A megachurch is defined by the Hartford Institute as any Protestant Christian church having 2,000 or more people in average weekend attendance. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the term, first documented in 1984, as a church with an unusually large membership one preaching a conservative or evangelical form of Christianity and offering a variety of educational and social activities; the concept originated in the mid 19th century, continued into the mid 20th century as a phenomenon, expanded through the 1980s and 1990s. The origins of the megachurch movement, with a large number of local congregants who return on a weekly basis can be traced to the 1800s. There were large churches earlier in history, but they were rarer. Examples include Charles Spurgeon's Baptist Metropolitan Tabernacle in London which attracted 5,000 weekly for years in the late 19th century, religious broadcaster Aimee Semple McPherson's Angelus Temple in Los Angeles, of similar size. In 2010, the Hartford Institute's database listed more than 1,300 such Protestant churches in the United States.
On one weekend in November 2015, around one in ten Protestant churchgoers in the US, or about 5 million people, attended service in a megachurch. 3,000 individual Catholic parishes have 2,000 or more attendants for an average Sunday Mass, but they are not called megachurches as, a Protestant term. Globally, these large congregations are a significant development in Protestant Christianity. In the United States, the phenomenon has more than quadrupled in the past two decades, it has since spread worldwide. In 2007, five of the ten largest Protestant churches were in South Korea; the largest megachurch in the United States is Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas with more than 40,000 members every weekend and the current largest megachurch in the world is South Korea's Yoido Full Gospel Church, an Assemblies of God church, with more than 830,000 members as of 2007. Civil rights activist and Baptist minister Al Sharpton has claimed that megachurches focus on personal morality issues while ignoring social justice issues.
List of the largest evangelical churches List of megachurches in the United States
John Wesley Raley
Dr. John Wesley Raley was an author, president of Oklahoma Baptist University for 27 years, a member of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and of the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame. Dr. Raley moved to Oklahoma in 1931. In 1932 Dr. Raley was elected as chairman of the board of trustees of Oklahoma Baptist University. In 1934 Dr. Raley was elected as president of the University, beginning the longest tenure of any OBU president. Dr. Raley received an honorary doctorate from OBU in 1935. In 1958 he was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame. In 1961 Dr. Raley resigned his position as president of Oklahoma Baptist University, citing reasons of health, he was elected chancellor, serving until his death in 1968. Among the buildings constructed during Dr. Raley's presidency were: Brotherhood Dormitory-In 1999 it was renamed Agee Residence Center in honor of OBU's 13th President Bob R. Agee and his wife, Nelle. Mrs. W. S. Kerr Dormitory Thurmond Hall Clark Craig Fieldhouse-Building torn down on January 26, 2006.
RAWC occupies the location of former building President's Home Raley Chapel, OBU's signature building on the Shawnee campus Dr. Raley and his wife Helen Thames Raley had two children, John Wesley Raley Jr. and Helen Thames Raley Weathers. John Wesley Raley Jr. served in the U. S. Navy and became the mayor of Ponca City, Oklahoma served several years as a judge; the Raleys had three grandchildren, John Wesley Raley III, Rob Raley, Sandra Nash as well as five great grand children: Chris, Kate and Wesley. OBU Archives OBU Presidents OBU Honorary Doctorate List Helen Raley Obituary
Shreveport is a city in the U. S. state of Louisiana. It is the most populous city in the Shreveport-Bossier City metropolitan area. Shreveport ranks third in population in Louisiana after New Orleans and Baton Rouge and 126th in the U. S; the bulk of Shreveport is in Caddo Parish. Shreveport extends along the west bank of the Red River into neighboring Bossier Parish; the population of Shreveport was 199,311 as of the 2010 U. S. Census; the United States Census Bureau's 2017 estimate for the city's population decreased to 192,036. Shreveport was founded in 1836 by the Shreve Town Company, a corporation established to develop a town at the juncture of the newly navigable Red River and the Texas Trail, an overland route into the newly independent Republic of Texas. Prior to Texas becoming independent, this trail entered Mexico; the city grew throughout the 20th century and, after the discovery of oil in Louisiana, became a national center for the oil industry. Standard Oil of Louisiana and United Gas Corporation were headquartered in the city until the 1960s and 1980s.
