Compiled from Baptist Press
NASHVILLE — Thirty-four Southern Baptist congregations are among the fastest growing and largest evangelical churches in the latest Outreach 100 tally compiled by Outreach Magazine and LifeWay Research.
“Tracking the fastest growing churches gives us a glimpse into some of the most effective ministry work in America,” LifeWay Research Executive Director Scott McConnell told Baptist Press. “These congregations have the privilege of seeing many lives changed while maintaining the ability to adapt quickly and do ministry in a scalable way.”
Mercy Hill Church in Greensboro, N.C., planted by The Summit Church in the Raleigh-Durham, N.C., area, is the fastest-growing Southern Baptist congregation on the list, ranking 12th among all churches who completed the self-reported survey.
The Summit Church, where SBC President J.D. Greear is senior pastor, planted Mercy Hill Church in 2012. Mercy Hill reported an average attendance of 2,671 in February and March, a growth of 31 percent, at its four locations. Andrew Hopper is senior pastor of the church that last ranked in 2017 as the 27th fastest growing church.
Among the largest churches, Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., is the top ranking Southern Baptist congregation. The 19-campus church with Rick Warren as senior pastor averaged 24,195 in attendance during the reporting period, according to Outreach100. Saddleback was the eighth largest church in the survey in 2018, and the second largest among Southern Baptists.
Two Tennessee Baptist churches are among the fastest growing churches: (42) Rolling Hills Community Church, Jeff Simmons, pastor; and (65) Brentwood Baptist Church, Brentwood, Mike Glenn, pastor.
Three Tennessee Baptist churches are among the 100 largest churches: (59) Bellevue Baptist Church, Cordova, 7,106, Steve Gaines, pastor; (72) Brentwood Baptist, 6,456; and (82) Long Hollow Baptist Church, Hendersonville, 5,718, Robby Gallaty.
To make the list of largest churches, congregations must report an attendance of 4,328 or more, Outreach100.com said.
The full lists are available at https://outreach100.com/. B&R