LDS Church now ranks 4th largest in U.S.

Published: Saturday, March 10 2007 12:20 a.m. MST

NEW YORK (AP) — The Roman Catholic, Southern Baptist and Methodist churches remain the largest three denominations in the country, with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ranking fourth in size, according to the latest edition of the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches.

The 2007 edition of the book, which is published by the National Council of Churches, an ecumenical group based in New York, tallied statistics collected by churches in 2005.

The number of Roman Catholics rose nearly 2 percent since the 2006 yearbook to more than 69 million, while the Southern Baptists reported 16.3 million members.

The United Methodist Church came in third with just over 8 million members, but that figure represents a decrease of 1.36 percent. The Church of God in Christ, a Pentecostal denomination, was fifth with 5.5 million members.

Only three mainline Protestant denominations were among the 10 largest churches. The Methodists were the largest, followed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which ranked seventh with a membership of 4.85 million, and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which ranked ninth with a membership of nearly 3.1 million. Still, all three reported declines.