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On Church Growth, the General Conference Corrects the News

In response to the blog post here, the General Conference Office of Archives and Statistics helpfully just sent this over.

There have been a number of recent reports in print and other media about growth in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the United States. The original source of statistics in these reports seems to be the recent edition of the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, which is not an SDA publication, but which does obtain its data from Archives and Statistics (essentially that found in the 2009 Annual Statistical Report, published in 2010, with a revised version, including some corrections, issued in January 2011).

Since the Yearbook‘s publication, several stories have appeared, in non-SDA as well as Seventh-day Adventist online publications, concerning the Adventist growth rate in North America.  Each report has noted that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is the fastest growing church in that territory; and  growth rates of 2.5% for 2009 have been cited.

Staff at the General Conference Office of Archives and Statistics take great care to ensure that official Adventist statistics are as accurate and transparent as possible. These are the growth-rate statistics as we have calculated them from our data:

Growth rate for:    

                 NAD      U.S. only

2008        2.13%      2.14%

2009        2.15%      2.13%

2007-09  4.33%      4.31%

It is worth noting that denominational statistics are available online at and that each year’s published Annual Statistical Report is available to download at

Dr. David Trim is Director of the Office of Archives and Statistics at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

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