Church Stats, 1975-2015: Charts Show Decline of Mainline Protestants and Growth of Pentecostals

Stats 2015 1

Stats 2015 2

The numbers are in! The annual statistics for 2015 have now been released by the following eight major Christian denominations: Assemblies of God, Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian Church (USA), Roman Catholic Church, Southern Baptist Convention, United Church of Christ, and United Methodist Church.

Over the past 40 years, the number of adherents of mainline Protestant denominations has declined significantly. The Roman Catholic Church and Southern Baptist Convention both show modest increases, although their growth has plateaued in recent years. The Assemblies of God, like many Pentecostal groups, has experienced significant growth over the past four decades.

Sources for charts:
Assemblies of God
Episcopal Church
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Roman Catholic Church
Southern Baptist Convention
United Church of Christ
United Methodist Church

ELCA: Formed in 1987 by a merger of three bodies: American Lutheran Church (1960-1987); Lutheran Church in America (LCA) (1962-1987); and Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (AELC) (1976-1987). Tallies for 1975, 1980, and 1985 include stats of predecessor bodies. The AELC was a split from the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) in 1976. The 1975 tally does not include stats for LCMS churches which later formed the AELC, which has the effect of understating the ELCA’s loss from 1975 to the present.
PC(USA): Formed in 1983 by a merger of United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. and the Presbyterian Church in the United States. Tallies for 1975 and 1980 include stats of predecessor bodies.


Do you have Pentecostal historical materials that should be preserved? Please consider depositing these materials at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC). The FPHC, located in the Assemblies of God national offices, is the largest Pentecostal archive in the world. We would like to preserve and make your treasures accessible to those who write the history books.

Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center
1445 North Boonville Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65802 USA
Phone: 417.862.1447 ext. 4400
Toll Free: 877.840.5200


Filed under News

4 responses to “Church Stats, 1975-2015: Charts Show Decline of Mainline Protestants and Growth of Pentecostals

  1. John Hiller

    Hello, are these stats world wide or just in the USA? Thanks.

  2. Anon

    I think Pentecostal religion provides people what they really want and need from religion — direct blessings from God and divine intervention. ‘Mainline’ protestant groups seem to focus on political, cultural, and aesthetic stuff that few people care about and are unrelated to (or even opposed to) religion. I’m not Pentecostal, but God bless ’em.

  3. Sharon

    As a 4th generation Pentecostal, could it be that we have become more people pleasing than holding true to the message?

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