The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America saw a slight drop in membership in 2006, continuing a trend of decline since the 1990s. The total of baptized members at the end of last year was 4,774,203—a 1.6 percent decrease from the 2005 total of 4,850,776, denominational officials said.
Active membership in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) continues to drop, registering a dip of about 46,000 members last year to 2.26 million, according to statistics released by PCUSA officials in Louisville, Kentucky.
The openly gay Virginia man who was at the center of a high-profile court case after he was denied membership in a United Methodist church has been accepted into membership under the church’s new pastor.
Lutheran church membership soared in Africa and Asia between 2005 and 2006 but continued its steady decline in the West, according to the Lutheran World Federation, whose total constituency rose .71 percent to just under 66.7 million.
Megachurches are increasingly difficult to ignore. By the latest count there are approximately 1,200 Protestant churches in the United States that have a weekly attendance of at least 2,000. The rise of megachurches raises the question: Why now? Why have very large churches proliferated in recent decades?
The largest Lutheran denomination in the U.S. has reported that its baptized membership was 4.85 million in 10,549 congregations last year, a one-year decrease of about 1.6 percent and the 14th straight annual decline in membership.