Membership in the Southern Baptist Convention was down by nearly half a million in 2022, according to a recently released denomination report. Nashville-based Lifeway Research reported Tuesday (May 9) that the SBC had 13.2 million members in 2022, down from 13.68 million in 2021. That loss of 457,371 members is the largest in more than a century, according to the Annual Church Profile compiled by Lifeway.
Once a denomination of 16.3 million, the SBC has declined by 1.5 million members since 2018, and by more than 3 million members since 2006. The COVID-19 pandemic played a role in the downturn, as did the reality that as older members die off, there are fewer young people to replace them.
The denomination also lost 416 churches and another 165 “church-type” missions, according to the report.
Baptisms are up in 2022 over 2021 by 16%.