Sexual Misconduct and the Future of Mega-Churches

How Large Religious Organizations Go Astray

by Glenn L. Starks

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March 2013


Pages 161
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Religion/General
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Why have multiple mega-church leaders—Ted Haggard and Bishop Eddie Long, for example—committed acts of sexual misconduct? This book discusses the reasons in depth and examines how these acts are impacting the future of megachurches.

Mega-churches—churches with congregations that number in the thousands of worshippers—are growing in popularity in America and around the world. Shockingly, a growing number of megachurch leaders have committed acts of sexual misconduct. While these scandalous crimes have received much attention through the media, literature that examines the topic in detail has been lacking. This book examines the various aspects of sexual misconduct by megachurch leaders, providing a comprehensive review of the topic that discusses the direct and indirect reasons for these crimes.

The book provides unbiased, factual coverage of megachurch sexual abuse cases, covering issues surrounding the victims in specific cases, the role of the church, and notable ministers, such as Ted Haggard of New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO; Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Lithonia, GA; and Joe Barron of Prestonwood Baptist Church, Dallas, TX. The author also discusses how these incidences have impacted societal perceptions of religion, and large churches, and religious organizations, and provides recommendations to curb future cases of sexual abuse within megachurches.


  • Addresses widespread public concern over why these highly publicized crimes occur and the accompanying interest in what can be done to end these behaviors
  • Presents a factual, research-based, and unbiased discussion of how the crisis is changing the future of large religious organizations
  • Examines what makes pastors of mega-churches more susceptible to sexual misconduct than pastors of small congregations
  • Relates the sexual misconduct of pastors to similar transgressions among other professionals, such as teachers and professors, scout leaders, sports coaches, and politicians
  • Fills a gap in the literature that exists regarding theories on why incidents of sexual misconduct continue to occur
Author Info

Glenn L. Starks, PhD, holds a doctorate from Virginia Commonwealth University in public policy and administration. He has written several books and articles on government, leadership, and management, including ABC-CLIO's Historically Black Colleges and Universities: An Encyclopedia; How Your Government Really Works: A Topical Encyclopedia of the Federal Government; and Thurgood Marshall: A Biography. Starks has over 20 years of experience working in the federal government and has taught graduate courses in public administration.

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