The Presbyterian Church (USA) lost over 140 congregations and nearly five percent of its active membership in 2018, according to recently released statistics by the denomination’s Office of the General Assembly.
While still the largest Presbyterian denomination in the United States, from 2017 to 2018 PC(USA) saw their active membership decline by 62,375 people, going from approximately 1.41 million to approximately 1.35 million.
The number of PC(USA) member congregations also fell, going from 9,304 in 2017 to 9,161 in 2018, or a difference of 143 congregations.
PC(USA) did see a decline in the number of congregations dismissed to other denominations, going from 77 churches in 2017 to 46 in 2018, as well as a slight increase in new worship communities, from 144 in 2017 to 158 in 2018.
In a statement released last week, the OGA of PC(USA) pointed out that the overall decline in active members appeared to be slowing down over the past year.
For example, in 2015 the mainline denomination lost 90,000 active members, a decline much larger than the 67,000 plus lost in 2017, itself larger than the 62,000 plus lost last year.
“While the difference is not great, we are encouraged by the slowing trend downward,” said the Rev. J. Herbert Nelson II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the PC(USA), in the statement. “The church of the 21st century is changing and we still believe God is preparing us for great things in the future.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski