No surprises for US and Canadian denominations


It's business as usual for the mainline denomination of the United States and Canada.

The 2011 Yearbook reports a continuing decline in membership of virtually all mainline denominations.

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 at 68.5 million members, reported a membership growth of .57 percent.

Mainline churches reporting declines in membership are:

United Church of Christ, down 2.83 percent to 1,080,199 members;

the Presbyterian Church (USA), down 2.61 percent to 2,770,730 members;

the Episcopal Church, down 2.48 percent to 2,006,343 members;

the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. down 1.96 percent to 4,542,868 members;

the American Baptist Churches USA, down 1.55 percent to 1,310,505;

the Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod), down 1.08 percent to 2,312,111 members;

and the United Methodist Church, down 1.01 percent to 7,774,931 members.