The 2010 Yearbook from the National Council of Church USA is out and the news continues to be good for Catholics.
The Catholic Church, the nation's largest at more than 68 million members, reported a slight membership loss in 2009 (for the year 2007) but rebounded . . . with a robust growth of 1.49 percent in 2008.
Other groups that posted significant gains were the Mormon Church (Latter Day Saints) which grew 1.71 percent to 5,873,408 members and the Assemblies of God grew 1.27 percent to 2,863,265 members.
The big losers: mainline Protestants continue their slide
Presbyterian Church (USA), down 3.28 percent to 2,941,412; American Baptist Churches in the USA, down 2 percent to 1,358,351; and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, down 1.92 percent to 4,709,956 members.
The 10 largest churches were
1. The Catholic Church, 68,115,001 members, up 1.49 percent.
2. Southern Baptist Convention,16,228,438 members, down 0.24percent.
3. The United Methodist Church, 7,853,987 members, down 0.98 percent.
4. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 5,974,041 members, up 1.71 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, 4,633,887 members, down1.62 percent.
8. National Baptist Convention of America, Inc., 3,500,000 members, no membership updates reported.
9. Assemblies of God (ranked 10 last year), 2,899,702 members, up 1.27 percent.
10. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) 1(ranked 9 last year), 2,844,952 members, down 3.28 percent.
(Note that the LDS Church is #4 and growing.)
FYI: The Episcopalian Church is #15 and the Greek Orthodox Church is #17 with 1,500,000 members on the books (although I've been told by insiders that actual attendance at Divine Liturgy is a small fraction of the official number)
Not surprisingly, congregational giving was down:
"The financial reporting in the 2010 Yearbook is based on the financial income reports of the 64 churches reporting. The almost 45 million members of these churches contributed almost $36 billion, showing a decrease in the total income to the churches of $26 million."