Diocesan statistics for the Episcopal Diocese of Montana

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Take a look at this chart for one pictorial view.

According the Episcopal Church Annual of 1993 (itself based on parochial reports of 1991) there were 6,813 baptized members in the diocese of Montana, the 2004 annual lists 6,441 members, and the most recent diocesan statistics from the national church for 2007 lists 5,414 members. This represents a decline of just over 20.5% in this 16 year period.

According to the U.S. Census data, the population of Montana grew from 786,690 in 1980 to 799,065 in 1990, and then to 902,195 in 2000. The most recent estimate of Montana's population in 2005-2007 is 946,815.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Data

10 Comments
Posted May 26, 2009 at 6:44 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) wrote:

At what point will people begin to confront the reality that many entire ‘dioceses’ in TEC are functional pocket-boroughs? The Diocese of Montana has an aggregate ASA only twice that of one local ACNA parish with which I am familiar, and its budget is roughly 50% higher than that of a single parish. The does not convey a picture of health or strength.

May 26, 8:41 am | [comment link]
2. Gator wrote:

I must ask, Why is this news to post? This is just a snapshot of the whole of TEC in rural/small town/small city demographics. TEC is on an inexorable path toward being an urban ecclesial refuge for people who are proud they are not fundamentalists.

Without the full gospel of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, there is no hope of reversing this trend.

May 26, 1:34 pm | [comment link]
3. Words Matter wrote:

And the urban isn’t doing all that well…

May 26, 1:42 pm | [comment link]
4. First Family Virginian wrote:

Without the full gospel of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, there is no hope of reversing this trend. 

Of course, the ECUSA does preach the full Gospel of Jesus Christ.  What they don’t do is preach the full gospel of Gator.

May 26, 2:06 pm | [comment link]
5. Gator wrote:

Ouch!

[Elves—Sorry for the one-worder]

May 26, 2:41 pm | [comment link]
6. Gator wrote:

Oh, and FFV, I found out recently that one of my ancestors came to Jamestown within the first 10 years. He was probably an indentured servant, but I guess I’m an FFV too.

[Badly off topic; hoping the elves are at late lunch]

May 26, 2:49 pm | [comment link]
7. Chris wrote:

some of the ECUSA explaining away of declining attendance is that dioceses in the NE and Great Lakes are experiencing overall population decline.  And it’s a valid point.  What Kendall has demonstrated,with Montana’s stats, though is that overall decline is not the only issue.  I would imagine a similar dynamic is at play throughout the Rockies - declining dioceses and growing populations….

May 26, 5:19 pm | [comment link]
8. Statmann wrote:

For the years 2002 through 2007 the trends for Members, ASA, and even nominal Plate & Pledge are all seriously negative. Anf in 2007 there were 81 Infant Baptisms and 111 Burials. And it took 5,414 members to produce those 81 baptisms, or 67 to ONE. And in 2007 85 percent of its churches had Plate & Pledge of less than $150,000. But the one bright spot is that with so many small budget churches, there has been no whole churches leaving the diocese. At least the bishop has had a quiet administrative life.  Statmann

May 26, 5:40 pm | [comment link]
9. Words Matter wrote:

dioceses in the NE and Great Lakes are experiencing overall population decline

Except they aren’t.

Massachusetts:
http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/25000.html

Michigan:
http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/26000.html

NewJersey:
http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/34000.html

NewYork:
http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/36000.html

Ohio:
http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/39000.html

and so on…

I remember Bp. Spong once made this argument to justify the collapse of his diocese during his tenure; a quick check showed that New Jersey population increased during those years, as other rust belt states are increasing now.

May 26, 9:14 pm | [comment link]
10. stjohnsrector wrote:

Two my predecessors here at St. John’s in Detroit were elected bishops of Montana (pre-1920’s). 
I wonder what percentage of people in Montana are Churchgoers.  My cousin, who grew up in New Jersey and lives there now said the nearest town/village is 1 hour away - which is why she moved there.

May 27, 1:05 pm | [comment link]
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