PC(USA) membership lies in medium-sized congregations
May 12, 2015
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) members, by and large, belong to churches with medium-sized congregations of between 150 to 599 members, according to 2014 statistics released by the Office of the General Assembly.
Based on the numbers, 708,062 congregants—42.5 percent of total membership—belong to churches directly in the middle between small- and large-sized congregations. That breaks down to 349,241 in churches with membership between 150 to 299, and 358,821 in churches with membership between 300 to 599.
“The PC(USA) is a church made up of vibrant congregations doing their best to live out the gospel of Jesus Christ in their communities and in the world,” said the Reverend Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the PC(USA). “Membership declines continue, but on a whole the denomination is settling into the new thing God is creating.”
Total membership at the end of 2014 was 1,667,767. That’s compared to 1,760,200 at the end of 2013 and 1,849,496 at the end of 2012.
The total number of churches in 2014 was 9,829, compared to 10,038 in 2013 and 10,262 in 2012. Significant of the 209-church loss of 2014 was the fact that only 101 of those were dismissed to other denominations, a decrease from the 148 congregations dismissed to other denominations in 2013.
Also significant was the tally churches reported of non-members their congregations served or ministered among in 2014 through activities, programs, and outreach. The average reported was 815 people.
“Membership statistics and church numbers tell one story, but it’s not the entire message of how the PC(USA) is impacting the world,” Parsons said. “God continues to breathe new life into our work and challenges us to find new, creative ways to touch and transform lives.”