|Saddleback Valley Community Church|
The driveway to Saddleback Church's regional campus in Rancho Capistrano.
|Location||Lake Forest, California|
|Denomination||Southern Baptist Convention|
|Founder(s)||Rick Warren, Kay Warren|
|Division||California Southern Baptist Convention|
|Senior pastor(s)||Rick Warren|
Saddleback Church is an evangelical Christian megachurch located in Lake Forest, California, situated in southern Orange County, affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. The church was founded in 1980 by Pastor Rick Warren. Weekly church attendance averages over 20,000 people, currently making it the fifth-largest church in the United States by attendance (this ranking includes multi-site churches).
Saddleback Church currently has 13 regional campuses (not including the Lake Forest campus): San Clemente, Irvine South, Irvine North, Corona, Huntington Beach, San Juan Capistrano, Anaheim (The Grove), Laguna Woods, Los Angeles, San Diego, Aliso Viejo, South Bay, Newport Mesa and 4 international campuses: South Manila, Philippines, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Argentina and Berlin, Germany. Several more campuses are planned in the next few years. In addition, Saddleback is "virtually" attended online by those around the country and the world who watch and listen to worship services on demand.
Notable staff include Rick Warren and Kay Warren. Saddleback is known for their signature ministries such as Celebrate Recovery, AIDS/HIV Ministry, Daniel Plan Ministry and PEACE Ministry.
Saddleback's first public service was held on Palm Sunday, March 30, 1980 with 40 people in attendance at the Laguna Hills High School Theater. Just one week later, on Easter Sunday, 240 were in attendance. Warren's church growth methods led to rapid growth and the church has used nearly eighty different facilities in its 30-year history, including the Laguna Hills HS Theater and Trabuco Hills High School Gymnasium.
Saddleback did not build its first permanent building until it had 10,000 weekly attenders. When the current Lake Forest campus was purchased in the early 1990s, a 2,300-seat plastic tent was used for worship services for several years, with four services each weekend. In 1995, the current Worship Center was completed with a seating capacity of 3,500. The Children's Ministry Center (housing the "Saddleback Kids" ministry) and staff office building were completed over the next few years. In 2008, former Pastor of Life Development, Doug Fields, saw his dream of over 15 years come to fruition with the completion of the Refinery, Saddleback's first permanent student ministry facility. Costing $20 million, the state-of-the-art facility is considered the premier student ministry facility in the world. The Refinery houses Saddleback's middle school ministry (JHM), high school ministry (HSM), college ministry (CM), and young adults ministry, (Fuel). Since moving into the Refinery, all the student ministries have seen tremendous growth, with more than 2,500 young people attending services in the facility each week. The Refinery was built using the resources and voluntary giving raised through the "Extending the Vision" campaign.
Saddleback Church's main campus located in Lake Forest, California has multiple facilities to meet every church attendee's needs.
The church's main services are held in the Worship Center on the upper portion of the campus. For high school and middle school students, the Refinery is located on lower campus. Elementary and preschool age students have a Children's Ministry building also on lower campus.
The Lake Forest campus also hosts a bookstore, amphitheater, fitness course, multi-use tents and portables, as well as two office buildings.
The Lake Forest campus hosts services at 4:00 and 6:00 pm on Saturdays and 9:00, 11:00, 1:00 and 6:00 on Sundays. Sunday nights has been canceled. ( please check on Saddleback Website for times)
In November and December 2006, Saddleback Church played host to the second annual Global Summit on AIDS and the Church. The summit featured 60 speakers, including Senators Barack Obama and Sam Brownback.
On August 16, 2008, Rick Warren arranged a meeting between Senators John McCain and Barack Obama at Saddleback called the Civil Forum on the Presidency. The format of the forum was structured such that Warren first asked Sen. Obama a series of questions; he then asked Sen. McCain very similar ones subsequently. Held inside Saddleback's Worship Center, the event is notable as the first time the two Presidential candidates met during the campaign. It was broadcast live on national news networks and streamed online. Tickets were distributed to the public through a raffle with seats listing as high as $1,000 and the event was sold out.
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