The Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches assembles various data on churches and denominations across North America. I recently gleaned the top 15 denominations by membership in the United States from their reports:
- Southern Baptist Convention: 16.2 million members
- The United Methodist Church: 7.8 million members
- The Church of God in Christ: 5.5 million members
- National Baptist Convention: 5.0 million members
- Evangelical Lutheran Church, U.S.A.: 4.5 million members
- National Baptist Convention of America: 3.5 million members
- Assemblies of God: 2.9 million members
- Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.): 2.8 million members
- African Methodist Episcopal Church: 2.5 million members
- National Missionary Baptist Convention of America: 2.5 million members
- The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS): 2.3 million members
- The Episcopal Church: 2.0 million members
- Churches of Christ: 1.6 million members
- Pentecostal Assemblies of the World: 1.5 million members
- The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church: 1.4 million members
Neither the Yearbook list nor this blog infers that bigger is better. To the contrary, I have noted on a number of occasions how church membership, unfortunately, is fast becoming a meaningless number. Only the Assemblies of God on this list reported membership growth from the previous year, and their growth rate was only one-half of one percent.
Nevertheless, the numbers are interesting. Does your church belong to one of these denominations? Are you in a non-denominational church? What are your reflections on this list?
Posted on March 26, 2013
With nearly 40 years of ministry experience, Thom Rainer has spent a lifetime committed to the growth and health of local churches across North America.
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