Friday, April 01, 2005

Dysangelia

Bad news from the National Council of Churches, at least for former mainline denominations:
Churches that declined in membership in 2004 are the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 4,984,925 members, down 1.05 percent; the Presbyterian Church (USA), 3,241,309 members, down 4.87 percent; The Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod), 2,488,936 members, down .95 percent); American Baptist Churches in the USA, 1,433,075 members, down 3.45 percent; and the United Church of Christ, 1,296,652 members, down 2.58 percent.

The data is gathered by the churches in 2003 and reported to the yearbook in 2004.

The data is somewhat old, blah blah blah.

Meanwhile:
A reported surge in membership of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) has placed the communion on the list of the largest American churches. The Syosset, N.Y., based church grew 11.11 percent to 1-million members, according to the yearbook.

Other churches in the top 25 that continued to grow in 2004 are the Assemblies of God, 2,729,562 members and a growth rate of 1.57 percent; the Episcopal Church, 2,320,221 members and a growth rate of .57 percent; the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, 1,432,795 members and a growth rate of .14 percent; and Jehovah’s Witnesses, 1,041,030 members and a growth rate of 1.82 percent.

The only real surprise here is the Episcopalians' growth. Southern evangelical congregations? Or a sudden re-appraisal of brie and chardonnay? (The Greeks, whatever. I'll be interested to see if this growth is a result of immigration or conversion.)

Here's the list of the top 25 denominations:
1. The Catholic Church – 67,259,768

2. Southern Baptist Convention – 16,439,603

3. The United Methodist Church – 8,251,175

4. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – 5,503,192

5. The Church of God in Christ – 5,449, 875

6. National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc. – 5,000,000

7. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – 4,984,925

8. National Baptist Convention of America, Inc. – 3,500,000

9. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) – 3,241,309

10. Assemblies of God – 2,729,562

11. African Methodist Episcopal Church – 2,500,000

12. National Missionary Baptist Convention of America – 2,500,000

13. Progressive National Baptist Convention – 2,500,000

14. The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) – 2,488,936

15. Episcopal Church – 2,320,221

16. Churches of Christ – 1,500,000

17. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America – 1,500,000

18. Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc. – 1,500,000

19. American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. – 1,433,075

20. The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church – 1,432,795

21. United Church of Christ – 1,296,652

22. Baptist Bible Fellowship International – 1,200,000

23. Christian Churches and Churches of Christ – 1,071,616

24. Jehovah’s Witnesses – 1,041,030

25. The Orthodox Church in America – 1,000,000

2 Comments:
At 7:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 2:05 AM, Blogger Joseph Smith, Jr. said...

Interesting blog. Enjoyed reading it.

Sincerely,

Joseph Smith Jr.
Mormon history
http://www.whatismormonism.com

 

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