Church membership in America tops 151 million

Posted: Friday, February 16, 2001

NEW YORK (AP) -- Total U.S. church membership is 151,097,906 in 320,697 congregations, according to the ''2001 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches.'' Three-fourths of those members belong to the 10 largest denominations.

The nation's biggest denominations are the Roman Catholic Church and Southern Baptist Convention, which posted membership increases of 373,048 and 122,400 respectively from the previous year.

The third-ranking United Methodist Church declined by 33,841 members. Also showing losses were the American Baptist Churches (53,012), Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (28,557), Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod (11,964) and Presbyterian Church (USA) (13,775).

The National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc., typically ranks fourth in size but provided no data and was not listed.

The yearbook said the 62 U.S. denominations providing financial data had cumulative receipts of just under $27 billion.

In Canada, church membership totaled 18,960,572 in 26,839 congregations.

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