They say everything's bigger in Texas, and there's plenty of evidence to back that up. Even in the church world, Texas has the largest church, that's Lakewood, in the country. Out of the 10 largest churches, four of them reside in the Lone Star State!
This republic also goes big when it comes to worship, as a number of influential worship bands and movements have come from Texas. In this list, we take a look at some bands and worship movements that have an impact far beyond the state's—and even the nation's—borders.
The largest church in the United States, Lakewood Church in Houston, doesn't just have celebrity pastor and author Joel Osteen; it has Lakewood Worship, a collective of worship leaders, musicians, and songwriters who know what it means to lead worship for massive crowds every weekend. Their latest release, Live EP, released in 2021. The group is well versed in making big sounds that reach people individually. Launching the worship-leading careers of Cindy Cruse Ratcliff and Marcos Witt, acclaimed chart-topper Tauren Wells also has strong roots in the church, performing, leading worship, and even preaching.
Located in the Dallas/Fort Worth suburb of Southlake, Texas, Gateway Worship has gone from leading 200 to now more than 36,000 people in worship at Gateway Church each week. Made up of a collective of more than 40 worship leaders, including husband-wife singers Cody Carnes and Kari Jobe, Gateway Worship has sold hundreds of thousands of albums and individual tracks and is responsible for introducing the world to "Revelation Song" by Jennie Lee Riddle. Passion and power, intimate moments, and crescendos of declaration all make up the Gateway Worship music experience.
The 25,000-congregant-strong Fellowship Church–based out of Grapevine, Texas (with multiple campuses throughout Texas, Florida, Oklahoma and Londan)–broke the mold with their worship community, Fellowship Creative. Employing fascinating arrangements, unexpected lyrics–how else would you ever sing the word "eclipsed" in a church service?–and cutting-edge instrumentation, this group caught the worship world's attention with the release of 2013's Running to Follow. They've continued to push the envelope with multiple releases throughout the years, including their latest 2021 EP, Tried & True.
Although the global church isn't as familiar with Covenant Church, this 10,000-member, multicultural and multi-campus congregation is one of the largest in the country, and definitely one of the largest in Texas. They released their Israel Houghton-produced debut, Kingdom, in 2014 and continue to release engaging worship on their latest 2021 album, Reside.
UPPERROOM really needs no introduction especially after its two collaboration projects (Move Your Heart and You Hold It All Together) with Maverick City Worship within the last year. They also released their own album, Land of the Living in March of 2020, which was ironically at the beginning of the pandemic. Spontaneity in worship and capturing moments of worshipping God through song is something UPPERROOM is known for. This worship aggregation is part of the church UPPERROOM with its biggest and base campus in Dallas, Texas. Being in the presence of God is a vital aspect for the church while also equipping believers through their School of Ministry.
Austin Stone Worship
Austin Stone Worship, formerly Austin Stone, is an American contemporary worship music collective from Austin, Texas founded in part by Chris Tomlin and serving The Austin Stone church, a thriving community in–you guesed it–Austin, TX. The band started making music in 2002 and continues today with their latest single, "In The Hands Of Christ My King," passing over 500,000 streams on Spotify.
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