The Office of the General Assembly has released the 2011 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 2008-2011, and additional miscellaneous information.
The total membership of the PC(USA) at the end of 2011 was 1,952,287, compared to 2,016,091 in 2010, which is a decline of 63,804 members.
The number of PC(USA) congregations at the end of 2011 stood at 10,466, or 96 fewer than the previous year. New church developments, new immigrant fellowships, or other worshiping communities within the denomination are not included in this figure, which is limited to congregations that have been officially organized.
Eighteen new churches were organized in 2011. Seventy-five were dissolved, compared to 77 in 2010. Twenty-one congregations were dismissed to other denominations, five fewer than the previous year.
Slightly fewer than 55,000 individuals joined by profession or reaffirmation of faith, nearly one-third of who were 17 years old or younger. Adult baptisms totaled 5,740, a decrease of 408, and the number of child baptisms declined by 1,038 to 21,422.
Membership loss came through certificate of transfer (23,082, compared to 29,835 in 2010); death (31,754, which was 717 fewer than 2010); and “other” (95,613, compared to 88,731 the previous year). The “other” category includes those who were members of churches that were dissolved or dismissed to other denominations. Two-thirds of the “other” category encompasses the removal of members from the rolls who are no longer active and have not become involved in another community of faith.
In the area of financial giving, the annual statistics for 2011 show that Presbyterians contributed a total of $2,003,565,190 to their congregations.
In reflecting on the latest numbers, the Reverend Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, finds too few statistics that are good news.
“The loss of membership through certificate-of-transfer is the lowest number it has been in at least four years, which is encouraging,” he said, “and per-person giving rose in 2011, reversing a downward trend in 2010.”
“At least two challenges are before us,” Parsons continued. “The first and primary need is to continue to increase our efforts to live out the Great Commission and share the good news of Jesus Christ. The second is to connect with the growing number of the “Spiritual But Not Religious.”
“The vast majority of congregations and worshiping communities across the denomination can name individuals within their community who may be involved but will never end up on the rolls. I believe that they are the ones who can help teach us new ways in which religious institutions can serve God in this century.”
Read the complete summary of statistics.
Read the miscellaneous information.