GCFA Reports on 2014 Church Statistics, UMData.org

11/16/2015

The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) has vetted and released the 2014 United States statistical data on local churches in the U.S. The Data Services Department holds the responsibility for receiving, vetting, and publishing the information each year. GCFA Data Services reports there are over 32,000 local churches. There is a slight decrease in African-American and White membership in the Church. The largest church in the U.S., Windsor Village, located in Houston, Texas, reported 17,676 members. The highest reported average worship attendance is nearly 9,000 worshipers a week at Church of the Resurrection in Kansas. The United Methodist Church experienced an increase of 8.5% in multi-racial members. Pacific Islander membership increased 6.24%. Asian, Hispanic, and Native American membership grew as well. Globally, The United Methodist Church reports 12,428,000 members. 

The Data Services Department will post more reports on attendance and related statistics online within the next few weeks. Much of the data is also available at www.umdata.org.   

GCFA has also announced that general statistical information about the church, formerly contained in the printed General Minutes, is now available at www.umdata.org. The IT and Data Services Departments of GCFA, working throughout the connection, collects statistics and has developed a free, online resource that anyone can use to access public information about local churches. Because of the timeframe for vetting information and producing a bound copy, the General Minutes is no longer in print. The General Minutes, first published in 1785 and most recently published in 2008, has been a tool used by church leaders, ministerial students, statisticians and the general United Methodist church for access to public church statistics. The General Minutes was usually a two-year production process that has been shortened because of the development of the UMData site.

Information available at www.umdata.org includes:

  • Local church statistics as users of the site can look up individual church information on church leadership, membership, and statistical history.
  • A much quicker way to locate pastors that includes historical information on appointments. 
  • Available annual conference leadership information not previously contained in the General Minutes. 
  • Quick Facts that give users the ability to select an annual conference and find membership by district, conference or jurisdiction as reported on the local church statistical reporting forms. 
Michael Cook, Chief Information Officer for GCFA, said “The development of UMData.org included an intensive review of what we have provided to the Church in the past. This online tool allows us to move forward and provide up to date information. We want to thank Dale Owens and the team of developers at GCFA for their work in developing this resource.”