Everyone should see East Oakland’s Acts Full Gospel in action, if only to take in the sheer scale of Pastor Bob Jackson’s spectacle. The church didn’t even exist twenty years ago, but now it’s easily the largest in Oakland, one of the evangelical “megachurches” that have cropped up around the country in the last few years. Jackson’s congregation is so massive that no mere building can contain it. He was forced to convert an old cotton warehouse into his main sanctuary, and even then, only half of his six thousand parishioners can fit into the building — thus there’s a second service at 11:30 a.m. And the ceremony has all the energy that his Church of God in Christ denomination is known for: worshipers fall to the floor and speak in tongues, writhe about in the aisles, and prostrate themselves before the pulpit. It’s easily the most exuberant religious experience to be had on this side of the bay.
Readers’ Pick for Best Place to Worship: Regeneration