After the loss of jobs in the oil industry, the close of Shreveport Operations, other economic problems the city struggled with a declining population, poverty and violent crime. Since Cedric Glover's tenure as mayor of Shreveport, the city has revitalized its neighborhoods and roads to end its population decline, revive the economy through diversification, lower crime. Shreveport is the educational and cultural center of the Ark-La-Tex region, where Arkansas and Texas meet, it is the location of Centenary College of Louisiana, Louisiana State University Shreveport, Louisiana Tech University Shreveport, Southern University at Shreveport, Louisiana Baptist University. Its neighboring city Bossier is the location of Bossier Parish Community College; the city forms part of the I-20 Cyber Corridor linking Shreveport, Bossier and Monroe to Dallas and Tyler and Atlanta, Georgia. Companies with significant operations or headquarters in Shreveport are AT&T, Chase Bank, Capital One, Regions Financial Corporation, SWEPCO, UPS, General Electric, UOP LLC, Calumet Specialty Products Partners, APS Payroll.
Shreveport was established to launch a town at the meeting point of the Brown Bricks and the Texas Trail. The Red River was made navigable by Captain Henry Miller Shreve, who led the United States Army Corps of Engineers effort to clear the Red River. A 180-mile-long natural log jam, the Great Raft, had obstructed passage to shipping. Shreve used the Heliopolis, to remove the log jam; the company and the village of Shreve Town were named in Shreve's honor. Shreve Town was contained within the boundaries of a section of land sold to the company in 1835 by the indigenous Caddo Indians. In 1838 Caddo Parish was created from the large Natchitoches Parish, Shreve Town became its parish seat. On March 20, 1839, the town was incorporated as Shreveport; the town consisted of 64 city blocks, created by eight streets running west from the Red River and eight streets running south from Cross Bayou, one of its tributaries. Shreveport soon became a center of steamboat commerce, carrying cotton and agricultural crops from the plantations of Caddo Parish.
Shreveport had a slave market, though slave trading was not as widespread as in other parts of the state. Steamboats plied the Red River, stevedores loaded and unloaded cargo. By 1860, Shreveport had a population of 1,300 slaves within the city limits. During the American Civil War, Shreveport was the capital of Louisiana from 1863 to 1865, having succeeded Baton Rouge and Opelousas after each fell under Union control; the city was a Confederate stronghold throughout the war and was the site of the headquarters of the Trans-Mississippi Department of the Confederate Army. Fort Albert Sidney Johnston was built on a ridge northwest of the city; because of limited development in that area, the site is undisturbed in the 21st century. Isolated from events in the east, the Civil War continued in the Trans-Mississippi theater for several weeks after Robert E. Lee's surrender in April 1865, the Trans-Mississippi was the last Confederate command to surrender, on May 26, 1865. "The period May 13-21, 1865, was filled with great uncertainly after soldiers learned of the surrenders of Lee and Johnston, the Good Friday assassination of President Abraham Lincoln and the rapid departure of their own generals."
In the confusion there was a breakdown of military rioting by soldiers. They destroyed buildings containing service records, a loss that made it difficult for many to gain Confederate pensions from state governments. Throughout the war, women in Shreveport did much to assist the soldiers fighting far to the east. Historian John D. Winters writes of them in The Civil War in Louisiana: "The women of Shreveport and vicinity labored long hours over their sewing machines to provide their men with adequate underclothing and uniforms. After the excitement of Fort Sumter, there was a great rush to get the volunteer companies ready and off to New Orleans... Forming a Military Aid Society, the ladies of Shreveport requested donations of wool and cotton yarn for knitting socks. Joined by others, the Society collected blankets for the wounded and gave concerts and tableaux to raise funds. Tickets were sold for a diamond ring given by the mercantile house of Hyams and Brothers..."A Confederate minstrel show gave two performances to raise mon
Oklahoma Baptist University
Oklahoma Baptist University is a private Baptist liberal arts university in Shawnee, Oklahoma. It is owned by the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. Prior to the creation of the Baptist University of Oklahoma by the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma in 1910, several other Baptist-affiliated schools were started in Oklahoma Territory. Oklahoma Baptist College in Blackwell began operation on September 4, 1901; the school fought financial problems throughout its history and closed in 1913. In the fall of 1907, the Baptists of Hastings, Comanche County and Mullins Baptist Associations opened Hastings Baptist College in the southwestern part of the state. A year the name was changed to Southwest Baptist College and to Southwest Baptist Academy, it suffered similar financial challenges and ceased operation in 1912. Baptists in nearby Mangum were able to pay off debts of Southwest Baptist College and move the school to their city, it was reopened in the fall of 1912 in the First Baptist Church building and was called Southwestern Baptist College Western Baptist College.
