Second Baptist Church Houston
|Second Baptist Church Houston|
|Denomination||Southern Baptist Convention|
|Senior pastor(s)||Dr. Ed Young|
Second Baptist Church Houston is a megachurch in Houston, Texas, USA affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention that has a membership of over 63,000. Its senior pastor is Dr. Ed Young. Second Baptist Church is aligned with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, which broke away from the Baptist General Convention of Texas in 1998. A 2008 survey by Outreach magazine gave attendance at 23,659. In 2009 average weekly attendance was 22,723, making it the largest Baptist church in the country and the 5th largest church.
The church was founded in 1927. In 1946 the church sponsored foundation of the Second Baptist School as a self-supporting agency. The school occupies a 42-acre (170,000 m2) campus in the Memorial area and is open to students without regard to race, religion, or economic background. In 1957, Second Baptist moved west to the current main location at 6400 Woodway Drive in Houston. The Woodway church boasts a pipe organ with 192 stops and 10,412 total pipes, one of the largest in the world.
In 1979 the church launched a weekly broadcast of worship services on local television. In 1982 a local radio program began, as well as national TV broadcasting. Since then this has expanded into international television, radio and internet distribution of the church's message. The church participates in the Faith Comes By Hearing Audio Bible listening program. In 2010, Second Baptist Church brought on the best selling Christian book author, Gary Thomas, as a writer in residence. Thomas also serves on Second's teaching team.
In 1999 Second Baptist opened the West Campus. The West Campus has a 4,500-seat worship center with separate buildings for educational programs, weddings, funerals, and other events. It includes a 200,000-square-foot (19,000 m2) classroom facility and a 600-seat black box theater. In 2004 Forest Cove Baptist Church joined Second Baptist and was renamed the North Campus, and satellite campuses in Pearland and northwest Houston were established in 2006.
Under the leadership of Ed Young the church grew from an average weekend attendance of 500 in 1978 to over 24,000 today. The church has been described by its pastor as "a town within a city", with an annual budget of $55 million. In addition to worship facilities it has fitness centers, bookstores, information desks, a café, a K-12 school and free automotive repair service for single mothers.
In February 2006 the Second Baptist Church pledged $84 million to expand its three sites in the Houston area and to add others by using movie theaters across the United States.
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