Apr 282013

Someone asked me where are the ten largest megachurches in the OC so I checked into it. (Megachurches are defined as having an average weekend attendance of over 2000 people – adults & children.) Here’s the list of the top 10 OC megachurches based on attendance size according to self-reported numbers compiled by HIRR::

  1. Saddleback Church http://www.saddleback.com Lake Forest++
  2. Mariner’s Church http://www.marinerschurch.org Irvine++
  3. Templo Calvario Assembly of God http://tcsocal.com Santa Ana
  4. Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa http://www.calvarychapelcostamesa.com
  5. Sarang Community Church (Korean) http://www.sarang.com Anaheim
  6. ROCKHARBOR http://www.rockharbor.org Costa Mesa++
  7. First Evangelical Free Church http://www.evfreefullerton.com Fullerton
  8. Eastside Christian Church http://www.eastside.com Fullerton
  9. Bethel Korean Church http://www.bkc.org Irvine
  10. Coast Hills Community Church http://www.coasthillschurch.org Aliso Viejo

cf. list of all megachurches in the OC (listed in no particular order)

++ denotes a multi-site church, one church in multiple locations

Dec 122012

Today is that magical numerological date in history 12/12/12 and at 12:12:12 I was sitting down for lunch at a place called Chef Chen because a friend suggested it via Yelp. Where were you?

As Christmas 2012 draws near, the Chuang family (my dear wife and sharp son) are preparing for the 2012 OC Christmas Tour where it’s our family tradition to worship with the extended family of God at as many worship services as we can get to. Last year we made it to 10. We love Christmas!! This year we were aiming for 12, but because of how it falls on the calendar, the odds are against us. Here’s the spreadsheet of Orange County churches with multiple Christmas worship services we know of — add a comment if you know of another one.

Dec 202011

We love Christmas yes we do, we love Christmas how ’bout you? Worshiping Jesus is what Christmas is all about, and in Orange County there are many worship times serve many people. And it’s even possible to worship at 11 different churches for a more fuller and wider experience of worshiping together with a wonderful variety of styles and presentations! It does take considerable planning to pull this off, though.


To make this Christmas Tour 2011 possible, I went researching and found 19 OC churches that had special Christmas worship services, starting as early as Wednesday 12/21 all the way through Sunday 12/25. Here’s the schedule charted out via Google Docs’ spreadsheet:

It’s not easy to fit in 11 worship services due to geography and scheduling overlaps. One itinerary to map out the tour:

  1. Wed 7pm @ Saddleback Church, Lake Forest
  2. Thurs 7pm @ Harvest OC, Irvine * Phil Wickham concert
  3. Fri 3pm @ Eastside Christian Church, Fullerton [+ quick dinner]
  4. Fri 7pm @ Seacoast Grace Church, Cypress
  5. Sat 12pm @ ROCKHARBOR, Costa Mesa
  6. Sat 1:30pm @ The Crossing, Costa Mesa [+ early dinner]
  7. Sat 5pm @ Mariners Church, Irvine
  8. Sat 7pm @ St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Newport Beach
  9. Sat 10:30pm @ Crystal Cathedral, Garden Grove
  10. Sun 9am @ Compass Bible Church, Aliso Viejo
  11. Sun 11am @ Coast Hills Church, Aliso Viejo

How would you arrange an itinerary to visit 11 churches for Christmas in the OC?

I confess that I personally won’t be able to get to 11 churches during this Christmas week. I do prioritize family time and that’d include time to be with extended family. What I can do is report my tour stop in real-time via my twitter @djchuang . And note that the above list is an attempt to design a schedule to fit in 11 worship services, and it won’t be the itinerary of my whereabouts. Realistically, I think I can get to 6 or 7 this year – that’d be a great Christmas!

[photo credit: sister72, *clarity*, jeffweese, jdbradley]

Oct 072011

A list of megachurches in Orange County and Southern California where thousands and thousands of people attend church. People vote with their feet, you might say, though that’s 50% of church attenders – 50% of churchgoers attend churches over 350 in size. [cf.Top 10 Largest Churches in the OC]

