City Guide: Dallas-Ft. Worth

Matthew ThompsonBy Matthew ThompsonJuly 18, 201919 Minutes

Since Dallas and Fort Worth are in the Bible Belt region of the U.S., it's no surprise that churches are literally everywhere. A quick Google search gives you nearly 500+ churches to choose from, including 10 of the biggest churches in the country. Nearly 200,000 people attend those churches. With numbers as big as these, the assumption is that everyone down here is a Christian. But in taking a closer look, you’ll find even the Bible Belt isn't exempt from the nationwide exodus of millennials from church. Older generations make up the majority of the congregations, while younger generations have slowly fizzled out. What we found in our time in DFW is fascinating: an uprising of churches in the last decade that are helping people be transformed by centering everything around knowing and following Jesus, not religion.

Churches in Fort Worth

Embrace the “In and Out” Lifestyle

At the front lines of this movement is UPPERROOM, who have one of the most beautiful approaches to doing church across the entire country. They’ve created an environment for people to experience healing and restoration through the presence of God on a daily basis. Built on the concept of the “In and Out Lifestyle”, UPPERROOM has a prayer room open every day of the week, in addition to services on Saturdays and Sundays.

We’ve personally experienced so much beauty from spending time in the prayer room in the presence of God. It empowers us on a daily basis to love people well and bring the light of Jesus to the rest of the world. One member said that “UR has created a place where people come face to face with the goodness, power, and presence of God”, while another said that there’s an “anointing in the atmosphere”. If you attend services on the weekend, it will likely be one of the most uplifting worship experiences you’ve ever been to. One member said “this room is on fire for the Spirit of God”, while another said that “the minute I walked in I felt the overwhelming presence of God surge through me”.

New church plants rocking DFW

Through a radical series of events, Pastors Micah and Lindsey Berteau moved down from California to Fort Worth to plant the House Fort Worth in February of 2018. On launch day, it was one of those rare DFW days where the weather was frigid and things started icing over. They had to keep a generator on to keep everything going, but to their surprise, over 450 people showed up.

Now based out of the Ridglea Theater in West Fort Worth, The House will likely be different than most churches you’ve experienced. Pastors Micah and Lindsey have created a casual environment where anyone can feel comfortable showing up, but it’s also one that’s filled with passion and has a strong sense of community.

With a community that now exceeds over 1,200 people, The House also has over 20 “House Groups” that meet all over the DFW area. This has not only created an opportunity for people to gather throughout the week, but it makes the process of developing meaningful relationships really accessible. In terms of preaching style, you can expect a message from Pastor Micah that is filled with passion. They also aren’t afraid to dive into topics and issues that our culture is wrestling with, including sex, anxiety and depression. And they do it with so much grace.

In the Spring of 2019, after a series of prayer and fasting, Mercy Culture was born in Fort Worth. Led by Pastors Landon and Heather Schott, everything the church does is built around encountering the presence of God. Their mission is to take you from corporate encounters with God in church and help you encounter Him on a daily basis. At Mercy Culture, you’ll likely be motivated to go much deeper in your relationship with God than you might have experienced.

One of the first things you’ll notice upon walking into the church is the passionate and intimate worship. When we attended, the decibel level in the room was pretty unbelievable. It’s not hard to see the blessing that’s come over the church. One member said that “peace” is the very first thing she felt, before adding that the church was filled with “beautiful spirited people”. As the church grows in age, Pastors Landon and Heather envision a city that feels the church and is feeding off the energy that comes from the church. Learn about five of the characteristics that define Mercy Culture.

On Mother’s Day of 2019, Hillsong also started a church right in the heart of Dallas. They are very much about creating a “come as you are” culture, where you can feel welcome no matter where you are in your spiritual journey or what your past or present looks like. Regularly trading off preaching duties, Pastors Reed and Jess Bogard are both gifted communicators. On the Sunday we attended a service, the power actually went out. What followed was pretty amazing. Even with just one mic, no lights and a packed, hot room, the Spirit of God was still radiating throughout the place.

From a nursing home to making a city-wide impact

In 2010, Pastors Earl and Oneka McClellan started Shoreline City Church with just 17 people. The church began with a small bible study that started in a nursing home, which grew into their first services in a movie theater in 2012. The church has had a major impact on the city, as they now have nearly 5,000 people who attend their locations in White Rock, Bishop Arts and North Dallas. The culture they’ve created is incredible, and you’ll find it’s one of the most easy-going and comfortable environments to explore your faith in all of Dallas.

Not only is the church incredibly diverse, but you’ll also notice how loving everybody is. They’re eager to welcome you and get you involved. One member said it’s the “most diverse, loving and passionate church” they’ve ever attended. Another said they’ve never felt comfortable making any church a home, until they found Shoreline. The community has blossomed over the last few years, as Shoreline now has 30+ groups that do life together and meet all over the Dallas area during the week.

Shoreline City Connect Group

Pastors Earl and Oneka are another husband-and-wife team that trade off preaching duties. Equally talented, you’ll find that the gospel is being communicated to you in a practical and digestible way. One member put it this way, “Pastor Earl is always on the mark when it comes to the explanation and fundamentals of the application of the word of God in today's society.”

Finding your church home

We had a blast in the DFW area and were so encouraged by how God is bringing the Gospel to the area in such a fresh way through all of these churches. If there’s one theme that we found through all of them, is how genuine and authentic the communities were and how passionate each church was about reaching this generation. Whether you’ve lived in the area your entire life or your just moving into town, these places will help you develop a deeper understanding of who God is and help you encounter Him in ways you never have before.

Browse churches in Dallas - Forth Worth