Bryant: Adventist Church Growth Rate
Trends Higher in U.S.A., Canada, Bermuda
Nearly 1.1 million are members, NAD secretary reports


s of September 30, there are 1,097, 217 members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America, said G. Alexander Bryant, Secretary of the North American Division in a report opening the unit’s year-end meetings in Silver Spring, Maryland. The figure represents a ratio of one Seventh-day Adventist for every 312 people in the division, he said.

That’s a net increase of 12,379 members over the 1,084,838 on the rolls at the end of 2008, according to statistics on file at Bryant’s offices. During 2008, Bryant said, 7,353 members passed away, and another 14,687 were either dropped from church rolls or could not be located. Today, North American members of the Church worship weekly in 6,005 churches and congregations across the division.

NAD Secretary G. Alexander Bryant
[Photo: Mark Kellner}
Overall, however, church growth is more positive than the initial numbers might suggest, Bryant explained. The current membership growth rate is 2.13 percent, Bryant said, up from 1.44 percent in 2004, and 1.97 percent in 2007. (Rates of growth are the changes in membership between the beginning of the year and the end of the year, shown as percentages.)

From June 30, 2008 to July 1, 2009, an average of 116.8 people per day joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America either by baptism or on profession of faith. That’s 4.1 percent of the 2,818.1 people who joined the worldwide Adventist church every day during that period, for a global total of 1,029,206 members. Global Seventh-day Adventist Church membership, as of late September, stood at just over 16 million, world church leaders reported.

Bryant’s report followed a presentation by Don C. Schneider, North American Division president, in which he highlighted a number of evangelism outreaches throughout the three-nation region. Among the most notable was the Claim L.A. campaign headlined by It Is Written speaker/director Shawn Boonstra, targeted at the nearly 14 million people who live in Los Angeles.

But evangelism “is happening all over our division … everywhere,” Schneider said. “New churches are starting, and that’s special. There were more baptisms this year than we have had in many years.”
Bryant supported Schneider’s enthusiasm, noting that Jesus had indicated “the harvest is large,” and that it was Adventist “laborers” who were needed.

The NAD Year-end meetings, which comprise business sessions for the church region, continue through Monday, November 9.

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