Saddleback Church

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Saddleback Church
Saddleback Valley Community Church
Saddleback church Lake Forest building.jpg
Saddleback church Lake Forest, worship center
LocationLake Forest, California
CountryUnited States
DenominationSouthern Baptist Convention
Weekly attendance22,000
Founder(s)Rick Warren, Kay Warren
Years built1985
DivisionCalifornia Southern Baptist Convention
Senior pastor(s)Rick Warren
Saddleback Church logo.jpg

Saddleback Church is a Baptist evangelical Christian megachurch located in Lake Forest, California, situated in southern Orange County, affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. The church has several campuses in California and around the world. Weekly church attendance averages over 22,000 people in 2017. The senior pastor is Rick Warren.


Saddleback Church Children's Building in Lake Forest, California.

Saddleback's first public service was held on Palm Sunday, March 30, 1980 with 40 people in attendance at the Laguna Hills High School Theater. [1] Just one week later, on Easter Sunday, 240 were in attendance. Warren's church growth methods led to rapid growth and the church has used nearly eighty different facilities in its 30-year history, including the Laguna Hills HS Theater and Trabuco Hills High School Gymnasium.[2]

Saddleback did not build its first permanent building until it had 10,000 weekly attenders. When the current Lake Forest campus was purchased in the early 1990s, a 2,300-seat plastic tent was used for worship services for several years, with four services each weekend. In 1995, the current Worship Center was completed with a seating capacity of 3,500. The Children's Ministry Center (housing the "Saddleback Kids" ministry) and staff office building were completed over the next few years. In 2008, former Pastor of Life Development, Doug Fields, saw his dream of over 15 years come to fruition with the completion of the Refinery, Saddleback's first permanent student ministry facility. Costing $20 million, the state-of-the-art facility is considered the premier student ministry facility in the world.[citation needed] The Refinery houses Saddleback's middle school ministry (JHM), high school ministry (HSM), college ministry (CM), and young adults ministry, (Fuel). Since moving into the Refinery, all the student ministries have seen tremendous growth, with more than 2,500 young people attending services in the facility each week. The Refinery was built using the resources and voluntary giving raised through the "Extending the Vision" campaign.[3][4]

In 2017, the attendance is 22,000 people. [5]

The Purpose Driven Church (PDC) curriculum[6] and Celebrate Recovery program[7] were founded at Saddleback Church.

PEACE Plan[edit]

The church has also set up the PEACE Plan ministry, a humanitarian program to fight against poverty in the world.[8][9]


The driveway to Saddleback Church of Rancho Capistrano campus in San Juan Capistrano.

Saddleback Church currently has 13 regional campuses (not including the Lake Forest campus): San Clemente, Irvine South, Irvine North, Corona, Huntington Beach, San Juan Capistrano, Anaheim (The Grove), Laguna Woods, Los Angeles, San Diego, Aliso Viejo, South Bay, Newport Mesa and 4 international campuses: South Manila, Philippines, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Argentina and Berlin, Germany. In addition, Saddleback is "virtually" attended online by those around the country and the world who watch and listen to worship services on demand.[10]

Global Summit on AIDS and the Church[edit]

In November and December 2006, Saddleback Church played host to the second annual Global Summit on AIDS and the Church. The summit featured 60 speakers, including Senators Barack Obama and Sam Brownback.

Civil Forum on the Presidency[edit]

On August 16, 2008, Rick Warren arranged a meeting between Senators John McCain and Barack Obama at Saddleback called the Civil Forum on the Presidency. The format of the forum was structured such that Warren first asked Obama a series of questions; he then asked McCain very similar ones subsequently. Held inside Saddleback's Worship Center, the event is notable as the first time the two presidential candidates met during the campaign.[citation needed] It was broadcast live on national news networks and streamed online. Tickets were distributed to the public through a raffle with seats listing as high as $1,000 and the event was sold out.[11][12]

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ Robert D. Putnam, Lewis Feldstein, Better Together: Restoring the American Community, Simon and Schuster, USA, 2009, p. 119
  2. ^ Justin G. Wilford, Sacred Subdivisions: The Postsuburban Transformation of American Evangelicalism, NYU Press, USA, 2012, p. 9
  3. ^ "The Refinery". Saddleback family. Archived from the original on 2010-03-03. Retrieved 2010-09-29.
  4. ^ ETV (PDF) (newsletter) (1), Saddleback family, archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-10-20.
  5. ^ Stoyan Zaimov, Rick Warren Reports Double Rise in Saddleback Easter Attendance, Hundreds Turning to Christ in Tears,, USA, April 17, 2017
  6. ^ "What is Purpose Driven?". Purpose Driven. Archived from the original on 2013-10-04. Retrieved 2007-09-01.
  7. ^ Warren, Pastor Richard ‘Rick’. "Message". Celebrate Recovery Website. Archived from the original on 2007-12-02. Retrieved 2007-12-18.
  8. ^ Sébastien Fath, Dieu XXL, la révolution des mégachurches, Édition Autrement, France, 2008, p. 116
  9. ^ Heath W. Carter, Laura Porter, Turning Points in the History of American Evangelicalism, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, USA, 2017, p. 276
  10. ^ "Saddleback Church Online". Online Campus. Saddleback Church. Retrieved 2015-03-11.
  11. ^ Barboza, Tony (July 21, 2008). "John McCain, Barack Obama will appear together at Orange County church". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2008-07-22. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
  12. ^ "Saddleback Civil Forum". Retrieved 2010-09-29.

External links[edit]