Charlotte Presbytery has had the most congregations to leave the Presbyterian Church (USA) while Sacramento Presbytery has lost the most members, according to a presentation given in October 2014 by former and current staff of the PCUSA’s Research Services.
The presentation also disclosed that Pennsylvania was ranked first in the number of congregations that have left, and California had the most members to leave the PCUSA.
“Congregations leaving the Presbyterian Church (USA),” was a presentation given at the annual meeting of the Religious Research Association held Oct. 31 in Indianapolis.
Table four of the Power Point slides that accompanied the presentation showed the rankings of the presbyteries in relation to the number of congregations and members that have left the denomination.
The top ten list of presbyteries with the most “departing” congregations include:
- Charlotte was ranked first, losing 17 congregations
- Mid-South was second with 16 congregations gone
- Cascades and Central Washington tied for third place, each have 14 congregations depart
- Beaver-Butler ranked fifth: 12 congregations gone
- San Joaquin and Shenango tied for sixth both having 11 congregations leave
- Tropical Florida was eighth: 10 congregations gone
- Mississippi and Sacrament tied at ninth place both having nine congregations depart
- Sacramento – 5,581 members
- Pueblo – 4,417 members
- Central Florida – 4,234 members
- Foothills – 4,166 members
- Cascades – 4,136 members
- Central Washington – 3,906 members
- San Joaquin – 3,753 members
- Tropical Florida – 3,519 members
- Charlotte – 3,402 members
- Mid-South 3,365 members
Another slide in the “Congregations departing” presentation listed the 12 largest congregations that had left the PCUSA. Five of those large congregations were members of the presbyteries listed above as having the most departed members.
|Church||Members||PCUSA presbytery||New affiliation||Year|
|First, Colorado Springs, Colo.||3,824||Pueblo||ECO||2012|
|First, Orlando, Fla.||3,521||Central Florida||EPC||2011|
|First, Greenville, S.C.||3,385||Foothills||ECO||2012|
|Menlo Park, Menlo Park, Calif.||3,324||San Francisco||ECO||2014|
|Kirk of the Hills, Tulsa, Okla.||2,665||Eastern Oklahoma||EPC||2008|
|Grace, Houston, Texas||2,465||New Covenant||ECO||2014|
|Eastminster, Wichita, Kan.||2,302||Southern Kansas||EPC||2012|
|Fair Oaks, Fair Oaks, Calif.||2,295||Sacramento||EPC||2010|
|Bay, Bay Village, Ohio||2,071||Western Reserve||EPC||2008|
|Signal Mountain, Signal Mountain, Tenn.||2,013||East Tennessee||EPC||2007|
|Sunset, Portland, Ore.||1,957||Cascades||EPC||2008|
|Community, Danville, Calif.||1,862||San Francisco||EPC||2012|
One church that didn’t make the list since it wasn’t officially dismissed from the PCUSA until a month after the presentation was given is Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas Texas. Highland Park has approximately 4,896 members and was dismissed by Grace Presbytery to join ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians.