The Assemblies of God (AG) is one of the few major denominations in the United States to show continuing growth. In its statistics for calendar year 2012, released this week, the Assemblies of God showed a 1.8% increase in the number of adherents, and a 1% increase in the number of churches. From 2011 to 2012, the number of U.S. adherents increased from 3,041,957 to 3,095,717, and the number of U.S. churches increased from 12,595 to 12,722. The AG is growing at a faster rate than the U.S. population, which increased by 0.7% in 2011.
In recent decades, most mainline Protestant denominations in the U.S. have witnessed significant numerical declines. From 1960 to 2011, the United Church of Christ lost 48% of adherents; The Episcopal Church lost 43%; the Presbyterian Church (USA) lost 35%; the United Methodist Church lost 29%; and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America lost 19%. Others showed increases, including the Southern Baptist Convention (66%) and the Roman Catholic Church (62%). During the same period, the Assemblies of God grew by 498%, from 508,602 members in 1960.
Much of the numerical growth in the Assemblies of God in recent decades has been among ethnic minorities. In the past five years (from 2007 to 2012), the number of AG adherents increased by 8.1%. During this period, the number of white adherents increased by 1.6% and the number of non-white adherents increased by 19.2%. During the past year, this demographic shift continued. The percentage of white adherents dropped from 59.6% to 59.2%.
The racial breakdown of AG adherents in 2012 shows significant diversity: Asian/Pacific Islander (4.3%); Black (9.8%); Hispanic (21.7%); Native American (1.4%); White (59.2%); and Other /Mixed (3.5%). These stats suggest that the AG closely mirrors the ethnic makeup of the U.S. population as a whole. The 2010 U.S. census revealed the following racial breakdown of the U.S. population: Asian/Pacific Islander (5%); Black (12.6%); Hispanic (16.3%); Native American (0.9%); White (63.7%); and Other /Mixed (6.2%).
Worldwide Assemblies of God stats also continue their upward trend. Last year the number of adherents worldwide increased by 1.5% from 65,398,796 to 66,383,778. The number of worldwide adherents reflects numbers reported by churches with which AG (USA) World Missions has a fraternal relationship.
–Darrin J. Rodgers