With megachurches come megacrowds, megamoney and, increasingly, mega–security concerns.
The crowds—anywhere from 2,000 to 20,000 worshipers each weekend—can be an attractive target for a deranged shooter. Overflowing offering plates are tempting to thieves, and well-known preachers can become high-profile targets.
With his folksy, conversational style, Pastor Frank Harrington turned Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Atlanta into a megachurch over three decades. At its peak, Peachtree had nearly 13,000 names on its rolls—six times the membership when Harrington assumed the pulpit in 1970.