NASHVILLE — The Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's largest Protestant body, reported an increase in the number of baptisms and total churches in 2011 but an overall decline in total membership, according to the Annual Church Profile compiled by LifeWay Christian Resources.
Southern Baptist churches baptized 333,341 people in 2011, a 0.7 percent increase from 2010. Total membership in 2011 was 15,978,112, a 0.98 percent drop from the previous year and the fifth straight year of decline. The number of churches in the SBC total 45,764 — a 0.08 percent increase over 2010.
Total giving increased by $26.2 million from 2010 to a total of $1.33 billion.
"Southern Baptists continue to be a giving people, even in challenging economic times," said Tom Rainer, president and chief executive officer of LifeWay.