Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Church statistics

Pastor Andy Harris at Central Assembly of God passed on an e-mail ad about the new Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, which is an amazing compendium of statistics and a brief description of denominations.

With it came an ever popular list of the largest denominations in the country. Here are the top 10.

1. The Roman Catholic Church, 69,135,254 members, reporting an increase of 1.94 percent.
2. The Southern Baptist Convention, 16,270,315 members, reporting a increase of .02 percent.
3. The United Methodist Church, 8,075,010 members, reporting a decrease of 1.36 percent.
4. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 5,690,672 members, reporting an increase of 1.63 percent.
5. The Church of God in Christ, 5,499,875 members, no increase or decrease reported.
6. National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., 5,000,000 members, no increase or decrease reported.
7. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 4,850,776, reporting a decrease of 1.62 percent.
8. National Baptist Convention of America, 3,500,000, no increase or decrease reported.
9. Presbyterian Church (USA), 3,098,842 members, reporting a decrease of 2.84 percent.
10. Assemblies of God, 2,830,861 members, reporting an increase of 1.86 percent.


Timothy said...

So what is your reaction to these numbers?

How does your own church or denomination stack up?

Should your church do anything different?

How do you feel about mainline Protestant churches likely being extinct in the 22nd Century? (a 1% decline rate equals 100% in 100 years)

I've seen several posts of this news now and no one is bothering to post anything personal or local regarding the announcement. I go to news sources for articles. I come to blogs for commentary and discussion.

God bless...

- Timothy

Tom said...

Wow. The Presbyterian Church (USA)out grew the Catholic Church. Impressive.

Diane Haag said...

No, it didn't Tom. The Presbyterians shrunk by 2 percent and the Catholics grew by about that same number.

Diane Haag said...


There's very little that's surprising in the numbers. Mainline churches have been shrinking for decades. The Catholic church is growing largely due to immigration. The Southern Baptist Convention stagnation has been talked about over the last couple of years, as they try to bring the evangelical back.

Why these trends? Well, if I had the cure for Mainline Protestantism, I would no longer be working for the newspaper. My guess is it comes down to complacency on the part of members and the secularization of society. People don't think they need the church. Anyone else have any thoughts?

Locally, this list would look very different. You'd see Southern Baptists followed by National Baptists (not sure which stripe) at the top, followed by Assemblies of God and Methodists. Lutherans and Latter-day Saints are way down the local list.