Commonwealth Policy Center

The Southern Baptist Convention, America’s largest Protestant denomination, is shrinking. It lost 400,000 members last year, the largest decline in over a century. Some attribute the decline to the rise of nondenominational churches, COVID-19, and numerous abuse lawsuits. Nonetheless, regular attendance and baptismal numbers increased last year, and many churches are correcting outdated membership records. SBC President Bart Barber said, “I think I speak for most Southern Baptists when I say that I care about people, not numbers. Numbers are valuable to the degree that they give us a checkup on how well we are serving people in Christ’s name.” About one out of six Kentuckians are Southern Baptists. And the vitality of their churches is crucial to the flourishing of our Commonwealth.