Poll: Church membership in U.S. plummets during past 20 years


April 18, 2019

By Leanne Shinkle

According to a new poll, the number of people attending church is on a serious decline across the United States.

The percentage of U.S. adults who belong to a church or other religious institution has plunged by 20 percentage points over the past two decades, hitting a low of 50 percent last year. That’s according to a new Gallup poll released Thursday.

WSAZ spoke to a pastor in Charleston, Jesse Waggoner, who has seen several churches close their doors over the past 30 years.

Waggoner is the senior pastor at Mount Calvary Baptist Church. He started there seven years ago. At that time, the church had about 100 members.

Now in 2019, that number has gone up to 350.

Waggoner says there is no secret formula to building up a church and keeping members, but there are a few key things that help.

He says it is important to preach the same consistent message, but change the way you present the message as times change.

“We have two different styles of worship,” Waggoner said. “We have an early service that is contemporary and informal, we have a traditional service that is more of what many people my age grew up with. And so whatever your choice of style, you’re going to get the same message just delivered in a slightly different package.”

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.