The Office of the General Assembly has released the 2010 statistics of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The statistical materials include a comparative summary of the PC(USA) membership, a summary of receipts and expenditures from 2007-2010, and additional miscellaneous information.
The new numbers show that the total membership of the PC(USA) in 2010 was 2,016,091, compared to 2,077,138 in the previous year, a decline of just over 61,000 members.
Nearly 59,000 individuals joined by profession or reaffirmation of faith. Adult baptisms totaled 6,148, a decrease of 672, and child baptisms numbered 22,460, which was 2,163 fewer than 2009.
While 21,615 members joined by certificate of transfer, 29,835 left by the same manner.
The number of PC(USA) churches stood at 10,560, down from 10,657. The figure reflects only those congregations that have been chartered, rather than new church developments, new immigrant fellowships, or other worshiping communities within the denomination.
Twenty new churches were organized, 77 were dissolved, and 26 were dismissed to other denominations.
The Reverend Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, noted that the latest statistics continue a difficult trend.
“These numbers are not what anyone wants to see,” he said. “While it appears that we lost fewer people in the category of ‘other’ (those who did not die or transfer to another congregation) than the previous three years, it is still where our largest number of losses occur.”
In the area of financial giving, the annual statistics for 2010 show a total in contributions of $2,027,479,202.
“Presbyterians continue to be incredibly generous,” said Parsons, “even when their own pocketbooks are taking a hit from the economy.”
Speaking from the Big Tent event in Indianapolis, Parsons reflected further on this year’s statistical report. “Our numbers are down,” he said. “Seeing the data on paper is sobering. And yet, incredible things are happening in the PC(USA). For example, more folks than ever are at the Big Tent this year, especially youth and children. There’s a palpable sense of excitement and energy and conversation about vital ministries that are happening across the church.”
“It is an important time in the life of the PC(USA),” he added. “We have a new Form of Government that will encourage all of us to think differently about how we do church. I anticipate that we’ll see new models and fresh approaches springing up.”
“The excitement doesn’t nullify the numbers,” Parsons said, “but it’s a clear indication that God is not nearly finished with us.”
Read the complete summary of statistics.
Read the miscellaneous information.