NASHVILLE (AP) The Southern Baptist Convention, America's largest Protestant body, grew again last year.
The Southern Baptists reported Tuesday that membership reached 16,247,736 in 2002, a handsome gain of 194,816 people, or 1.2 percent over the previous year.
The conservative denomination also reported increases in local congregations (42,775) and missions (5,439). However, there were slight declines in annual baptisms (394,893) and Sunday School enrollment (8,174,493).
Total financial receipts increased by 6.4 percent, to $9.5 billion.
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