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  1. The Elevation of Tex-Mex
    Mico Rodriguez
  2. The Bounty of the Barnett Shale
    Kelcy Warren
  3. The Entrepreneurial Woman
    Tomima Edmark
  4. The Growth of the Vietnamese Community
    Jennifer Nguyen
  5. The Founding of Uptown
    Phil Cobb
  6. The Changing Face of Politics
    Craig Watkins
  7. The Brain Gain
    Dr. Hao Zhu
  8. The Four Sport Town
    Mike Modano
  9. The Underground Culture
    Katherine Owens
  10. The Catholic Migration
    Father Ivan Asencio
  11. The Organized South Asian Community
    John Hammond
  12. The Next Way to Develop
    Jeff Blackard
  13. The Allure of the Silicon Prairie
    Anousheh Ansari
  14. The lighting of Reunion Tower
    George Schrader
  15. The New Old Tradition
    Jennifer Moreno
  16. The Test Kitchen
    Mariel Street
  17. The Art Magnet
    Kevin Moriarty
  18. The Glamorous Return of Dallas Shopping
    Brian Bolke
  19. The Strengthening of the Gay Community
    Jack Evans and George Harris
  20. The Resurgence of Downtown Dallas
    Art Ortiz
  21. The Megachurch Boom
    Ed Young
  22. The Fundraisers
    Lynn McBee
  23. The Refuge
    Pedro Amaya
  24. The Reason Dallas Took Off
    Ron Barzyk
  25. The Girl Who Stayed Home
    Erykah Badu
  26. The Preservation of Our Historic Buildings
    Virginia McAlester
  27. The Thriving Ethiopian Community
    Birhan Mekonnen
  28. The New Dallas ISD
    Jessica Leija
  29. The Rebirth of the Trinity River
    Peter Payton
  30. The Trains Start Running
    Ladrika Davis Gross
  31. The Architect of an Art Scene
    Stephen Lapthisophon
  32. The Calculator That Changed the World
    Vonnie Howard
  33. The Rise and Fall and Rise of Deep Ellum
    Frank Campagna
  34. The Big Move
    Kendra Norwood
  35. The Expanding Empire in Fort worth
    Scott Hernandez
  36. The Family Recipe
    Chuy Cruz
  37. The Transformation of Oak Cliff
    David Spence
  38. The Now-Legal Immigrant
    Jesus Castillo Carrizales
  39. The City of Philanthropists
    Lyda Hill
  40. The Transplants
    Tara Vornkahl
00 The Megachurch Boom Thursday, May 29, at 8:15pm in downtown Dallas

Ed Young

Sex. that’s what the preacher wants to talk about. He’s in bed with his wife, Lisa, and he looks completely comfortable. Like the bed they’re in isn’t 50 feet in the air, on the gravelly roof of a massive church. Like it isn’t a cold January morning, the kind that whips your lips and cheeks. Like there aren’t lights and cameras and microphones sending this moment across the world. Like they won’t be in this bed, on this frigid roof, for nearly 24 hours.

“God created sex,” he says, a Southern lilt in his voice. “He thought it up. He likes it. He’s pro-sex.” 

“We need to bring God back into the bedroom,” Lisa adds.

Making a biblical lesson out of a stunt.

There are a lot of these suburban megachurches in North Texas. A lot of preachers with nice smiles. But Ed Young at Fellowship Church in Grapevine finds a way to stand out. Because he’ll bring a full-grown lion to his Easter service, then hold a lamb a few feet from the cage. He’ll drive a Rolls-Royce through the church. He’ll theme an entire sermon around an interview with a Navy SEAL sniper. He’ll camp with his wife in a bed, on a roof, in the cold, surrounded by cameras, to promote a book that encourages married couples to have more sex.

This is how the son of a preacher grows a church of dozens into a flock of 20,000. With campuses all over North Texas. More in Miami and London. Best-selling books, DVDs, a mansion in Bluffview. Appearances on talk shows. Talk of a reality show. His is one of the most influential ministries in the world. Because he engages. Because his antics are lessons.

On this day, though, God has a different lesson for the preacher. All the sun, and those lights, and the white sheets—he’ll end up in the hospital with burns on his eyes. 

Because there’s one thing Ed Young is not: boring.