Magazine article The Christian Century

UMC Membership Down, but Constituency Expands

Magazine article The Christian Century

UMC Membership Down, but Constituency Expands

Article excerpt

The number of professing adult United Methodist Church members has continued to decline--now to 7.93 million--though the last tabulated drop was less than a percentage point.

When the church considers the thousands of nonmember adults and children for whom local churches have "pastoral responsibility," Methodist officials said last month, the denomination is holding its own and enjoying some growth.

The recently released figures for 2006 counted 7,931,733 professing members in the U.S., down from 7,995,429 in 2005. The 2006 worldwide figures for United Methodists are not expected to be tallied until late this year. That figure was 11.5 million in 2005.

When statisticians add more than 45,000 clergy members and some 870,000 baptized, nonprofessing members, the U.S. total rises well above 8 million. United Methodists typically report only the number of adult professing members, but that method has the effect of underplaying Methodist totals compared to churches reporting inclusive numbers.

In addition, according to the United Methodist News Service, another category--constituents--expanded during 2006 to more than 1.5 million, a 16 percent increase from a decade earlier. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.