Page images
PDF
EPUB

odist Episcopal Church comes first, with 25,861, and the Roman Catholic last, with 10,231. The Southern Baptists are second, with 16,238; the Southern Methodists third, with 15,017; and the Colored Baptists fourth, with 12,533. The reason the Catholic congregations number only two fifths as many as the Methodist Episcopal is because their parishes are so much larger and more populous. Some Catholic parishes embrace from 12,000 to 16,000 communicants, all using the same edifice. It is a common thing in the cities for Catholic churches to have five and six different congregations every Sunday.

To recapitulate: The Roman Catholic Church is first in the number of communicants and value of church property, and fifth in number of organizations and houses of worship; the Methodist Episcopal is first in the number of organizations and houses of worship, and second in the number of communicants and value of church property.

Let us now see how the five leading denominational families or groups stand.

The Catholics, embracing seven branches, come first as to communicants, with 6,258,000; the Methodists, embracing seventeen branches, come second, with 4,598,000; the Baptists, thirteen branches, are third, with 3,718,000; the Presbyterians, twelve branches, are fourth, with 1,278,000; and the Lutherans, sixteen branches, are fifth, with 1,231,000. It will be observed that the combined Methodist branches have about 1,600,000 fewer communicants than the combined Catholic branches.

As to the value of church property, the Methodist family is first, the figures being $132,000,000. The Catholic family is second, $118,000,000; the Presbyterian third, $95,000,000; Episcopalian fourth, $82,835,000; the Baptist fifth, $82,390,000. Thus, among denominational families the Catholics are first in the number of communicants, second in value of church property, and fourth in the number of organizations and houses of worship. The Methodists are first in the number of organizations and houses of worship and value of church property.

Naturally we should expect to find the greatest number of communicants in the States having the greatest population. New York has nearly 6,000,000 population, and returns 2,171,822 communicants. Pennsylvania, second in population, is also second in communicants, reporting 1,726,640. Illinois is third in population, but fourth in communicants; Ohio, fourth in population, but third in communicants; Missouri, fifth in population, but sixth in communicants; Massachusetts, sixth in population, but fifth in communicants. This shows that the percentage of communicants to population varies even in the older States. In New York it is 36.21; in Pennsylvania, 32.84; in Ohio, 33.13; in Illinois, 31.43; and in Massachusetts, 42.11. The highest in any State is 44.17, in South Carolina; the lowest, 12.84, in Nevada. The highest percentage is not found in any State, but in a Territory. New Mexico's population are communicants to the extent of 68.85 per cent.; and, strange to say, Utah is second, its percentage being 61.62. New Mexico is predominantly Catholic. This explains its high percentage of communicants. Utah is the stronghold of the Mormons, and, like the Catholics, they report a large membership in proportion to their population. The Catholics are numerically the strongest in thirty-three States and Territories, including the New England, the Pacific, the newer Northwestern, and various Western and Southern States; the Methodists in South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Indian Territory, Kansas, and Oklahoma; the Baptists in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia; and the Latter-Day Saints in Utah.

It is interesting to note that Pennsylvania is the stronghold of the Lutherans, the Presbyterians, the Moravians, the Mennonites, and the Reformed (German); North Carolina of the Methodists; New York of the Catholics, the Jews, the Episcopalians, the Universalists, and the Reformed (Dutch); Massachusetts of the Congregationalists, Unitarians, Swedenborgians, Spiritualists; Georgia of the Baptists; Missouri of the Disciples of Christ; Indiana of the Friends; Ohio of the United Brethren.

While New York is first among the States in number of communicants and also in value of church property, it does not occupy this position as respects number of organizations and of church edifices. Pennsylvania leads in both these particulars, having more organizations and church edifices than any other State. Ohio occupies the second place and New York the third as to edifices and the fifth as to organizations. The following table shows how the positions of the leading States vary in the different columns. In each list the States are arranged in the order of numerical precedence.

Communicants.

Value of Church
Property.

Church Edifices. Organizations. 1. New York. I. New York. 1. Pennsylvania. 1. Pennsylvania. 2. Pennsylvania. 2. Pennsylvania.

2. Ohio.

2. Ohio. 3. Ohio.

3. Massachusetts. 3. New York. 3. Texas. 4. Illinois. 4. Ohio. 4. Illinois.

4. Illinois. 5. Massachusetts. 5. Illinois.

5. Georgia.

5. New York. 6. Missouri. 6. New Jersey. 6. North Carolina. 6. Missouri. 7. Indiana. 7. Missouri. 7. Missouri.

7. Georgia. 8. North Carolina. 8. Michigan. 8. Alabama.

8. North Carolina. 9. Georgia. 9. Indiana. 9. Indiana.

9. Indiana. 10. Texas.

10. Connecticut. 10. Tennessee. 10. Alabama.

Only six States appear in all these tables, viz., New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, and Indiana. Texas, which is tenth in the list arranged according to number of communicants, and does not appear at all in those for value of church property and number of church edifices, stands third in that for number of organizations. This indicates that the average number of communicants to each organization is much smaller in Texas than in the other States mentioned. Texas has a smaller percentage of urban population than the other States, excepting North Carolina, Alabama, and Georgia; it has an immense area, and it is therefore natural that its organizations should be small and numerous.

XI.

THE EVANGELICAL AND NON-EVANGELICAL ELEMENTS.

These terms are commonly applied to Protestants. The sense in which they are used has already been defined; but it is easier to define the terms than to classify denominations under them. In which class, for example, should Universalists be put? They have not been admitted to the Evangelical Alliance, chiefly because of their views respecting the nature and duration of future punishment; but on the main points of New Testament Christianity they are generally evangelical. On the single question of the future of the wicked dead some of the branches of the Adventist family and other bodies would be excluded from the evangelical list; but, on the whole, would it be quite fair to class as non-evangelical those who believe in the divinity of Christ, in the necessity and sufficiency of his atonement, and in salvation by faith alone? By some the Christians or Christian Connection have been classified with the Unitarians; but they have become, in late years, quite orthodox, and are undoubtedly evangelical. In most evangelical denominations persons are to be found who are non-evangelical; and in some of the non-evangelical denominations there are some who are thoroughly evangelical. Yet we cannot draw the line through denominations; we must draw it between them. The classification must therefore be more or less arbitrary, and due allowance should be made for this fact.

There are a few bodies which manifestly ought not to be classified as either evangelical or liberal. These may properly be put in a separate list.

EVANGELICAL DENOMINATIONS.

Organic

DENOMINATIONS.

Communi

cants.

zations.

Adventists..
Baptists.
Brethren (River)
Brethren (Plymouth)
Christadelphians
Christians
Christian Missionary Association
Christian Union...
Church of God..
Congregationalists
Disciples of Christ.
Dunkards ..
Evangelical Association
Friends (3 bodies). .
Friends of the Temple
German Evangelical Synod.
Lutherans .
Mennonites.
Methodists
Moravians.
Presbyterians
Protestant Episcopal (2 bodies)
Reformed
Salvation Army
Schwenkfeldians
Social Brethren.
United Brethren
Universalists..
Independent Congregations

1,757 43,029

III 314

63 1,424

13 294

479 4,868 7,246

989 2,310 855

4

60,491 3,717,969

3,427 6,661

1,277 103,722

754 18,214 22,511 512,771 641,051

73,795 133,313 85,216

340 187,432 1,231,072

41,541 4,589,284

11,781 1,278,332

540,509 309,458

8,742

870 8,595

550 51,489

94 13,476 5,102 2,181 329

306

4
20

4,526
956
156

913 225,281 49,194

14,126

Total .

152,104 13,869,483

« PreviousContinue »