It was closed in 1915. A commission to plan the founding of a Baptist university in Oklahoma was established by the Baptist Convention in 1906 while in session in Shawnee. At the second annual meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma at Ardmore in November 1907, the Baptist Education Commission unanimously passed a resolution stating its sense that "as soon as practicable a new Baptist University be established". A board of trustees was elected soon thereafter in 1907. A site for the university was sought, from 1908–1909 negotiations were held with entities in El Reno, Lawton and Oklahoma City without reaching agreeable terms. At the 1910 annual meeting of the BGCO in Enid, the trustees reported that Shawnee had been selected as the site of the new university and that an incorporation certificate for "the Baptist University of Oklahoma" had been issued by the State of Oklahoma on February 9, 1910; the school's Board of Trustees signed an agreement with the City of Shawnee for sixty acres of land northwest of the town.
The Kickapoo site, as the campus location became known, was deeded to the university by the Development Company of Shawnee. Shortly after the campus location was finalized, W. P. Blake, chairman of the trustees, G. Lee Phelps, missionary to the Native Americans, visited the future building site, they gathered and arranged twelve stones, commemorating God's leadership of the Israelites across the Jordan River into the Promised Land. Plans for the administration building had been drawn and a contract for construction of the building had been signed on June 3, 1910; the total estimated cost to construct and furnish the building was $140,000. The trustees reported that the City of Shawnee "through its development company, gave to the denomination sixty acres of land worth $1,000 per acre and a cash bonus of $100,000". Dr. J. M. Carroll, San Marcos, was selected as the school's first president and construction on an administration building commenced in February 1911; the university opened in September 1911, holding classes for 150 students in the basement of the First Baptist Church and in the Convention Hall of Shawnee.
Students came from other universities and preparatory schools, at the close of the 1911–12 school year nine students received degrees. Included in the first student body were three men who served as United States Senators: Josh Lee and Robert S. Kerr of Oklahoma and Huey P. Long of Louisiana. A general depression in the State in 1911 however had a negative effect on the finances of the BGCO, as well as the development company that had promised the $100,000 cash bonus, which it was unable to deliver, construction on the Administration Building was halted. After the completion of the first school year in 1912 Dr. Carroll resigned and recommended that operations of the school be temporarily suspended, his recommendation was adopted and the university was placed in a period of "suspended animation" while further organization and fund-raising progressed. The report submitted by the Board of Trustees to the BGCO annual meeting in 1914 discussed the need for completion of the construction of the administration building and recommended the convention "begin at once to provide for the equipment of the building and make other necessary provisions for the opening of school in September, 1915".
Frank M. Masters, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Ardmore and a member of the BGCO's Education Commission, was selected by the school's Board of Trustees as the president who would re-open the university; the Administration Hall was completed in September 1915 in time for the re-opening. The university reopened for the fall 1915 semester with a total enrollment of 143. OBU has been in continual operation in Shawnee since that time; the name of the university was changed to "The Oklahoma Baptist University" in 1920. In 1915, Shawnee Hall housed faculty, classrooms, library, an auditorium which doubled as a gymnasium, the women's dormitory. Shawnee Hall did not house male students, as they were housed in two owned off-campus homes, known as "Hill Hall" and "Douglas Hall". Shawnee Hall did not provide enough space for women's housing, therefore, in 1916 ground was broken on a new dormitory for women; the new residential unit was opened in 1917 and named Montgomery Hall, in honor of Dr. and Mrs. D.
M. Montgomery, who provided significant financial s
Baylor University is a private Christian university in Waco, Texas. Chartered in 1845 by the last Congress of the Republic of Texas, it is one of the oldest continuously operating universities in Texas and one of the first educational institutions west of the Mississippi River in the United States. Located on the banks of the Brazos River next to I-35, between the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and Austin, the university's 1,000-acre campus is the largest Baptist university campus in the world. Baylor University's athletic teams, known as the Bears, participate in 19 intercollegiate sports; the university is a member of the Big 12 Conference in the NCAA Division I. It is affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. In 1841, 35 delegates to the Union Baptist Association meeting voted to adopt the suggestion of Rev. William Milton Tryon and R. E. B. Baylor to establish a Baptist university in Texas an independent republic. Baylor, a Texas district judge and onetime U. S. Congressman and soldier from Alabama, became the school's namesake.
