For the third year in a row the Jehovah’s Witness church grew significantly more than other churches (with the exception of Seventh Day Adventists, who also showed very strong growth). According to this year’s Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, the Jehovah’s Witness church doubled its growth jumping from 2% in 2009 to 4.37% growth in 2010. Seventh Day Adventists were very close behind with a growth rate of 4.31%.
Other churches that showed growth were the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with growth of 1.42% (down from a growth rate of 1.71% in 2009), the Catholic Church up .57% (down from a growth of 1.47% in 2009), Assemblies of God up .52%, and the Church of God in Cleveland (up .38%).
Below is a list of the top 25 churches with their growth rate.
The top 25 churches reported in the 2011 Yearbook are in order of size:
1. The Catholic Church, 68,503,456 members, up .57 percent.
2. Southern Baptist Convention,16,160,088 members, down.42 percent.
3. The United Methodist Church, 7,774,931 members, down1.01 percent.
4. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6,058,907 members, up 1.42 percent.
5. The Church of God in Christ, 5,499,875 members, no membership updates reported.
6. National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc, 5,000,000 members, no membership updates reported.
7. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 4,542,868 members, down1.96 percent.
8. National Baptist Convention of America, Inc., 3,500,000 members, no membership updates reported.
9. Assemblies of God, 2,914,669 members, up .52 percent.
10. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), 2,770,730 members, down 2.61 percent.
11. African Methodist Episcopal Church, 2,500,000 members, no membership updates reported.
11. National Missionary Baptist Convention of America, 2,500,000 members, no membership updates reported.
13. The Lutheran Church– Missouri Synod (LCMS), 2,312,111 members, down 1.08 percent.
14. The Episcopal Church, 2,006,343 members, down 2.48 percent.
15. Churches of Christ, 1,639,495 members, no membership updates reported.
16. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, 1,500,000 members, no membership updates reported.
17. Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc., 1,500,000 members, no membership updates reported.
18. The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, 1,400,000 members, members, no membership updates reported.
19. American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A., 1,310,505 members, down 1.55 percent.
20. Jehovah’s Witnesses, 1,162,686 members, up 4.37 percent.
21. United Church of Christ, 1,080,199 members, down 2.83 percent.
22. Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee), 1,076,254 members, up .38 percent.
23. Christian Churches and Churches of Christ , 1,071,616 members, no membership updates reported.
24. Seventh-Day Adventist Church. 1,043,606 members, up 4.31 percent.
25. Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. 1,010,000 members, down 59.60 percent (due in part to a new methodology of counting members).
What do you think contributes to the huge jump in growth by the Adventists (who enter the top 25 list for the first time this year) and the Jehovah’s Witnesses? Should other churches do what these churches are doing to attract members, or do you think it matters which church people attend?