Youngest Megachurch Pastor?
by Warren Bird
For U.S. churches with 2,000 and more attenders – commonly known as megachurches – the typical senior pastor is age 55. That average almost obscures the amazingly wide range from youngest to oldest.
The “most senior” department includes Charles Stanley who came to Atlanta’s First Baptist Church in 1971. Born in 1932, he’s in his 80s. Chuck Swindoll was born in 1934, Ed Young Sr in 1936, and John MacArthur in 1939. (All these dates have been published in newspapers and other media, so I’m not letting out any secrets!)
What about the youngest leaders? They start at age 30. Here’s my sense of the roughly dozen youngest megachurch pastors, again taken from published reports (and most confirmed by me interviewing or emailing them):
|Church||City||St/Prov||Webaddress||Senior||Pastor||Born||SP There Since|
|Victory Christian Center||Tulsa||OK||victory.com||Paul||Daugherty||1985||2014|
|Rock City Church||Hilliard||OH||rockcitychurch.tv||Chad||Fisher||1981||2000|
|First Baptist West Monroe||West Monroe||LA||firstwest.cc||Michael||Wood||1981||2014|
|RiverTree Christian Church||Massillon||OH||rivertreechristian.com||Jason||Lantz||1981||2014|
|Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church||Memphis||TN||theblvd.org||Jason||Turner||1981||2013|
|Valley Creek Church||Flower Mound||TX||valleycreek.org||John||Stickl||1981||2010|
|Cherry Hills Community Church||Highlands Ranch||CO||chcc.org||Shane||Farmer||1981||2013|
|Quest Community Church||Lexington||KY||questcommunity.com||Justin||Mccarty||1980||2014|
|Victory Church||Oklahoma City||OK||victorychurch.tv||Jon||Chasteen||1980||2014|
|McKinney Memorial Bible Church||Fort Worth||TX||mckinneychurch.com||Chris||Freeland||1980||2011|
|New Life Fellowship||Elmhurst||NY||newlifefellowship.org||Rich||Villodas||1980||2013|
Predictably, this list is always changing! When I first created this blog, Chris Galanos was the youngest megachurch senior pastor in the United States. The two photos in this blog are of him and the church he leads, which was founded in 2007.
For more blogs in this “megachurch” series, see also “World’s First Megachurch?”, “Megachurch Languages?”, “Biggest Megachurch Sanctuaries?” , “Megachurch Books?” and “How Many Megachurches?”. For global megachurches, see www.leadnet.org/world.
RESEARCH NOTE: This blog was last updated June 2015.