As Megachurches Become More Diverse, Leadership of Many Remains 100% White

Earlier this month, Rev. Michael Jordan of New Era Baptist Church in Birmingham made several incendiary comments about black and white church attendance trends. One of the trends he mentioned was that as black attendance increases at large predominately white churches, senior leadership at those churches will remain white.

Let’s put his hypothesis to the test. To prove it out, we need only look at the racial makeup of senior leadership at the largest predominately white churches in Alabama. In addition, we will focus our analysis on churches that serve the state’s five largest cities, since those cities stem with diversity.

For our methodology, we will calculate the percentage of senior leadership at each church that is white and compare that to the percentage of each city population that is white. Each church mentioned is considered a “megachurch” due to averaging at least 2,000 worshippers per weekend. The diversity figures are listed below:

Birmingham (22.6 percent white)

Metro Church of God (100 percent white)

Briarwood Presbyterian Church (100 percent white)

Shades Mountain Baptist Church (100 percent white)

The Church at Brook Hills (100 percent white)

Church of the Highlands (100 percent white)

Dawson Memorial Baptist Church (100 percent white)

Huntsville (58.7 percent white)

Whitesburg Baptist Church (100 percent white)

The Rock Family Worship Center (100 percent white)

Willowbrook Baptist Church (100 percent white)

Mobile (43.6 percent white)

Christ United Methodist Church (100 percent white)

Montgomery (33.1 percent white)

Frazer United Methodist Church (100 percent white)

First Baptist Church Montgomery (100 percent)

Tuscaloosa (50.2 percent white)

Daystar Family Church (40 percent white)

First Baptist Church Tuscaloosa (100 percent white)

In summary, only one Alabama megachurch in our analysis (Daystar Family Church) has a senior leadership team that comes close to reflecting the diversity of the urban area in which it serves. All other megachurches are led exclusively by whites–even the megachurches that are generally perceived to be diverse such as Church of the Highlands.

SOURCE: Ben Baxter