Sunday, November 1, 2009

Change in Congregations

United States
  • Queen Creek Arizona East Stake: Pecan Ranch Ward created
  • San Clemente California Stake: San Clemente 3rd (Spanish) Ward created from one branch
  • Cocoa Florida Stake: one branch dissolved
  • Topeka Kansas Stake: one branch dissolved
  • Denham Springs Louisiana Stake: Amite Branch created
  • Hurricane Utah Stake: one ward (YSA) created from one branch
  • Mapleton Utah Stake: Mapleton 21st Ward created
  • Nibley Utah Stake: Nibley 10th Ward created
  • Roosevelt Utah Stake: Roosevelt 15th (Spanish) Branch created
  • St George Utah Bloomington Hills Stake: Price Hills Ward created
  • West Jordan Utah Sunset Ridge Stake: Sunset Ridge 10th Ward created
  • Spokane Washington West Stake: Geiger Ward created
Change in wards: +8

Change in branches: -2

Canada
  • Brampton Ontario Stake: one ward created from one branch
Change in wards: +1

Change in branches: -1

3 comments:

jspector106 said...

Hi Matt, You provide great information. I wonder if you detect any real strong geographic switch in the Church in the US. We came from the Bay Area California and all we saw was shrinkng church population as well as some slight geographic movement. But even that has stopped. Here in Colorado Springs, we only see growth in the last 6 plus years but even that has some local georgraphic implications.

Matt said...

The United States sees a lot of shifts with growth due to economic reasons I think. Colorado Springs has been affected very little by the downturn in the economy and continues to grow, as evidenced by the two recently created wards in the Colorado Springs East Stake. Yet Church populations shift on the city level, with two wards discontinued in the Colorado Springs Stake earlier this year.

Overall the Church grows consistently both in membership and congregations. The United States is one of the few countries where the rates of growth for congregations and membership are almost the same. As a matter of fact, since 2000 we are either seeing activity rates increasing or the number of active members per congregation declining because the rate at which new congregations being created is slightly greater than membership growth rates.

California is a strange state when considering the growth of the Church. There are more missions in California than in any other state, many of which appear among the more successful in the United States. Membership in California declined for a few years in the 1990s and for several years starting in the early 2000s up until 2008 many were moving out of the state, likely for economic and social reasons. California is the state which had the lowest growth rate since 2000. Membership only increased by 0.9% from 2000 to 2008. The percentage of LDS members in California dropped due to population growing more rapidly, from one LDS member per 45 people to one LDS member per 49 people. Only Arizona, Nevada and Oregon also saw a drop in the percentage of LDS between 2000 and 2008. These other states saw greater membership growth than California, but impressive population growth rates outpaced less impressive membership growth rates in these states.

The greatest shift in areas which are seeing a higher percentage of LDS members are in the South, especially Tennessee, West Virginia, the Carolinas, and Texas. Some of these states have seen the percentage of Church members increase from one in 150 to one in 100 in a matter of eight years! This has come as a result of many members moving to these areas combined with larger numbers of locals joining the Church than in other areas of the United States.

Utah is an interesting situation as well. The missions in Utah sometimes baptize over 300 or 400 converts a month with high retention. Utah also has a high fertility rate. Salt Lake City has an increasingly shrinking LDS percentage of the population. This has come as a result of the population of LDS members in Salt Lake staying fairly static or slightly decreasing while many are moving into the area who do not belong to the Church.

I hope that answered some of your questions.

jspector106 said...

Matt,

Thanks very much for your reply. I am inpressed by how much you know about the individual areas! In Colorado Springs (I see you went to CU), we are now in the East Stake, having moved from the north stake. We probably have anough membes to create a new stake, but it has been resisted because of the geographical movement from South and West to North and East. Because of the military, we get a lot of growth from there. Plus contractors working for the military. Most of the activity has been shifting Wards from Stake to Stake in an effort to balance out Stake populations as the Colorado Springs and Fountain Stakes were declining and the East and North Stakes growing. While we created two new Wards in the East Stake, a couple of Wards are brusting at the seams already. When our new building gets built, we expect some more changtes. It also appears the Church has been scouting locations for a new Stake Center, which would never be built unless and until a new Stake is created.

Again, thanks for your work and insights!