6. Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY (Dave Stone…18,013)
7. North Point Church in Atlanta, GA (Andy Stanley…17,700)
8. Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, VA (Jonathan Falwell…17,445)
9. Calvary Chapel in Fort Lauderdale, FL (Bob Coy…17,000)
10. The Potter’s House in Dallas, TX (T.D. Jakes…17,000)

The list of the top 100 fastest growing churches in America was a bit different than the list of the largest churches. The top 10 fastest growing churches included:

1. Iglesia Christiana Segadores de Vida in Hollywood, FL (Ruddy Garcia)
2. Calvary Community Church in Phoenix, AZ (Mark Martin)
3. Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC (Steven Furtick)
4. New Life Church in Conway AK (Rick Bezet)
5. Valley Bible Fellowship in Bakersfield, CA (Ron Vietti)
6. Fellowship Church in Grapevine, TX (Ed Young, Jr.)
7. Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, VA (Jonathan Falwell)
8. The Richmond Outreach Center in Richmond, VA (Geronimo Aguilar)
9. Redemption World Outreach Center in Greenville, SC (Ron Carpenter)
10. Champions Centre in Tacoma, WA (Kevin Gerald)

As I perused both lists I was struck by three observations. First, no church within the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches (of which Grace Church is affiliated) could be found on either list. Second, Thomas Road Baptist Church, which was started by one of my spiritual heroes, Dr. Jerry Falwell, was high up on both lists. It is great to see that Dr. Falwell’s vision and legacy to reach people through the local church is continuing strong. And finally, there was only once church in the entire state of PA that could be found on the lists. That church was the Lancaster County Bible Church (LCBC) in Manheim, PA. LCBC, with Pastor David Ashcraft, came in at #85 on the list of largest churches in America averaging 6,945 each week. LCBC was #54 on the list of the fastest growing churches in America. Congratulations to LCBC and Pastor Ashcraft! Well done!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you want to know why, listen to one of the messages given at their church- you can download them online. They're moving, all scriputural, and each one gives a short presentation of the theology of salvation through Christ alone somewhere in the course of the message!