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The 15 Largest Protestant Denominations in the United States

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  • Thom Rainer
By Thom S. Rainer, Christian Post Contributor
March 27, 2013|9:21 am

The Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches assembles various data on churches and denominations across North America. I recently gleaned the top 15 denominations by membership in the United States from their reports:

1. Southern Baptist Convention: 16.2 million members
2. The United Methodist Church: 7.8 million members
3. The Church of God in Christ: 5.5 million members
4. National Baptist Convention: 5.0 million members
5. Evangelical Lutheran Church, U.S.A.: 4.5 million members
6. National Baptist Convention of America: 3.5 million members
7. Assemblies of God: 2.9 million members
8. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.): 2.8 million members
9. African Methodist Episcopal Church: 2.5 million members
10. National Missionary Baptist Convention of America: 2.5 million members
11. The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS): 2.3 million members
12. The Episcopal Church: 2.0 million members
13. Churches of Christ: 1.6 million members
14. Pentecostal Assemblies of the World: 1.5 million members
15. The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church: 1.4 million members

Neither the Yearbook list nor this blog infers that bigger is better. To the contrary, I have noted on a number of occasions how church membership, unfortunately, is fast becoming a meaningless number. Only the Assemblies of God on this list reported membership growth from the previous year, and their growth rate was only one-half of one percent.

Nevertheless, the numbers are interesting. Does your church belong to one of these denominations? Are you in a non-denominational church? What are your reflections on this list?

Dr. Thom Rainer is president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
 

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