United Methodist Church Passes 12.5 Million Members Worldwide; Membership Continues to Shrink in US

IN SONG — Delegates and guests to the United Methodist Church’s 2000 General Conference join hands in song during a break in conference proceedings caused when people protesting the church’s anti-homosexual policies blocked the aisles. A UMNS photo by John C. Goodwin
Photo number gc2kK11, 5/11/00

The United Methodist Church is growing globally while declining in the United States, passing the 12.5 million-member mark, according to recently released statistics.

Drawing from annual conference journals sent to the UMC General Council on Finance and Administration mostly from 2016, the UMC saw its numbers grow compared to five years earlier.

The statistics were used to determine the number of delegates each annual conference will send to the 2020 UMC General Conference.

Delegates for the denomination’s 2020 legislative gathering will represent a diverse national background, according to the United Methodist News Service.

“The 2020 General Conference in Minneapolis will have 862 delegates — half clergy and half lay. Of those delegates, 55.9 percent will be from the U.S., 32 percent from Africa, 6 percent from the Philippines, 4.6 percent from Europe and the remainder from Concordat churches,” reported UMNS.

The largest single delegation, according to UMNS, will come from the North Katanga Conference in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with 50 people being sent.

The African presence in the UMC has become increasingly notable over the past several years. At the 2016 General Conference, delegates voted for the creation of five new bishops for the continent in response to the rapid growth.

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Source: Christian Post