Big Churches in Orange County

  1. Saddleback Church saddleback.com **
  2. Mariner’s Church  http://marinerschurch.org **
  3. ROCKHARBOR http://rockharbor.org **
  4. Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa http://calvarychapelcostamesa.com
  5. Templo Calvario Assembly of God http://tcsocal.com Santa Ana
  6. Eastside Christian Church http://eastside.com Anaheim
  7. First Evangelical Free Church http://evfreefullerton.com/ Fullerton
  8. The Crossing http://thecrossing.com/ Costa Mesa
  9. Seacoast Grace Church http://www.seacoastgrace.org Cypress
  10. Newsong Community Church newsong.net **
  11. Sarang Community Church (Korean) http://www.sarang.com/ Anaheim
  12. Grace Ministries International (Korean) http://www.gracemi.com/ Fullerton
  13. Coast Hills Community Church http://www.coasthillschurch.org/ Aliso Viejo
  14. The Rock Church http://www.solidlives.com/ Anaheim
  15. Vineyard Christian Fellowship http://www.vcfanaheim.com/ Anaheim
  16. Knott Avenue Christian Church http://www.kacc.com/ Anaheim
  17. Cottonwood Christian Center http://cottonwood.org Los Alamitos
  18. Yorba Linda Friends Church http://www.ylfc.org
  19. Friendship Baptist Church http://www.thefriendshipchurch.org Yorba Linda
  20. Rose Drive Friends Church http://www.rdf.org/ Yorba Linda
  21. Calvary Chapel La Habra  http://calvarylahabra.org
  22. Orange Hills Assembly of God http://www.orangehills.net Orange Hills
  23. Pacific Coast Church http://www.pccsc.org San Clemente
  24. The Life Church http://www.lifechurchonline.com Irvine
  25. First Christian Church http://www.fcchb.com Huntington Beach
  26. Capo Beach Calvary  http://capobeachcalvary.com/
  27. Healing Word http://www.healingword.tv/ Tustin
  28. Calvary Chapel http://www.ccrsm.net/ Rancho Santa Margarita
  29. Calvary Chapel Westgrove http://www.ccwg.org Garden Grove
  30. Calvary Church of Santa Ana http://calvarylife.org
  31. Bethel Korean Church http://www.bkc.org Irvine
  32. Compass Bible Church http://www.compasschurch.org Aliso Viejo
  33. Crossline Community Church http://www.crosslinechurch.com Laguna Hills
  34. 얼바인침례교회 (Irvine Baptist Church) www.irvinechurch.com
  35. Ocean Hills Community Church, San Juan Capistrano
  36. Crystal Cathedral, Garden Grove

Large Churches in the City of Los Angeles

  • Oasis Christian Center http://www.oasisla.org
  • Young Nak Presbyterian Church http://www.youngnak.com (Korean)
  • Bel Air Presbyterian Church http://www.belairpres.org
  • Angelus Temple / Dream Center http://www.angelustemple.org/
  • MOSAIC http://mosaic.org/
  • Reality LA http://realityla.com/
  • Ecclesia Hollywood http://www.churchinhollywood.com/
  • Glory Church of Jesus Christ http://gcjc.org
  • Crenshaw Christian Center
  • Brookins Community Ame Church
  • The Oriental Mission Church
  • First African Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Ward African Methodist Episcopal Church
  • West Angeles Church of God in Christ
  • Iglesias De Restauracion
  • First Church of God of Los Angeles, Inglewood CA
  • Big churches in Los Angeles county
  • Mission Ebenezer Family Church http://www.missionebenezer.com Carson
  • Parkcrest Christian Church http://parkcrest.org Long Beach
  • Lake Avenue Church http://www.lakeave.org Pasadena
  • Faith Community Church  http://www.go2faith.com/ West Covina
  • The Church On The Way http://www.tcotw.org Van Nuys
  • Calvary Chapel Golden Springs
  • Faithful Central Missionary Baptist Church
  • Agape International Center For Truth, Culver City CA
  • Calvary Chapel, Downey CA
  • Calvary Chapel South Bay http://www.ccsouthbay.org/ Gardena CA
  • City of Refuge Church, Gardena CA
  • Hope Chapel, Hermosa Beach CA
  • Community Baptist Church – Journey of Faith, Manhattan Beach CA
  • Calvary Chapel Montebello, Montebello CA
  • Journey Community Church, La Mirada CA
  • Central Christian Church, Lancaster CA
  • Lancaster Baptist Church, Lancaster CA
  • Desert Vineyard, Lancaster CA
  • First Presbyterian Church, Torrance CA
  • First Church of the Nazarene, Pasadena CA
  • Rolling Hills Covenant Church, Rolling Hills Estates CA
  • Whittier Area Community Church, Whittier CA
  • Morning Star Christian Chapel, Whittier CA
  • Faith Community Church, Covina CA
  • Florence Avenue Foursquare Church, Santa Fe Springs CA
  • big churches in the San Fernando Valley
  • Cornerstone Community Church http://cornerstonesimi.com Simi Valley
  • Shepherd of the Hills Church http://www.theshepherd.org Porter Ranch
  • The Church At Rocky Peak http://www.rockypeak.org Chatsworth
  • Grace Community Church http://www.gracechurch.org Sun Valley
  • Grace Baptist Church, Santa Clarita CA
  • Faith Chapel, Spring Valley CA
  • Calvary Community Church, Westlake Village CA

Big Churches in the Inland Empire (Riverside County etc)

