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Megachurch Selected Bibliography

This selective bibliography is a work in progress. 
Additional references will often be added to it.


Thumma, Scott and Travis, Dave

2007  Beyond Megachurch Myths: What We Can Learn from America's Largest Churches. J-B Leadership Network Series.
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Ellington, Stephen. 

2007.   The Megachurches and the Mainline. Remaking Religious Tradition in the 21st Century.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press.  

Guinness, Os

1993  Dining With the Devil: The Megachurch Movement Flirts With Modernity. Hourglass Books

Kilde, Jeanne Halgren

2002   When Church Became Theatre: The Transformation of Evangelical Architecture and Worship in Nineteenth-Century America. Oxford University Press

Loveland, Anne C. and Wheeler, Otis B. 

2003  From Meetinghouse to Megachurch: A Material and Cultural History.  University of Missouri Press

Marti, Geraldo.

2005.  A Mosaic of Believers:  Diversity and Innovation in a Multiethnic Church.  Bloomington, Indiana:  Indiana University Press.

Miller, Donald E.

1997  Reinventing American Protestantism: Christianity in the New Millennium. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Pritchard, G. A.

1996 Willow Greek Seeker Services: Evaluating a New Way of doing Church. Baker Books: Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Schaller, Lyle E.

2000 The Very Large Church. Nashville: Abingdon.

1992 The Seven Day a Week Church. Nashville: Abingdon.

Twitchell, James B.

2004   Branded Nation : The Marketing of Megachurch, College Inc., and Museumworld.  Simon & Schuster

Vaughan, John N.

1993  Megachurches & America's Cities: How Churches Grow.  Grand Rapids:  Baker Books.

Academic Chapters and Articles

Brasher, Brenda

1992  "Calvary Chapel: Understanding the Megachurch Phenomenon.? Unpublished paper, presented at the annual meetings of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Washington, D.C.

Eiesland, Nancy L.

1994  "Contending with a Giant: The Impact of a Mega-church on Exurban Religious Institutions."  In Contemporary American Religion: An Ethnographic Reader.  Penny Edgell Becker & Nancy L. Eiesland (eds.) AltaMira Press.

Kennedy, Paul

1991 "The Vineyard Christian Fellowship: A Case Study of a Rapid Growing Non-Mainline Church." Unpublished paper, presented at the annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Pittsburgh, PA. 

Miller, Donald E.

1993  "Postmodern Characteristics of Three Rapidly Growing Christian Movements: Calvary Chapel, Vineyard Christian Fellowship, and Hope Chapel."  Unpublished paper, presented at the annual meetings of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion,  Raleigh, NC.

Parrott, Les and Dale Robin Perrin

1991  "The New Denominations? Christianity Today 34 (March 11):29-33.

Stonebraker, Robert J.

1993  "Optimal Church Size: The Bigger the Better."  Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.  32 (3):231-241.

Tucker-Worgs, Tamelyn

2001  "Get on Board, Little children, There’s Room for Many More: The Black Megachurch Phenomenon." The Journal of the Interdenominational Theological Center, Vol. XXIX Nos. 1&2 Fall 2001/Spring 2002.

Thumma, Scott and Adair Lummis

2007  "Growing up and Leaving Home: Megachurches that Depart Denominations."  Unpublished paper, presented at the annual meetings of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion/ Religious Research Association,  Tampa, FL.

Thumma, Scott and Jim Petersen

2003  “Goliaths in our Midst: Megachurches in the ELCA” Lutherans Today: American Lutheran Identity in the Twenty-First Century Richard Cimino (ed.) Eerdmans 

Thumma, Scott

2000  “Megachurches Today: Summary of data from the Faith Communities Today Project" 

Thumma, Scott

1998  Exploring the Megachurch Phenomena: their characteristics and cultural context.  Revised excerpt from 1996 dissertation. 

Thumma, Scott

1996  "Megachurches of Atlanta."  Religions of Atlanta.  Gary Laderman, ed.  Atlanta:  Scholars Press.

Thumma, Scott

1995  "The Megachurch: A Sacred Power in a Secular Society." Keynote lecture given at Catholic University of America, School of Architecture Summer series. June.

Thumma, Scott

1993  "Sketching a Mega-Trend: The Phenomenal Proliferation of Very Large Churches in the United States.  Unpublished paper, presented at the annual meetings of the Association for the Sociology of Religion, Miami, FL.

Thumma, Scott

1993  "List of the Megachurches in the United States."  Continually updated list with links to churches' web sites.

Ph.D. Dissertations

Olson, Richard

1988  "The Largest Congregations in the United States: An Empirical Study of Church Growth and Decline.?  (PhD dissertation) Northwestern University. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Proquest.

Perrin, Dale Robin 

1989  "Signs and Wonders: The Growth of the Vineyard Christian Fellowship.? (PhD. dissertation) Washington State University.

Thumma, Scott L.
           1996 "The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory: The Megachurch in Modern American Society." Emory University. (PhD dissertation) Ann Arbor, Michigan: Proquest.

Zook, Thomas

1993  "An Examination of Leadership Practices in Large, Protestant Congregations.?  (PhD dissertation) Ann Arbor, Michigan: Proquest.