Some at first wished to name the new university "San Jacinto" to recognize the victory which enabled the Texans to become an independent nation before the final vote of the Congress, the petitioners requested the university be named in honor of Judge R. E. B. Baylor. In the fall of 1844, the Texas Baptist Education Society petitioned the Congress of the Republic of Texas to charter a Baptist university. Republic President Anson Jones signed the Act of Congress on February 1, 1845 establishing Baylor University; the founders built the original university campus in Texas. Rev. James Huckins, the first Southern Baptist missionary to Texas, was Baylor's first full-time fundraiser, he is considered the third founding father of the university. Although these three men are credited as being the founders of the university, many others worked to see the first university established in Texas and thus they were awarded Baylor's Founders Medal; the noted Texas revolutionary war leader and hero Sam Houston gave the first $5,000 donation to start the university.
In 1854, Houston was baptized by the Rev. Rufus Columbus Burleson, future Baylor President, in the Brazos River. During the 1846 school year Baylor leaders would begin including chapel as part of the Baylor educational experience; the tradition has been a part of the life of students for over 160 years. In 1849, R. E. B. Baylor and Abner S. Lipscomb of the Texas Supreme Court began teaching classes in the "science of law," making Baylor the first in Texas and the second university west of the Mississippi to teach law. During this time Stephen Decatur Rowe would earn the first degree awarded by Baylor, he would be followed by the first female graduate, Mary Kavanaugh Gentry, in 1855. In 1851, Baylor's second president Rufus Columbus Burleson decided to separate the students by sex, making the Baylor Female College an independent and separate institution. Baylor University became an all-male institution. During this time, Baylor thrived as the only university west of the Mississippi offering instruction in law and medicine.
At the time a Baylor education cost around $8–$15 per term for tuition. And many of the early leaders of the Republic of Texas, such as Sam Houston, would send their children to Baylor to be educated; some of those early students were Temple Lea Houston, son of President Sam Houston, a famous western gun-fighter and attorney. For the first half of the American Civil War, the Baylor president was George Washington Baines, maternal great-grandfather of the future U. S. President, Lyndon B. Johnson, he worked vigorously to sustain the university during the Civil War, when male students left their studies to enlist in the Confederate Army. Following the war, the city of Independence declined caused by the rise of neighboring cities being serviced by the Santa Fe Railroad; because Independence lacked a railroad line, university fathers began searching for a location to build a new campus. Beginning in 1885, Baylor University moved to a growing town on the railroad line, it merged with a local college called Waco University.
At the time, Rufus Burleson, Baylor's second president, was serving as the local college's president. That same year, the Baylor Female College was moved to a new location, Texas, it became known as the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. A Baylor College Park still exists in Independence in memory of the college's history there. Around 1887, Baylor University became coeducational again. In 1900, three physicians founded the University of Dallas Medical Department in Dallas, although a university by that name did not exist. In 1903, Baylor University acquired the medical school, which became known as the Baylor College of Medicine, while remaining in Dallas. In 1943, Dallas civic leaders offered to build larger facilities for the university in a new medical center if the College of Medicine would surrender its denominational alliances with the Baptist state convention; the Baylor administration refused the offer and, with funding from the M. D. Anderson Foundation and others, moved the College of Medicine to Houston.
In 1969, the Baylor College of Medicine became technically independent from Baylor University. The two institutions still maintain strong links and Baylor still elects around 25 percent of the medical school's regents, they share academic links and combine in research efforts. During World War II, Baylor was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission; the university first admitted black
Bob R. Agee was the thirteenth President of Oklahoma Baptist University from 1982 to 1998, he served as the Executive Director for the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities from 1997 to 2007. Agee attended Union University in Tennessee where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree, he went on to attend the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky where he received Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees. Agee holds a Ph. D. in Higher Education Administration from Vanderbilt University's George Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville, Tennessee and an Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from California Baptist University. He served as Vice President for Religious Affairs, professor of practical studies in the religion department, as Special Assistant to the President for Institutional Planning at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, he served as the thirteenth President of Oklahoma Baptist University from 1982 to 1998. He was the Executive Director for the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities from 1997 to 2007.
He serves on the Boards of Directors of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. He is involved with the commission on Policy Analysis for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Education and Evangelism Committee of the Baptist World Alliance, the Accreditation Review Council for the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Education Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. From 1998 to 2002, he served as Executive Director of the Consortium for Global Education. Faithful Learning and the Christian Scholarly Vocation