new blog: Don't Ask Your Pastor These Questions

Church Clarity Scores Outreach Magazine’s ‘100 Largest Churches in America’

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Church Clarity has released new data which scores the 100 largest churches in America in 2017 as featured in the Christian publication, Outreach Magazine. In addition to scoring for clarity of LGBTQ+ policy, the data also covers racial and gender diversity among senior pastors. Here are the highlights of what we've found:

0% of Outreach’s 100 Largest churches have affirming LGBTQ+ policies
Only 35% have CLEAR LGBTQ+ policies on the main pages of the websites
65% of these church websites either obscure policy language
(54% UNCLEAR) or entirely omit (11% UNDISCLOSED)
their actively enforced LGBTQ+ policies.
43% are non-denominational churches; only 3 in 10 have clear LGBTQ+ policies.
7% are led by a senior pastor of color
(people of color are 38% of US population)
1% are led by a senior female pastor, who is a co-pastor with her husband (women are 50% of the US population and 8% of Fortune 100 CEOs)

Outreach’s annual list is a collaboration between Outreach magazine and Lifeway Research. The list is based on self-reported data from churches and represents over 1.1 million Evangelicals in America. To search our entire crowd-sourced database of churches, go here.

*In a country/world where roughly 50% of the population is female, let's not get too excited about Fortune's 8% stat. The point is to compare for-profit corporations vs churches.

METHODOLOGY

LGBTQ Policy:

See How We Score for explanation of our scoring.

Gender:

We designated the gender of the senior pastor based on the pronouns -- on the church’s website or pastor’s social media or website -- used to describe the senior pastor as well as any gender-based terms such as “husband” or “wife.” Given the limitations in our methodology, please email us if we mis-designated a pastor’s gender.

The options we currently have for gender-identity are: Woman, Man, Non-binary. We acknowledge that “gender” is a spectrum, but for simplicity’s sake, we’ve chosen these three options. We’re open to your feedback.

A senior pastor is counted as the senior pastor only if the church self-reports the person as a pastor in Outreach’s list. This means that if a website lists husband and wife as co-pastors, but only submits the husband as a pastor to Outreach’s database, only the husband will be considered the pastor. Please email us if we mis-assigned the correct pastor.

Race:

We designate the race of the senior pastor based on the available information to us from the church’s website: visual appearance, last names, or any mention that the senior pastor makes online (e.g. blogposts, social media posts) of his/her ethnicity or heritage. The options we currently have for race are: Black, Latino, Asian, Native American, White, Other. Given the limitations in our methodology -- visual appearance and last names certainly do not tell the whole story -- please email us if we mis-assigned a pastor’s race. While we acknowledge that “race” is a societal construct, it is a construct that has real consequences on people’s lives. Thus we have chosen to measure “racial” diversity in senior leadership as best as we can, while being wide open to correction.

