The Roman Catholic Church (No. 1) and the Southern Baptist Convention (No. 2) are still significantly larger than all other North American denominations, but Catholics posted minimal growth of less than 1%, and Southern Baptist membership fell for a third straight year, according to the 2011 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churchespublished this week.
The figures in the 2011 yearbook, compiled by churches in 2009 and reported to the council in 2010, show that mainline Protestant churches continue the decline in memberships that began in the 1970s. The newest numbers show that the membership drop in mainline churches led to a 1% decrease in total U.S. church membership, to 145.8 million.
The Presbyterian Church (USA) led with the greatest membership drop of the 25 largest denominations, down 2.6%.
Other denominations reporting declines include the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Episcopal Church as well as the more conservative Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.