The Louisville-based Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is half the church it used to be, at least in terms of numbers.
The church lost nearly 3 percent of members from 2008 to 2009 and now has 2,077,138 on its rolls, according to a report issued last week from its office of the General Assembly. With that figure, the denomination has fallen by more than 50 percent in membership from its peak of 4.25 million in 1965, the heyday of the influence of historic Protestantism.
“What continues to sadden me is that the overwhelming majority of the loss in membership is in the category of ‘other,’ which means these are brothers and sisters in Christ who did not die or transfer to another congregation, but probably quietly slipped out the back door,” said a statement by the Rev. Gradye Parsons, stated clerk for the denomination.
But he took heart in such signs as a rise in adult baptisms and survey results showing members enthusiastic about their churches and ministries.
“I believe God is still at work in the Presbyterian Church,” he said.
Membership declined 2 percent in the Louisville-area Presbytery of Mid-Kentucky, now at 9,265, as well as in Kentucky overall, now at 22,672.
In Indiana, membership dropped 6 percent to 41,864, including a 3.6 percent decline in the Ohio Valley Presbytery, which includes Southern Indiana and now has 7,090 members.