  • Harvest Christian Fellowship http://www.harvest.org/church/ Riverside
  • Sandals Church http://sandalschurch.com/ Riverside
  • Sunrise Church http://www.sunrisechurch.org Rialto
  • The Grove Community Church http://thegrove.cc Riverside
  • Crossroads Christian Church http://www.crossroadschurch.com Corona
  • Calvary Chapel Golden Springs http://www.calvarygs.org Diamond Bar
  • Set Free Christian Fellowship http://www.setfreerocks.com/ Yucaipa
  • Southwest Community Church  http://southwestcc.org/ Los Gatos
  • Calvary Chapel Ontario
  • Calvary Chapel David Rosales Chino
  • Inland Hills Church  Chino
  • Calvary Chapel Chino Hills
  • Water of Life, Fontana
  • Campus Hill Church Loma Linda
  • Loma Linda University Church, Loma Linda CA
  • Immanuel Baptist Church, Highland CA
  • Revival Christian Fellowship, Menifee
  • Calvary Church Murrieta , Murrieta CA
  • Calvary Bible Fellowship, Temecula CA
  • Sunridge Community Church, Temecula
  • Rancho Community Church, Temecula CA
  • Calvary Chapel , Redlands CA
  • Trinity Evangelical Free Church ,  Redlands CA
  • Life Church of God In Christ,  Riverside CA
  • Christ’s Church of the Valley,  San Dimas CA
  • Pomona First Baptist Church, Pomona CA
  • Cornerstone Community Church, Wildomar CA
  • Abundant Living Family Church , Rancho Cucamonga CA
  • Hillside Community Church , Rancho Cucamonga CA

Big Churches in the San Diego area



Why did so many megachurches wind up in the OC? According to the panelists in the above video: suburbanist spread, charismatic pastors with business skills, …


* data gathered via http://christianexaminer.com/Articles/Articles%20Jun04/Art_Jun04_12.html + HIRR database of megachurches in California

** denotes a multi-site church, that is, a church in multiple locations

Jun 302010

Today, June 30th, marks Social Media Day, as called by Mashable.com, a leading social media news blog. The revolution of social media is that everyone has a voice that could be heard by everyone else (and actually, anyone could have called a meetup and/or a special day, though some voices are still more influential than others, and someone has to be organizer.)

The big meetup in OC [4th largest in the world] is hosted at our local newspaper, OC Register (625 N Grand, Santa Ana) from 3-6pm today — see schedule of speakers. Free food truck is an extra bonus. // [update] OC Register article about Social Media Day; commentary by @tanyaahedo + @MeredithSimonds + @DanielaBolzmann; @techxsw podcast interview w @ksablan = How @OCRegister created 4th largest #SMday event //
Continue reading »

Apr 112009

You’re invited to the celebrate Easter with me and 1,000s of others tomorrow — there’s a huge Easter Celebration tomorrow (Sun 4/12) at the Pacific Amphitheater (OC Fair & Event Center) in Costa Mesa, California. 9:00am and 11:15am. It’s a big deal — the amphitheater has 8,500 seats! Of course the event is free, and hospitality will overflow with donuts, coffee, and bottled water.


The incognito church is Rock Harbor. The church has estimated weekend attendance of around 5,000 (according to Wikipedia). This un-branding approach does fit their value for “giving ourselves away.”

It is common practice for churches (or any other organization) to host a community event as a way of attracting and inviting people to their church (or organization). At this Easter Celebration, the event website lists more than a dozen churches in the Orange County and Los Angeles areas. Yet, far as I know, only this one church is (primarily?) running the event.

Do you know of any other (large-ish) churches that would do a large-ish event, yet without advertising their church?

I’d be curious what Dawn Nicole Baldwin thinks of this.

[disclosure: Rock Harbor is my home church.]

Jun 252008

I like connecting people to people. There, I’ve said it. Whether it’s people to God, people to resources, people to churches, people to places, it’s listening people’s question and connecting to what they’re looking for.

In a recent conversation, someone moving into the Irvine area is looking for a church. He’s been checking different churches out, but hasn’t yet found the right one. Ingredients that he’s looking for: a Bible-teaching church, a strong children’s ministry, fellowship with other Christians, a place to serve, and not too loud. A church like Bent Tree Bible Fellowship would be ideal, he said. It’s a kind of healthy church that feels like home (for certain evangelical Christians).

I ran through my mental rolodex and here’s what I came up with (in no particular order). But comparatively few right there in Irvine, surprisingly. There are plenty of great churches in Irvine, granted, but not sure all fit the description above. Perhaps you know some others.

(I think you can leave out that the Bible-teaching churches that are too vocal about the faults and problems of other good evangelical church’s practices…)

I’ve indexed more than a dozen church directories and search engines here — great reference there for anyone looking for a church anywhere.

[update] brand new website just launched by Jon Acuff -> Can I Wear Jeans? at caniwearjeans.blogspot.com for a directory of candid church reviews, cf. read back story from Steve Knight

[update May 2009] also see this list of churches with evening worship services