From Meetinghouse to Megachurch: A Material and Cultural History

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University of Missouri Press, 2003 - Religion - 307 pages
From Meetinghouse to Megachurch is a superb account, from the perspective of a material and cultural history, of the rise of the megachurch - a church architecturally designed to attract a large following. In 1970, there were only ten megachurches. By the mid 1990s, however, megachurches numbered around four hundred, representing nearly 2 percent of the Protestant churches in the United States. In this new study, Anne C. Loveland and Otis B. Wheeler demonstrate that megachurches evolved from multiple models and influences. The authors begin by focusing on the meetinghouses of the Protestant dissenters of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries and the revival structures used by itinerant evangelists in the antebellum period. They proceed to the urban auditorium churches erected by evangelicals during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; the gospel tents, tabernacles, and temples built by fundamentalists, holiness people, and pentecostals in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; and even the modern churches constructed by liberal, mainline Protestants during the mid-twentieth century. Loveland and Wheeler then focus on sixty-three of the more than one hu

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From meetinghouse to megachurch: a material and cultural history

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Loveland (American Evangelicals and the U.S. Military 1942-1993) and photographer Wheeler (Religious Architecture in Louisiana) have teamed up to present a study of the evolution of the evangelical ... Read full review


Building the Faith
The Meetinghouse
Building for Revivalism
The Auditorium Church
The Multipurpose Church
Building for Mass Evangelism
The Gathered Church
Building for Church Growth
The Megachurch
The Full Service Church
The Worship Center
The Everyday House of God
Selected Bibliography

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Page vi - How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel! As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river's side, as the trees of lign aloes which the Lord hath planted, and as cedar trees beside the waters.
Page ix - it is only a Romance.' True. It is only human life in the ' highways and hedges,' and in ' the streets and lanes of the city,' with the ceaseless throbbing of its quivering heart ; it is only daily life from the workshop, from the court, from the market, and from the stage ; it is only kindliness and neighbourhood and...

About the author (2003)

Otis B. Wheeler is Professor of English, Emeritus, at Louisiana State University. He is the author of The Literary Career of Maurice Thompson and the photographer of Religious Architecture in Louisiana.

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