The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


ELCA in top 10 of largest churches

The ELCA is one of just three mainline churches among the 10 largest U.S. denominations. According to the 2006 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches, the 10 are:

• Roman Catholic Church: 67,820,833 members (up .83 percent).

• Southern Baptist Convention: 16,267,494 (down 1.05 percent).

United Methodist Church: 8,186,254 (down .79 percent).

• Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: 5,999,177 (up 1.74 percent).

• Church of God in Christ: 5,499,875 (no increase or decrease reported).

• National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.: 5,000,000 (no increase or decrease reported).

ELCA: 4,930,429 (down 1.09 percent).

• National Baptist Convention of America: 3,500,000 (no increase or decrease reported).

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.): 3,189,573 (down 1.60 percent).

• Assemblies of God: 2,779,095 (up 1.81 percent).

Kenneth Inskeep, director of ELCA Research and Evaluation, defines mainline denominations as “churches that, not so long ago, had functioned as the unofficial religious establishment of the U.S.” (See “Mainline decline”; April)


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