Statistics Show Presbyterian Church USA Lost Nearly 5 Percent Membership in 2017; Over 800K Decline in 10 Years

Presbyterian Church (USA) has continued its years-long decline in numbers, losing nearly 5 percent of its membership in 2017, according to recently released official statistics.

Statistics released by the PCUSA Office of the General Assembly found that the mainline denomination had approximately 1.415 million members in 2017 compared to 1.482 million members in 2016, or a loss of over 67,000 members.

The 2017 membership total is also a quarter of a million fewer than reported in 2014 (1.667 million) and over 1 million fewer members than in 2000.

PCUSA also reported having 147 fewer congregations in 2017 than 2016, with the total going from 9,451 churches in 2016 to 9,304 in 2017. This decrease for 2017 included 45 congregations being dismissed to join other denominations.

The 45 dismissed congregations number is a noticeable decrease from years 2014–2016, when between 99 and 104 churches were granted dismissal on an annual basis.

General Assembly Stated Clerk J. Herbert Nelson II, head of PCUSA, said in a statement released Monday that he believed it “is clear that Presbyterians are doing poorly at evangelism.”

“Churches leaving was a temporary roadblock. Our inability to share the faith, to demonstrate the power and justice of Jesus Christ and His church to change a world where inequality, injustice, violence and war seem to gain strength daily is a critical factor in our failure to grow,” said Nelson.

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Source: Christian Post