African-American Membership in U.S. Religious Denominations

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Estimated membership of predominantly black denominations in the U.S., 19471993
19501975 19761993
Denomination (year of founding) Year Churches Members Year Churches Members
African Orthodox Churches
African Orthodox Church (1921) 1957 24 6,000 1971* 10,000
African Orthodox Church of the West (1984) 1985 2 200
Baptist Bodies
Black Primitive Baptists (1877) 1970 43 3,000
Fundamental Baptist Fellowship Association (1962) 1970 10
National Baptist Convention of America (1915) 1956 1,398 2,668,799 1987 2,500 3,500,000
National Baptist Convention of the United States of America, Inc. (1895) 1958 26,000 5,500,000 1991 30,000 7,800,000
National Baptist Evangelical Life and Soul Saving Assembly of the United States of America (1920) 1951 264 57,674
National Primitive Baptist Convention of the United States of America (1907) 1975 606 250,000 1991 250,000
Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. (1961) 1991 1,400 2,500,000
United Free-Will Baptist Church (1901) 1992 836 100,000
Black Hebrews
Church of God and Saints of Christ (1896) 1991 217 38,127
House of Judah (1965) 1985 1 80
Original Hebrew Israelite Nation (1960) 1980 3,000
Yahweh's Temple (1947) 1973 10,000
Catholic Bodies
American Catholic Church (SyroAntiochean) (1930s) 1961 40 4,663 1979 3 501
Sacred Heart Catholic Church (1980) 1983 3 50
The Coptic Orthodox Church 1992 55 260,000
International Council Of Community Churches (1946) 1988 300 250,000
Kodesh Church of Immanuel (1829) 1980 5 326
Methodist Bodies
African Methodist Episcopal Church (1816) 1951 5,878 1,666,301 1991 8,000 3,500,000
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (1821) 1959 4,083 770,000 1991 3,000 1,200,000
African Union First Colored Methodist Protestant Church (1866) 1988 35 6,500
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (1870) 1961 2,523 444,493 1988 788,922
Free Christian Zion Church of Christ (1905) 1956 742 22,260
Reformed Methodist Union Episcopal Church (1885) 1970 21 5,000 1980 33 3,800
Reformed Zion Union Apostolic Church (1869) 1960 50 16,000
Mount Hebron Apostolic Temple of Our Lord Jesus of the Apostolic Faith (1963) 1980 9 3,000
Muslim Bodies
Muslims 1993 1,000,000
Nation of Islam (Farrakhan) (1978) 1989 20,000
Pentecostal Bodies
Alpha and Omega Pentecostal Church of God of America, Inc. (1945) 1970 3 400 1990 800
Apostolic Assemblies of Christ, Inc. (1970) 1980 23 3,500
Apostolic Church of Christ (1969) 1980* 6 300 1900 10 600
Apostolic Church of Christ in God 1980 13 2,150
Apostolic Faith Mission Church of God (1906) 1989 18 6,200
Apostolic Overcoming Holy Church of God (1920) 1956 300 75,000 1988 200 12,000
The Bible Church of Christ 1991 6 6,812
Bible Way Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ World Wide (1957) 1970 350 30,000 1991 300 250,000
Christ's Sanctified Holy Church (Louisiana) (1904) 1957 30 600
Church of Christ (Holiness) U.S.A. (1907) 1965 159 9,289 1990 189 12,890
Church of God in Christ (1906) 1965 4,500 425,000 1991 15,300 5,477,875
Church of God in Christ, Congregational (1932) 1970 33
Church of God in Christ, International (1969) 1971 1,041 501,000 1982 300 200,000
Church of God (Sanctified Church) (1901) 1975 60 5,000 1991 69 6,000
Church of the Living God (Christian Workers for Fellowship) (1889) 1985 170 42,000
Church of Living God, the Pillar and Ground of Truth (1903) 1988 100 2,000
Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith (1919) 1954 155 30,000 1993 457 81,000
Churches of God, Holiness (1914) 1967 42 165,000
Commandment Keepers Congregation of the Living God (1924) 1970 3,000
Fire-Baptized Holiness Church of God of the Americas (1908) 1958 53 998 1991 49 695
Highway Christian Church of Christ (1929) 1980* 13 3,000 1991 900
House of God, Which Is the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of Truth, Inc. (1919) 1956 107 2,350 1970* 103 25,800
Latter House of the Lord for All People and the Church of the Mountain, Apostolic Faith (1936) 1947 4,000
Mount Sinai Holy Church (1924) 1968 92 2,000 1991 125 10,000
Original Glorious Church of God in Christ Apostolic Faith (1921) 1980 55 25,000
Original United Holy Church International (1977) 1985 210 15,000
Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (1906) 1960 550 4,500 1989 1,005 500,000
Pentecostal Churches of Apostolic Faith (1957) 1991 128 151,000
Shiloh Apostolic Temple (1953) 1985 33 7,500
Sought Out Church of God in Christ 1949 4 60
Triumph the Church and Kingdom of God in Christ (1902) 1972 475 54,307
United Church of Jesus Christ (Apostolic) (1945) 1985 75 100,000
United Holy Church of America (1886) 1960 470 28,890 1970* 470 50,000
United Way of the Cross Churches of Christ of the Apostolic Faith 1980* 14 1,100 1990 14 1,002
Universal Christian Spiritual Faith and Churches for All Nations (1952) 1965 60 40,816
Way of the Cross Church of Christ (1927) 1980 48 50,000 1987 68 60,000
source: "Black Americans and the Churches," in Religions of America (New York, 1975); Black Americans Information Directory (199091) (New York, 1990); Directory of African American Religious Bodies: A Compendium by the Howard University School of Divinity (Washington, D.C., 1991); "The Negro in American Religious Life," in The American Negro Reference Book (Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1970); Statistical Record of Black America (Detroit, 1990); Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches: 1993 (Nashville, Tenn., 1992); Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches: 1992 (Nashville, Tenn., 1991); Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches: 1973 (Nashville, Tenn., 1973). Membership Figures Provided by Denominations Themselves, Which Use Different Criteria to Determine Them.
Presbyterian Bodies
Second Cumberland Presbyterian Church in the United States (1874) 1959 221 30,000
* Most recent data available
Membership of racially mixed denominations in the U.S., 1890, 1916, and 1936
1890 1916 1936
Denomination Black members Total members Black members Total members Black members Total members
sources: Report on Statistics of Churches of the United States at the Eleventh Census: 1890 (Washington, D.C., 1894); Religious Bodies: 1916 (Washington, D.C., 1919); Religious Bodies: 1936 (Washington, D.C., 1941).
Adventist Bodies
Advent Christian 25,816 317 30,597 26,258
Seventh-Day 28,991 2,553 79,355 6,367 133,254
Baptist Bodies
Northern Convention 35,221 800,025 53,842 1,232,135 45,821 1,329,044
Congregational Church 6,908 512,771 13,209 791,274 20,437 976,388
Disciples of Christ 18,578 641,051 11,478 1,226,028 21,950 1,196,315
Lutheran Bodies
Synodical Conference 211 357,153 1,525 777,701 8,985 1,463,482
Methodist Bodies
Methodist Episcopal 246,249 2,240,354 320,025 3,717,785 193,761 3,509,763
Methodist Protestant 3,183 141,989 2,869 186,908 2,321 148,288
Moravian Bodies
Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) 11,781 419 26,373 628 30,904
Presbyterian Bodies
Presbyterian Church in the United States of America 14,961 788,224 31,957 1,611,251 279 449,045
Presbyterian Church in the United States 1,568 179,721 1,429 357,769 2,971 1,797,927
Protestant Episcopal Church 2,977 532,054 23,775 1,092,821 29,738 1,735,335
Reformed Episcopal Church 1,723 8,455 3,017 11,050 2,434 7,656
Roman Catholic Church 17,079 6,231,417 51,688 15,721,815 137,684 19,914,937
Salvation Army 8,741 35,954 436 103,038
Membership of racially mixed denominations in the U.S., 19631992
Denomination Year Black membership Total membership
American Baptist Convention 1964 200,000 1,559,103
1990 496,000 1,535,971
Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) 1964 80,000 1,920,760
1992 61,000 1,039,692
Congregational Christian Churches 1964 38,000 110,000
1992 9,000 75,000
Lutheran Church Missouri Synod 1991 15,147 2,609,025
Mennonite Church 1992 3,476 114,307
Protestant Episcopal Church 1963 73,867 3,340,759
1990 250,000 2,446,050
Reformed Episcopal Church 1992 3,184 6,042
Roman Catholic Church 1964 722,609 45,640,619
1990 2,000,000 58,568,015
Seventh-Day Adventists 1964 167,892 370,688
1990 280,000 717,446
United Church of Christ 1964 21,859 2,056,696
1989 62,048 1,662,568
United Methodist Church 1964 373,327 10,304,184
1992 257,436 8,853,455
United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America 1964 6,000 3,302,839
1990 65,000 3,788,009

NEARBY TERMS

African-American Membership in U.S. Religious Denominations