NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The nation’s largest Protestant denomination reported its twelfth year of declining membership in an annual report released Thursday.
The Southern Baptist Convention said it had 14.8 million members in 2018, down about 192,000 from the previous year. Baptisms also declined by about 7,600 to 246,442. That’s an important measure for a denomination with a strong commitment to evangelism.
The SBC’s membership peaked at 16.3 million in 2006. Its giving has continued to grow, however, with its churches collecting $11.8 billion last year.
Ed Stetzer is a professor at Wheaton College who presided over the SBC’s annual church profile reporting for many years.
“There are more evangelicals in the U.S. today than 10 years ago, yet there are less Southern Baptists,” Stetzer