Methodist ranks drop for 36th straight year

Membership abroad increasing
United Methodist Church membership and attendance are slightly down again in 2004, according to a new report.

Officials of the largest mainline denomination said that membership dropped .81 percent, to a little more than 8 million, and attendance fell .96 percent. It marked the 36th consecutive decline since the denomination merged in 1968 with the smaller Evangelical United Brethren Church.

“What I’m hoping that it’s causing us to do is look at ourselves denominationally and see if there are things we need to do differently and how to do those things differently, in order to be attractive to more folks,” said Terry Bradfield, deputy general secretary for the church’s General Council on Finance and Administration, which released the report April 21.


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