The Top 10 Most Influential Churches of 1990

6. First Baptist Church, Jacksonville, FL. Pastors: Homer Lindsay, Jr. and Jerry Vines.

These co-pastors led an old downtown church toward revitalization and growth when most downtown churches were dying or relocating.

7. Central Community Church, Wichita, KS. Pastor: Ray Cotton.

This church made multiple changes when many churches were having difficulty effecting one change. Among those changes were dropping the denominational name and relocating from downtown to the residential suburbs.

8. Second Baptist Church, Houston, TX. Pastor: Ed Young.

Many pastors would point to this church as a model for strong and visionary pastoral leadership. The church became known as “the fellowship of excitement.”

9. Horizon Christian Fellowship, San Diego, CA. Pastor: Mike MacIntosh.

The ministry of this church was very successful in reaching youth immersed in the drug culture in Southern California.

10. Mount Paran Church of God, Atlanta, GA. Pastor: Paul Walker.

One of the first churches to popularize the phrase “one church, two locations.” This church became a model for multi-campus churches of the future.

Twenty Years Later

So what have we learned from these churches, either positively or negatively? How does this list compare with ten of the most influential churches today? How have churches changed in twenty years? What changes do you see over the next twenty years?

I do hope to hear your perspectives.  

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Thom Rainer
Thom S. Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources ( Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam, Art, and Jess; and six grandchildren. He was founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism, and Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His many books include Surprising Insights from the Unchurched, The Unexpected Journey, and Breakout Churches.