Worship attendance in The Wesleyan Church in North America reached an all-time high for the tenth consecutive year in 2016-2017. On a typical weekend, nearly 240,000 people walk through the doors of our Wesleyan churches in the United States and Canada. To be precise, the average attendance was 239,842. Ten years ago, the average attendance was 195,203, resulting in a decadal growth rate of 22.9 percent.
Baptisms during the past year also hit an all-time high at 12,287. By comparison, 7,836 persons were baptized in our churches in 2007.
In other “dashboard indicators,” total membership dipped slightly to 140,844, as churches adjusted to new parameters for membership approved by the 2016 General Conference. Conversions for the past fiscal year totaled 32,141, the fourth largest total on record.
General Superintendent Dr. Wayne Schmidt said, “These stats – along with stories of transformed lives, churches and communities – give us cause for celebration. And we do celebrate every time a disciple makes a disciple and a church multiplies itself until The Wesleyan Church has a transforming presence in every ZIP code. The stats also point to a mission yet to be accomplished and reasons to praise God in anticipation of a movement he is creating for his kingdom and glory.”
Of 30 districts in the North American General Conference, the following showed at least a five percent gain in worship attendance:
- Distrito Hispano Suroeste
- Greater Ohio
- Mountain Plains
- North Carolina East
- Western New York.
Seventy-one churches reported attendance of 500 or more, with 36 topping 1,000.