you thought that only conservative churches were growing, or that Christianity
in general was in a period of rapid decline during the 1990's.
When asked, "What is your religion, if any?," researchers found that
Americans identified themselves as being affiliated with specific denominations.
Extrapolated across the entire population, these responses indicate patterns of
affiliation, including growth or decline of various denominations across an eleven
year period. Surprisingly, the fastest growing denominational group in the US
during this period was also one of the most liberal, namely, the United Church
of Christ. Baptists, considered one of the more conservative groups, showed no
growth, and another conservative denomination, the Jehovah's Witnesses, actually
saw a decline in the number of people identifying themselves as such. Meanwhile,
the Presbyterians and Episcopalians, though caught up during this period in painful
battles over the ordination of gay and lesbian members, also posted solid gains.
If you want to talk with someone in person, please feel free to call 212-864-5436
The Rev. Charles P. Henderson is a Presbyterian minister and
Executive Director of CrossCurrents.
He is the author of God and Science (John Knox Press, 1986).
A revised and expanded version of the book is appearing here. God and Science (Hypertext Edition,
He is also editor of a new book, featuring articles by world class scientists and theologians, and illustrating the leading views on the relationship between science and religion: Faith, Science and the Future (CrossCurrents Press, 2007).
Charles also tracks the boundry between the virtual and the real at his blog: Next World Design, focusing on the mediation of art, science and spirituality in the metaverse.