On Sept. 11, Embrace Church—still considered one of the fastest-growing churches in the country—celebrated its 10th birthday and launched its sixth campus.
Rev. Adam Weber said Embrace began with a few emails and calls and a great deal of prayer. He recalls the day in September 2006 when 32 people gathered for worship for the first time. The church now averages more than 3,000 in worship attendance.
“To be honest, we had no clue what the future held (or what we were doing), but we sensed God asking us to follow Him,” said Weber. “This group would end up becoming Embrace. Soon after that service, small groups began gathering in homes and we began to meet for worship once a month… seeing new faces each time.”
Earlier this month, Embrace launched its newest “Sertoma” campus in Sioux Falls, South Dakota with 534 in worship. That figure represents Embrace's largest attendance on a launch Sunday. The Sertoma campus is located in a middle school.
Although Embrace is based in Sioux Falls and most of its campuses are in South Dakota, it now has a presence in Minnesota. A Twin Cities campus of Embrace opened its doors last November in Lakeland with two worship services and 438 people in attendance—making it the largest launch of a single United Methodist Church site in Minnesota in recent decades.
This month, Outreach Magazine ranked Embrace 28th on its list of the fastest-growing churches in America. “Each year, I honestly can't believe it,” Weber said in a recent Facebook post. “I'm in awe of God!”
Meanwhile, Embrace is No. 1 on author and speaker Len Wilson's list of the 25 fastest-growing United Methodist Churches with a five-year growth rate of 1,437 percent.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church