Presbyterian Church (USA) Continues Trend of Losing Congregations, Members

Leaders are seen here at Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s 219th General Assembly. (Photo: Facebook/PCUSA)
Leaders are seen here at Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s 219th General Assembly.
(Photo: Facebook/PCUSA)

The Presbyterian Church (USA) continued its years-long trend of losing congregations and members in 2013, according to statistics released by the mainline Protestant denomination last week.

According to the data compiled by the PCUSA’s Office of the General Assembly, by the end of 2013 membership was approximately 1.76 million, compared to approximately 1.84 million by the end of 2012.

Additionally, the number of PCUSA congregations decreased during 2013. There were 10,038 churches in 2013, versus 10,262 in 2012.

Of the 224 churches no longer with PCUSA, 148 of them were dismissed to other denominations while the remaining number were dissolved.

For the third straight year, the number of dismissed congregations increased, having been 21 in 2011, 110 in 2012, and 148 in 2013.

The Rev. Gradye Parsons, stated clerk of the PCUSA General Assembly, said in a statement that he saw hope in the numbers, given that the overall decline was diminishing compared to previous years.

“Yes, the numbers reflect a decrease in active members in the denomination … But the numbers also illustrate fewer losses than the previous year. The membership declined by 89,296 in 2013, compared to 102,791 in 2012,” said Parsons.

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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Michael Gryboski

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