Southern Baptist Churches & Baptisms and the 50 Largest Metropolitan Areas
- Fifty percent of SBC churches were in the nation's metropolitan areas, compared to 80 percent of the population.
- Half of the churches in metros were in the 50 largest metros:25 percent of all SBC churches are in these largest metropolitan areas.
- From 1990 to 2000, Southern Baptists had a net gain of 3,448 churches in the largest 50 metros.
- Growth of churches occurred at a rate of 22 percent in these areas compared to population growth of 15 percent.
- The Philadelphia area grew from 53 churches in 1990 to 146 in 2000.
Population per Church
- The ratio of population to churches varies greatly by region.
- In large Southern metros, there are 6,700 persons per SBC church.
- In large metros outside the South, this ratio is almost 33,000 per SBC church.
- Grand Rapids (218,000), Minneapolis-St. Paul (165,000), and New York (138,000) are examples of metropolitan areas with huge numbers of people per SBC church.
- The population per church ratio improved in the 50 largest metros combined: A result of the number of churches growing faster than the population from 1990 to 2000.
- Large metros in the South and West that experienced rapid population growth have had difficulty matching that growth in the number of churches.
- The largest 50 metropolitan areas, home to 58 percent of the nation's population, reported 37 percent of baptisms (152,000) in 2000.
- The 21 large metros in the South reported 115,000 baptisms, compared to 37,000 for the 29 large metros outside the South.
- Calculating baptisms per 1,000 population provides a comparison of the evangelistic penetration of Southern Baptists in an area.
- Nationally, this ratio was 1.47 baptisms per 1,000 population in 2000.
- Three of the large Southern metros, Jacksonville, Nashville, and Oklahoma City, reported more than 4 baptisms per 1,000 population.
- Several areas outside the South, led by Grand Rapids, New York, and Minneapolis-St. Paul, reported fewer than 0.1 baptisms per 1,000 population.
Download full Research Report, America's 50 Largest Metros 1990-2000
This Research Report may also be of interest, America's Mid Level Metropolitan Areas
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