- Largest Baptist Communities
- Famous Baptists - includes SBC and non-SBC Baptists
- Schism in the Southern Baptist Convention
- Largest Religious Groups in the U.S.
Source: Churches and Church Membership in the United States, 1990, published by the Glenmary Research Center, P.O. Box 507, Mars Hill, NC 28754. Principle investigator: Church Growth Research Center, Church of the Nazarene, Kansas City, MO. This data source was obtained from the American Religion Data Archive.
But the proportion of Americans who identify themselves as Southern Baptists has declined steadily and significantly over the past ten years, from 10% in 1993 to just 6% in 2001.
These figures represent the percentage of Americans who identify themselves as Southern Baptists, according to the aggregate figures from a year's worth of polling by Gallup [http://www.gallup.com/poll/releases/pr010413.asp]:
|Year||% of Americans
who say they are
These figures are the results of responses to two questions. The first determined people's general religion: What is your religious preference -- Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish or an Orthodox religion such as the Greek or Russian Orthodox Church?
Then, if the respondent said they were a Protestant, a follow up question was asked: What specific denomination is that?
During the same 10-year period, there was no similar change observed among other Protestant denominations. "Other Baptists" accounted for 10% of Americans in 1992, and were still 10% in 2001. 10% of Americans said they were Methodists in 1992; 9% in 2001. The figures for Presbyterianism fluctuated between 3 and 5% throughout the period, within the margin of error, and without discernible patten of decline or growth. Episcopalians held at 2% essentially throughout the decade. Lutherans were 6 or 7% in all but one of the years. Pentecostals rose from 1 to 3%, with what seemed to be a real growth trend.
The Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee has approved a new Council on Family Life that will promote families based on traditional Judeo-Christian values. The committee said problems facing families include an all-time high divorce rate, infidelity and promotion of alternative lifestyles. For the next two years, the council on Family Life will work on a strategy to assist "fractured" families and support and "multiply" already existing Southern Baptist programs that promote traditional families. The new plans follow the 1998 adoption of a statement that affirmed heterosexual marriage and stated that wives should "submit . . . graciously" to their husbands. Former council President Tom Elliff, who headed the study committee, said he did not want The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to be the only religious group known for its concern about families. "Why shouldn't that be Southern Baptists?" he asked the Executive Committee.