What Is Saddleback, The Church That Vicki and Tamra Attend, on ‘Real Housewives of Orange County’?

Surely I can’t be the only one who noticed that, during Monday night’s episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County, Vicki and Tamra both talked about going to the 35th anniversary of Saddelback, a church they both seem to either current attend or previously attended in the past. Though it wasn't spoken about at length, it was enough to make me wonder: what kind of church is this Saddleback? I mean, it has to be pretty impressive to attract the likes of Vicki Gunvalson and Tamra Judge, right?

As I'm sure most viewers of RHOC will have noticed, religion has been a pretty big topic of conversation this season on the series — what with Tamra bringing along The Bible for Dummies on their Tahiti vacation, and the season trailer that involves some sort of baptism in Vicki’s pool. There was even a moment during Monday night’s episode where Vicki raised her hands to the sky and shouted, “Praise Jesus!” at a small luncheon at Heather’s new house. Clearly the housewives are investigating their faith — either that, or they are being more open about expressing it — so, as a result, I’m dying to know more about their faith and the church that they attend.

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So. Saddleback. You may not recognize the name right off the bat, but this church has a name that you might recognize. Like, say, Rick Warren — who, with his wife Kay, founded the church in 1980 in Orange County, California. The church grew quickly in the '80s, migrating from Warren’s small living room to the local high school and beyond. According to their official website, the church gained popularity with teachings that were “readily applicable to everyday life,” and music that was “refreshingly contemporary.” Eventually, the church became too big for one location, and it spread out to surrounding areas in California. Today, the church is pretty enormous: Their website boasts of an attendance of over 25,000 people, with over 40,642 baptism conducted. In June of this year Saddleback pledged to raise over $71 million for their largest expansion yet.

As for what the church stands for, Saddleback is actually an acrostic — you know, those things where each letter in a word stands for something else. Specifically, each letter in the church’s name stands for one of their core values. The values have changed over the decades, but the name has stayed the same.

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Based on what I can gather from the website, the church is a place “to get help, healing, and hope,” so it makes sense to me that Vicki would be getting in touch with her faith and talking more about her church. After having just recently lost her mother while at the same time supporting Brooks through his third round of cancer, there is probably a good deal of comfort that she receives from being apart of a faith and a community.

Now, I just wonder what it would take for her to get Meghan King Edmonds to join her for a Sunday service. Something tells me that, after the fight they had on Monday night’s episode, pigs will fly before that happens.

Image: Vivian Zink/Bravo; Giphy (2)