Kaczorowski,  Laura M.

1997 Willow Creek:  Conversion Without Commitment
A masters thesis paper written by,  University of Virginia, Department of Sociology, May 1997  

Miscellaneous Journalistic and Consultant Articles

Asimakoupoulos, Greg

“In the Shadow of a Giant.”

Carnes, Ann

1995  "Neighbors Pray for Containment."  Atlanta Business Chronicle.  (September, 22): A3.

Chandler, Russell

1989  "Customer Poll Shapes a Church."  Los Angeles Times.  (December, 11):a1-a28.

Dart, John

1991  "Themes of Bigness, Success Attract Independent Churches.  Los Angeles Times.  (July, 20): F14.

Delgado, Berta

1999 “In the Shadow of Prestonwood Smaller Congregations Say There’s Room for Everybody Near Megachurch.” The Dallas Morning News. May 1.

Elder, Lee

1990  "Allegations Continue to Hound Fundamentalist Hyles."  Christianity Today. (September, 24): 45-46.

Gilbreath, Edward

1994  "The Birth of a Megachurch."  Christianity Today.  (July, 18): 23.

Goldberger, Paul

1995  "The Gospel of Church Architecture, Revised." The New York Times. (April, 20): B1, B4.

Gregory, Joel

1994  To Great A Temptation.  The Summit Group.

Heinlein, Gary

“Redford Church Fills Pews a New Way.” The Detroit News.

Holloway, David

“The Church in Today’s World: Superstore or Corner Shop?: Fulwood Conference on Getting the Gospel Out.” November 3, 2000

Hoover, Felix and Dennis M. Mahoney

“Trend Toward Megachurches Taps into Belief that Bigger is Better.” 1999.

James, George

“Exurbia and God: Megachurches in New Jersey.” June 29, 2003

Leucke, David S.

Is Willow Creek the Way of the Future? The Christian Century, May 1997  

Mackey, Lloyd

“Megachurches of Canada.”

Neff, David

1990  "Home of the Whopper."  Christianity Today. (March, 5): 23.

Niebuhr, Gustav

1995a "Where Shopping-Mall Culture Gets a Big Dose of Religion.? The New York Times.  (April 16):1,12.

Niebuhr, Gustav

1995b "Religion Goes to Market to Expand Congregations." The New York Times.  (April 18):1,10.

Ostling, Richard N.

1991  "Superchurches and How They Grew."  Time (August 5): 62-63.

Park, Haeyeon

“Churches: A Fast-Growing Congregation Appeals to the Shopping-Mall Generation.” 2000.

Przybys, John

“Big Mission: Although Their Congregations Are Large, Valley’s Megachurches Work to Create Welcoming Atmosphere.” Las Vegas Review Journal. April 25, 2002.

Ramsey, Vikki L.

1992  "Amazing Growth in Numbers."  Atlanta Journal and Constitution. (May 2): E6.

Remsen, Jim

“Lindenwold’s Church That Never Sleeps: Dynamic Preacher Fuels Fervor in Congregation of Red-Hot Growth.”

Robinson, Anthony B.

1991  "Learning from Willow Creek."  The Christian Century.  (January 23): 68-70.

Robinson, Jeff

“Merritt Sets Fast Pace as Southern Baptists’ Leaders.” Baptist Press News Service. January 4, 2002.

Sammonds, Mary Beth

1994  "Full-service Church."  Chicago Tribune: Tempo Northwest.  (April, 3):1, 16. 

Schaller, Lyle E.

1990  "Megachurch!"  Christianity Today. (March 5):20-24.

Schimke, David

“The Mall Where You Talk to God: Faith, Salvation, and End Times in Suburbia inside Grace Church.” Vol.23 Issues 1145. November 13, 2002

Stevenson, A. Russell

1993  "Mega-Churches Prove That Theology Matters."  The Presbyterian Layman.  (September/October): 6,8.

Stucky, Mary

“Thousands Congregate in New Megachurches.” The MPR News project Religion in Everyday Life. 1998

Truehart, Charles

1996 Welcome to the Next Church. The Atlantic Online, August  

VanScoy, Kayte

1997 “Megachurch Miracle” December 22.

Vegh, Steven G.

2002 “Church’s Head Pastor Announce Resignation.” The Virginian Pilot. June 4.

Wacht, Michael

“Purpose, Passion Drive Church Growth.” News Media contact. 2002

Wagner, Peter

“Those Amazing Post-Denominational Churches.”

Wimber, John

1982  "Zip to 3,000 in 5 Years."  Christian Life.  (October): 19-23.

Winston, Kimberly

1996  "That Old-time Religion No Longer."  Tri-Valley Herald.  (April, 7): A1,A10.

Korean Megachurch Articles

Chung, Chin Hong

1997 “Phenomena and Structure of Rapid Growing Megachurch: A Case Study of Yoido Full Gospel Church.” (Korean) Religious Study Vol. 16, Seoul National University.

Hong, Young-gi

2000 “The Background and characteristics of the Charismatic Megachurches in Korea.” Asian Journal of Pentecostal Studies 3/1.




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