The 100 Churches

Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Willow Creek Community Church
South Barrington, Illinois
Pastor: Steve Gillen
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
The Village Church (Texas)
Flower Mound, Texas
Pastor: Matt Chandler
Clear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Second Baptist Church (Houston)
Houston, Texas
Pastor: Ed Young
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
City First Church
Rockford, Illinois
Pastor: Jeremy DeWeerdt
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
2|42 Community Church
Brighton, Michigan
Pastor: David Dummitt
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
The Summit Church
Durham, North Carolina
Pastor: J.D. Greear
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
Long Hollow Baptist Church
Hendersonville, Tennessee
Pastor: Robby Gallaty
Clear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
12Stone Church
Lawrenceville, Georgia
Pastor: Kevin Myers
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
Faith Promise Church
Knoxville, Tennessee
Pastor: Chris Stephens
Clear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Vineyard Columbus
Westerville, Ohio
Pastor: Rich Nathan
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Elevation Church
Charlotte, North Carolina
Pastor: Steven Furtick
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Bayside Community Church
Bradenton, Florida
Pastor: Randy Bezet
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
North Coast Church
Vista, California
Pastor: Larry Osborne
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Parkview Christian Church
Orland Park, Illinois
Pastor: Tim Harlow
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Elevation Church Roanoke
Roanoke, Virginia
Pastor: Dustin Stradley
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
Crossroads Christian Church
Grand Prairie, Texas
Pastor: Barry Cameron
Clear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Cornerstone Christian Fellowship
Chandler, Arizona
Pastor: Linn Winters
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
Compassion Christian Church
Savannah, Georgia
Pastor: Cam Huxford
Clear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Church by the Glades
Coral Springs, Florida
Pastor: David Hughes
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Christ Fellowship Church
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Pastor: Todd Mullins
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Cherry Hills Community Church
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Pastor: Shane Farmer
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
CedarCreek Church
Perrysburg, Ohio
Pastor: Ben Snyder
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Undisclosed
Cathedral of Faith
San Jose, California
Pastor: Ken Foreman
Undisclosed
Church Clarity Score
Undisclosed
Canyon Ridge Christian Church
Las Vegas, Nevada
Pastor: Kevin Odor
Undisclosed
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
Biltmore Church
Arden, North Carolina
Pastor: Bruce Frank
Clear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
Bellevue Baptist Church
Cordova, Tennessee
Pastor: Steve Gaines
Clear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Real Life Christian Church
Clermont, Florida
Pastor: Justin Miller
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Eastlake Community Church
Chula Vista, California
Pastor: James Grogan
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Newhope Church
Durham, North Carolina
Pastor: Benji Kelley
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Northside Christian Church
New Albany, Indiana
Pastor: George Ross
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
High Desert Church
Victorville, California
Pastor: Tom Mercer
Clear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Valley Creek Church
Flower Mound, Texas
Pastor: John Stickl
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Lifepoint Church
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Pastor: Daniel Floyd
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
Potential Church
Cooper City, Florida
Pastor: Troy Gramling
Clear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
Pinelake Church
Brandon, Mississippi
Pastor: Chip Henderson
Clear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
Liberty Baptist Church
Hampton, Virginia
Pastor: Grant Ethridge
Clear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Grace Ohio
Akron, Ohio
Pastor: Jeff Bogue
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
Water of Life Community Church
Fontana, California
Pastor: Dan Carroll
Clear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
Houston's First Baptist Church
Houston, Texas
Pastor: Gregg Matte
Clear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Undisclosed
Real Life Church
Valencia, California
Pastor: Rusty George
Undisclosed
Church Clarity Score
Undisclosed
Family Christian Center
Munster, Indiana
Pastor: Steve Munsey
Undisclosed
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
United Methodist Church of the Resurrection
Leawood, Kansas
Pastor: Adam Hamilton
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
Traders Point Christian Church
Whitestown, Indiana
Pastor: Aaron Brockett
Clear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Sun Valley Community Church
Gilbert, Arizona
Pastor: Chad Moore
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
Northview Church
Carmel, Indiana
Pastor: Steve Poe
Clear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Celebration Church
Jacksonville, Florida
Pastor: Stovall Weems
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Bayside Church
Roseville, California
Pastor: Ray Johnson
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
LCBC Church
Manheim, Pennsylvania
Pastor: David Ashcraft
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
New Life Church
Conway, Arkansas
