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2002 SBC membership reaches all-time high of 16.2 million

REVISED Jan. 9, 2006 to correct error in reported membership.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Membership in Southern Baptist churches reached a record 16,137,736 in 2002, a .53 percent increase over the previous year, or 84,816 additional members.

The total number of churches grew to 42,775, a 1.04 percent increase, or 441 churches more than the 2001 total of 42,334. At the same time, church-type missions operated by churches grew 10.26 percent to a total of 5,439, an increase of 506.

LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention compiles the Annual Church Profile from church reports routed through local Baptist associations and state conventions.

While membership grew, the number of baptisms — 394,893 — reflected a decline of 0.26 percent or 1,037.

Sunday morning average worship attendance grew by 1.9 percent or 108,965 to 5,839,945.

Music ministry enrollment/participation decreased 2.98 percent or 51,009 to a total of 1,658,310.

Other increases were reported in total tithes, offerings and special gifts to $8,681,491,558 (4.41 percent above 2001), as well as undesignated receipts of $6,786,994,352 (5.3 percent above 2001). Total receipts increased by 5.89 percent to $9,461,603,271.

Sunday School enrollment declined 8,251 or 0.10 percent to a total of 8,174,493. Discipleship training enrollment/participation showed an increase of 1.45 percent, or 30,038 to a total of 2,100,752, following a 6.24 percent decrease in 2001.

Woman’s Missionary Union enrollment and men/boys mission education enrollment both showed increases. WMU enrollment increased by 105,434, or 12.29 percent, to a total of 963,114. Men/boys mission education enrollment grew 3.08 percent or 13,009 to 435,646.

Total mission expenditures* were up 4.94 percent, totaling $1,028,650,682, a $48,426,439 increase above 2001 totals.
*Data not reported by South Carolina. (BP) chart posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Chart title: 2002 SBC STATISTICS.

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  • Polly House