The National Council of Church’s 2011 church statistics are out, and many Protestant faiths continue to see a decline in membership while the Catholic Church and Pentecostalism have grown.
Church membership overall in the U.S. dropped by about 1 percent, to 145.8 million, according to the 2011 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches, which is produced by the council.
The yearbook reports a continuing decline in membership of virtually all mainline Protestant denominations.
And the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s second largest denomination and long a reliable generator of church growth, reported a decline in membership for the third year in a row, down .42 percent to 16,160,088 members.
The Catholic Church, the nation’s largest (and the Twin Cities’ largest denomination) at 68.5 million members, reported a membership growth of .57 percent.
Another large denomination in the Twin Cities area, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, saw its overall membership go down 1.96 percent to 4,542,868 members.
Membership figures reported in the 2011 Yearbook were collected by the churches in 2009 and reported to the Yearbook in 2010.
Here’s the top 20 churches reported in the 2011 Yearbook in order of size:
1. The Catholic Church, 68,503,456 members, up .57 percent.
2. Southern Baptist Convention, 16,160,088 members, down .42 percent.
3. The United Methodist Church, 7,774,931 members, down 1.01 percent.
4. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6,058,907 members, up 1.42 percent.
5. The Church of God in Christ, 5,499,875 members, no membership updates reported.
6. National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc, 5,000,000 members, no membership updates reported.
7. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 4,542,868 members, down 1.96 percent.
8. National Baptist Convention of America, Inc., 3,500,000 members, no membership updates reported.
9. Assemblies of God, 2,914,669 members, up .52 percent.
10. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), 2,770,730 members, down 2.61 percent.
11. African Methodist Episcopal Church, 2,500,000 members, no membership updates reported.
11. National Missionary Baptist Convention of America, 2,500,000 members, no membership updates reported.
13. The Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod (LCMS), 2,312,111 members, down 1.08 percent.
14. The Episcopal Church, 2,006,343 members, down 2.48 percent.
15. Churches of Christ, 1,639,495 members, no membership updates reported.
16. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, 1,500,000 members, no membership updates reported.
17. Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc., 1,500,000 members, no membership updates reported.
18. The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, 1,400,000 members, members, no membership updates reported.
19. American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A., 1,310,505 members, down 1.55 percent.
20. Jehovah’s Witnesses, 1,162,686 members, up 4.37 percent.