Southern Baptist churches hold 24 spots among the 100 fastest-growing and 100 largest churches in the U.S., according to Outreach magazine lists drawn from LifeWay Research data.
NewSpring Church in Anderson, S.C., tops SBC churches in both categories, ranking as the second fastest-growing and the fourth largest church in the nation among all denominations, Outreach reported in a special edition released in mid-September. With eight locations, NewSpring Church recorded an average 2012 attendance of 23,055. Its increase of 7,072 in attendance merited a growth rate of 44 percent.
The three largest churches in the U.S., according to Outreach, are Lakewood Church in Houston, North Point Ministries in Alpharetta, Ga., and Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., respectively, all nondenominational congregations.