Saddleback Church was started in 1980 by husband and wife Rick and Kay Warren, since then they have expanded to become the sixth largest church in the United States1 with membership numbers over 22,000. It is based in Lake Forest, California but has a number of other locations throughout California that it also owns and performs ceremonies. As well as these, Saddleback also has a number of overseas ministries in Berlin, Buenos Aries and Hong Kong.
Saddlebacks leader Rick Warren, affectionately known as ‘Pastor Rick’ believes, the five biblical purposes of the church are: worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and evangelism, this he calls ‘purpose driven churches’. He is a best-selling author and also a the founder of a number of other organisations such as The Purpose Driven Network, a global alliance of pastors from over 160 countries and who have been trained to be purpose driven churches. Warren and his wife Kay have three children, Amy, Josh and Mathew, who suffered from depression and as a result, took his own life in April 2013. The family have set up a foundation in Mathews name and also donate 90% of their salary to charitable causes. Along with this, in 1999 they donated all the salary they had earned from the past 20 years back to the church.
Saddleback Church is known as a mega church as its Lake Forest base (pictured) seats 3,500, it and the other locations have over 200 ministries a week and the church proudly states 1 in 9 in the area calls Saddleback their church. As well as its main church it caters to all range of people including singles, children, women and seniors. It also has what is recognised as the leading student ministry facility in the world, which it claims has trained over 200,000 church leaders from around the world in the ‘purpose driven church’ philosophy. It is a Christian Evangelical church and so shares the same religious values as roughly 26% of the US2.
1. <http://www.outreachmagazine.com/2013-outreach-100-largest-churches-america.html> accessed 18 February 20142. Pew research poll from 2007