Southern Baptist membership continues decline

For the fifth year in a row, the Southern Baptist Convention has seen a drop in its total membership. The … Continued

For the fifth year in a row, the Southern Baptist Convention has seen a drop in its total membership.

The denomination’s membership in 2011 was 15,978,112, a drop of nearly 1 percent from the 2010 figure of 16.1 million, the denomination’s LifeWay Christian Resources reported Tuesday (June 12).

On June 19, the denomination is expected to elect its first African-American president, the Rev. Fred Luter of New Orleans. Some black Southern Baptists hope more African-Americans may be drawn to the predominantly white denomination if Luter is elected.

Last year, as the denomination faced its fourth consecutive year of decline, members adopted a proposal to be more intentional about placing racial and ethnic minorities on SBC committees and agency staff.

As of 2010, African-American churches comprised 8 percent of the denomination’s churches; 50 percent of Southern Baptist churches started in 2011 were non-Anglo.

Southern Baptists, who remain the nation’s largest Protestant body, reported slight increases in total number of churches and baptisms last year.

The church total in 2011 was 45,764, a 0.08 percent increase over the 2010 total of 45,727. Baptisms rose 0.70 percent to 333,341.

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  • SODDI

    Southern Baptists were founded to support slavery. In the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, Southern Baptists were virulently against civil rights and fought viciously in favor of segregation.

    It’s a religion of racism.