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Laura Draughon Kirby (second from left) joins other United Methodist deaconess candidates during a commissioning service at the Interchurch Center chapel in New York. Ten deaconesses and one home missioner became part of a covenant community of laypersons within the church who combine lives of professional service with a devotion to Christ. Photo by Cassandra Zampini, UMNS.

Photo by Cassandra Zampini, UMNS

Laura Draughon Kirby (second from left) joins other United Methodist deaconess candidates during a commissioning service at the Interchurch Center chapel in New York. Ten deaconesses and one home missioner became part of a covenant community of laypersons within the church who combine lives of professional service with a devotion to Christ.

2011 State of the Church: The People

Central Conference/Region

1999
Members

2009
Members

Change in 
Membership

Change in 
Membership

Africa

192,316

450,686

258,370

134%

Congo

630,697

2,231,726

1,601,029

254%

West Africa

379,425

1,508,696

1,129,271

298%

Central and Southern Europe

21,725

16,162

-5,563

-26%

Germany

38,536

32,305

-6,231

-16%

Northern Europe and Eurasia

19,110

15,293

-3,817

-20%

Philippines

55,810

145,642

89,832

161%

United States

8,327,389

7,679,850

-647,539

-8%

Total

9,665,008

12,080,360

2,415,352

25%

 

Church Membership Trends in the U.S.

In 2008-2009, 34.3% of the United Methodist churches in the United States reported membership growth, with an average increase of 3.1% over 2007-2008.

Professing membership in the United States has decreased 7.8%, or nearly 647,539 members over the last 10 years, and has declined every year since The United Methodist Church was formed in 1968. In recent years, the rate of decline has become more rapid. The rate of decline for the Church in the United States was 0.4% for 1998-1999. The decline in membership increased to 1.22% in 2008-2009.

Clergy

United Methodist Clergy/Episcopal Leadership

 

Total Clergy 

Organized Churches

Regular Preaching Places

Annual Conferences

Bishops

Africa

9,209 4,637 4,462 29 12
Europe 1,058 1,108 217 27 4
Southeast Asia 1,712 1,371 282 24 3
United States 45,186 33,614 N/A 59 49