Size Matters: Addressing Social Determinants of Health Through Black Churches

Terrinieka W. Powell, Keiana R. West, Courtney E. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Congregational size has been most consistently linked with offering health-related programs. However, few studies have examined the unique contribution of congregational size when considering other factors and across a range of health topics including those identified as social determinants of health. The current study sought to fill this gap. Eighty-eight faith leaders from 63 Christian churches in Baltimore, Maryland, provided information about themselves, their congregations, and the programs offered in their congregations. Over half of the sample were Baptist, and 60% were women. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the extent to which congregational size was associated with the likelihood of having health programs. Results showed that faith leaders from larger congregations are significantly more likely to report having more programs overall and programs that specifically target health/health care and education, even after accounting for faith leader characteristics and denomination. However, both large and small churches had an equal likelihood of offering programs related to economic stability and social/community contexts. Our findings extend previous research and suggest important next steps for researchers and practitioners to consider on how best to involve congregations in health promotion and well-being among urban communities of color.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-244
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Faith-based
  • Health equity
  • Health promotion
  • Social determinants of health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Size Matters: Addressing Social Determinants of Health Through Black Churches'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this