The 15 largest Charlotte churches, by membership and attendance

The 15 largest Charlotte churches, by membership and attendance
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This article was updated August 2018.

Charlotte was once known as the “City of Churches,” and it’s not uncommon to still be asked which one you attend as you make your way around town.

You’ll have plenty of options.

Nearly 80 percent of North Carolinians consider themselves Christians, according to a survey from the Pew Research Center. Just under half of them consider themselves evangelicals, with about one-quarter of all North Carolinians part of a Baptist church.

Charlotte breaks down along roughly similar lines. The birthplace of beloved evangelist Billy Graham maintains an evangelical streak. Several of the city’s largest congregations are Southern Baptist.

But the Catholic church has one of the largest parishes in the country here. And there is also a growing nondenominational movement in Charlotte, with several megachurches that cater the city’s booming young professional class.

Here is a listing of the city’s largest congregations.

The sourcing on the figures varies. Some are direct from the churches themselves, others come from statistics compiled by the denomination the church belongs to.

This page was last updated August 23, 2018. Have an update? Let us know by emailing

St. Matthew Catholic


Members: More than 10,500 registered families – making up about 36,000 parishioners
Locations: Two, in Ballantyne and Waxhaw. Maps.
Affiliation: Roman Catholic
Notes: I’ve seen this listed as the largest Catholic church in the entire country.

Elevation Church


Weekly attendance: 25,670
Locations: 17. Map.
Affiliation: Southern Baptist
Notes: This is Charlotte’s best-known church and Pastor Steven Furtick is one of the city’s most prominent figures. You’ll see the church’s chevrons on car rear windows across town. They’ve expanded at a rapid clip.

Mecklenburg Community Church


Membership/attendance: 10,000 “active attendees”
Locations: Four. Map.
Affiliation: Southern Baptist
Notes: The church, which operates mostly in the northern part of the county, has a goal to double to 20,000 active worshippers.

St. Gabriel Catholic Church

Members: 3,400+ registered families, or 10,000+ parishioners
Locations: One campus, at Providence and Sharon. Map.
Affiliation: Roman Catholic
Notes: They have five English masses each Sunday and a Spanish-language mass.

Forest Hill Church


Members: 4,050
Average weekly attendance: 6,500
Locations: Six. Details.
Affiliation: Began as Presbyterian, but voted to leave its denomination.
Notes: Pastor David Chadwick is also well-known around Charlotte and is a former UNC basketball player. Former Bachelorette Emily Maynard is a member.

The Park Church


Members: 9,000
Average weekly attendance: 6,000
Locations: Three. Details.
Affiliation: Baptist
Notes: Founded in 1913 and was once called Mount Olive Baptist Church. The Independence location is the home to the expo and conference center where all the Southern shows are.

Central Church of God

Members: 8,000
Average weekly attendance: 6,000
Locations: Four. Details.
AffiliationChurch of God
Notes: The church began with 19 members in the 1970s and has been on Sardis Road since 1988.

St. Paul Baptist


Members: 5,000
Average weekly attendance: 4,500
Locations: One, at 1401 Allen Street in Belmont. Map.
Affiliation: Southern Baptist
Notes: The church dates back to 1900.

Hickory Grove Baptist


Members: 11,753
Average weekly attendance: 3,500
Locations: Three. Two in east Charlotte, one in Concord. Details.
Affiliation: Southern Baptist
Notes: Pastor Clint Pressley is in the leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention.

First Baptist Church

Photo by First Baptist Church via Facebook.

Members: 3,269
Locations: Uptown Charlotte. Details.
Affiliation: Southern Baptist
Notes: This church dates back to 1832 and was the site of Billy Graham’s first crusade.

Friendship Missionary


Members: 8,000
Locations: One, a campus at 3400 Beatties Ford Road that can hold 3,000 people.
Affiliation: National Baptist
Notes: This church dates back to 1890, when 40 members broke off from First Baptist Church.

Church at Charlotte


Members: 800-900
Average weekly attendance: 2,500
Locations: Two, in SouthPark and Matthews.
Affiliation: Evangelical Free Church
Notes: The church offers eight services on Saturdays and Sundays.

Carmel Baptist

Members: 5,000
Average weekly attendance: 2,400
LocationsOne, a campus at 1145 Pineville Matthews Road in Matthews.
Affiliation: Southern Baptist
Notes: The church is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Calvary Church


Members: 4,000
Average weekly attendance: 2,350
Locations: One, at 5801 Pineville-Matthews Road
Affiliation: Nondenominational
Notes: This church may have the most visually impressive exterior in all of Charlotte.

Myers Park Methodist


Members: 5,250
Average weekly attendance: 1,300+
Locations: One, at Providence and Queens
Affiliation: Methodist
Notes: The church’s first service was in 1925 and the congregation bought its property a month later for $18,000.

(Photo credits: Most photos come from the churches’ Facebook pages. The Calvary Church photo comes from dbinary on Flickr via a Creative Commons license.) 

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