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OFFICIAL TALLY: SBC registration 11,075


CORRECTED Monday, July 19, 2010

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–SBC registration secretary Jim Wells has released official registration figures for the 2010 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Orlando, confirming earlier unofficial results showing a boost in registered messengers compared to 2009.

A total of 11,075 messengers were sent by 4,466 churches from 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Only North Dakota had no registered messenger.

The registered messenger count was up nearly 26 percent — from 2009’s 8,795 messengers sent by 3,642 congregations — and is the third-highest in six years:

— 8,790 in Louisville (2009)

— 7,277 messengers in Indianapolis (2008)

— 8,630 in San Antonio (2007)

— 11,639 messengers in Greensboro, N.C. (2006)

— 11,641 total in Nashville (2005)

The age group showing the largest increase was messengers 45-49 years old, according to a random sampling of registered members.

The data from 767 messengers who provided additional information during the registration process showed: messengers ages 18-29 accounted for 6.52 percent of the total; ages 30-34, 4.56 percent; ages 35-39, 6.39 percent; ages 40-44, 7.69 percent; ages 45-49, 11.99 percent; ages 50-54, 13.30 percent; ages 55-59, 14.73 percent; ages 60 and over, 34.81 percent.

The most significant increase in attendance, as a percentage of the total, was in the 45-49 range, which jumped 3.6 percent over 2009. Other ranges showing increases were 40-44 (+1.54 percent); 18-29 (+.96 percent); and 60-plus (+0.29 percent). As a percentage of total attendance, numbers were down in four age ranges: 30-34 (-.64 percent); 35-39 (-1.77 percent); 50-54 (-1.95 percent); and 55-59 (-2.05 percent).

In 2009, the age categories that showed the most dramatic changes over the 2008 meeting were 35-39, up from 5.51 percent; 45-49, down from 13.10 percent; 55-59, down from 18.90 percent; and 60 and over, up from 31.25 percent.

Predictably, Florida had the largest number of messengers, 1,868, at the June 15-16 meeting in the Orange County Convention Center, accounting for 16.87 percent of the registration total. A total of 602 Florida Baptist congregations sent messengers.

The next four leading states in messenger count were Georgia, 1,251 (11.30 percent of the total) from 470 churches; Alabama, 872 (7.87 percent), 367 churches; Tennessee, 872 (7.87 percent), 317 churches; and North Carolina, 833 (7.52 percent).

Official registration numbers follow: Alaska, 16; Alabama, 872; Arkansas, 333; Arizona, 30; California, 122; Colorado, 51; Connecticut, 5; District of Columbia, 12; Delaware, 8; Florida, 1868; Georgia, 1251; Hawaii, 16; Iowa, 27; Idaho, 11; Illinois, 208; Indiana, 143; Kansas, 64; Kentucky, 673; Louisiana, 299; Massachusetts, 3; Maryland, 129; Maine, 2; Michigan, 59; Minnesota, 12; Missouri, 295; Mississippi, 457; Montana, 11; North Carolina, 833; Nebraska, 8; New Hampshire, 6; New Jersey, 20; New Mexico, 38; Nevada, 42; New York, 52; North Dakota, 0; Ohio, 172; Oklahoma, 287; Oregon, 2; Pennsylvania, 41; Puerto Rico, 13; Rhode Island, 1; South Carolina, 633; South Dakota, 1; Tennessee, 872; Texas, 536; Utah, 10; Virginia, 394; Vermont, 8; Washington, 13; Wisconsin, 10; West Virginia, 91; and Wyoming, 15.

By gender, 61.83 percent of the messengers were male, 38.17 percent female.

By vocation, according to the data supplied by the messengers responding to the survey, 38.85 percent were senior pastors; 13.04 percent were homemakers; 10.95 percent were other church staff; 6.00 percent worked in associational missions; 4.56 percent were state convention, entity or institution staff members; 2.87 percent were seminary students; 2.48 percent were involved in North American or international missions; 1.83 percent were other denominational employees; 1.17 percent worked in evangelism; and 18.25 percent listed “other.”

For 156 of the responding messengers, or 20.34 percent of the total, the convention in Orlando was their first SBC annual meeting; 232 had attended an SBC meeting five times or less (30.25 percent); 154 had attended six to 10 times (20.08 percent); and 225 had attended 11 or more times (29.34 percent).

In traveling to Orlando, 63.10 percent of the messengers came by car and 33.12 percent by plane. In terms of expenditures to attend the annual meeting, 36 estimated they would be spending under $100 (4.69 percent); 47 estimated $100-299 (6.13 percent); 130 estimated $300-599 (16.95 percent); 239 estimated $600-999 (31.16 percent); 167 estimated $1,000-1,499 (21.77 percent); 100 estimated $1,500-1,999 (13.04 percent); and 48 estimated $2,000 or more (6.26 percent).

Of the 767 messengers who provided the additional information at registration, 212 said no other family members were with them in Orlando (27.64 percent); 390 brought one family member (50.85 percent); 151 brought two to four family members (19.69) percent; and 14 brought five or more family members (1.83 percent).
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Mark Kelly is an assistant editor of Baptist Press.

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  • Mark Kelly