The (Big) Business of Faith – Black Megachurches
By William Reed Thyblackman.com
Rock climbing walls, kids’ spaces that resemble small Disneylands, bookstores and state-of-the-art sound systems represent today’s Black church – supersized. Black mega churches draw huge numbers of worshippers and receive millions in collection plates. Black Mega churches are successful corporate entities that seek to service all the spiritual and social needs of their communities.
Black mega churches’ pastors are major corporate CEOs shepherding large business bases. Mega churches are characterized by congregations of from 10,000 to 25,000 and spectacular buildings which house sanctuaries, day-care centers, bookstores, and health centers. Most resound with crowds and activities seven days a week, and own businesses, subdivisions, and separate community activity buildings. Almost all mega churches have TV pastorates, feature high-tech video along with foot-tapping music. There are less than 50 nationwide, but Dallas-based Bishop T.D. Jakes, Houston’s Kirby Caldwell, Atlanta’s Eddie Long, Creflo Dollar and Charles E. Blake have grown their memberships by preaching material success and sales their books, festivals, and movies. Their congregations have expanded into businesses such as: schools, assisted living facilities and ex-offender re-entry programs. Some African Americans leaders find the growth of these congregations worrisome; saying these pastorates focus on messages of personal prosperity and turn their backs on the struggle for civil rights.
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