Pastor: Rick Bezet
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Community Bible Church
San Antonio, Texas
Pastor: Ed Newton
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Chase Oaks Church
Plano, Texas
Pastor: Jeff Jones
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Lake Pointe Church
Rockwall, Texas
Pastor: Steve Stroope
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
Lutheran Church of Hope
West Des Moines, Iowa
Pastor: Mike Housholder
Clear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Hope Community Church
Raleigh, North Carolina
Pastor: Mike Lee
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
Eastview Christian Church
Normal, Illinois
Pastor: Mike Baker
Clear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
Oak Hills Church
San Antonio, Texas
Pastor: Max Lucado
Clear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
Southeast Christian Church
Louisville, Kentucky
Pastor: Dave Stone
Clear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
Brentwood Baptist Church
Brentwood, Tennessee
Pastor: Mike Glenn
Clear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
McLean Bible Church
Vienna, Virginia
Pastor: Dale Sutherland
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
Scottsdale Bible Church
Scottsdale , Arizona
Pastor: Jamie Rasmussen
Clear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
Mariners Church
Irvine, California
Pastor: Kenton Beshore
Clear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
Gateway Church
Southlake, Texas
Pastor: Robert Morris
Clear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
Church of the Highlands
Birmingham, Alabama
Pastor: Chris Hodges
Clear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Crossroads Church (Cincinnati)
Cincinnati, Ohio
Pastor: Brian Tome
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Saddleback Church
Lake Forest, California
Pastor: Rick Warren
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Undisclosed
Cross Point Church
Nashville, Tennessee
Pastor: Kevin Queen
Undisclosed
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Flatirons Community Church
Lafayette, Colorado
Pastor: Jim Burgen
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Undisclosed
Cornerstone Church of San Diego
National City, California
Pastor: Sergio de la Mora
Undisclosed
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Reid Temple AME Church
Glenn Dale, Maryland
Pastor: Lee P. Washington
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Undisclosed
World Overcomers Christian Church
Durham, North Carolina
Pastor: Andy Thompson
Undisclosed
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
New Life Covenant Church Southeast
Chicago, Illinois
Pastor: John Hannah
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Hope Presbyterian Church
Memphis, Tennessee
Pastor: Rufus Smith
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Undisclosed
Mount Zion Baptist Church
Whites Creek, Tennessee
Pastor: Joseph Warren Walker, III
Undisclosed
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
The Rock Church San Diego
San Diego, California
Pastor: Miles McPherson
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Eagle Brook Church
Centerville, Minnesota
Pastor: Bob Merritt
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Eastside Christian Church
Anaheim, California
Pastor: Gene Appel
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Undisclosed
Faith Church
St. Louis, California
Pastor: David Crank
Undisclosed
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
Grace Church
Greenville, South Carolina
Pastor: Matt Williams
Clear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Undisclosed
Grace Family Church
Lutz, Florida
Pastor: Craig Altman
Undisclosed
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Manna Church
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Pastor: Michael Fletcher
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Red Rocks Church
Littleton, Colorado
Pastor: Shawn Johnson
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
Sandals Church
Riverside, California
Pastor: Matt Brown
Clear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Shadow Mountain Community Church
El Cajon, California
Pastor: David Jeremiah
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Shepherd Church
Porter Ranch, California
Pastor: Dudley Rutherford
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
The Church of Eleven22
Jacksonville, Florida
Pastor: Joby Martin
Clear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
The Crossing
Quincy, Illinois
Pastor: Jerry Harris
Clear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Valley Bible Fellowship
Bakersfield, California
Pastor: Ron Vietti
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Westover Hills Assembly of God
San Antonio, Texas
Pastor: Jim Rion
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Woodstock First Baptist Church
Woodstock, Georgia
Pastor: Johnny Hunt
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
World Outreach Church
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Pastor: G. Allen Jackson
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
Christ's Church of the Valley (AZ)
Peoria, Arizona
Pastor: Ashley Wooldridge
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
First Assembly of God
Fort Myers, Florida
Pastor: Dan Betzer
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
Cross Church
Springdale, Arkansas
Pastor: Ronnie Floyd
Clear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Unclear: Non-Affirming
River Valley Church
Apple Valley, Minnesota
Pastor: Rob Ketterling
Unclear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
Central Christian Church of Arizona
Mesa, Arizona
Pastor: Cal Jernigan
Clear Non-Affirming
Church Clarity Score
Clear: Non-Affirming
Ada Bible Church
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Pastor: Bob King
Clear Non-Affirming