OFFICIAL TALLY: SBC registration 5,298

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- SBC registration secretary Jim Wells has released official registration figures for the 2014 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Baltimore.

A total of 5,298 messengers were sent by 2,257 churches from 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Only North Dakota sent no messengers.

Attendance was 195 higher than at Houston's 2013 annual meeting, but the numbers show no remarkable trend, Wells said.

"The messenger count was up from Houston. Baltimore was a destination that our messengers really enjoyed and I heard lots of positive comments about the city, waterfront etc.," Wells said. "I am praying that the emphasis on Prayer, Revival and Spiritual Awakening by Dr. Ronnie Floyd will bode well for the convention in Columbus, Ohio, next year."

Of the 1,298 messengers who responded to the registration survey, 731 of them, or 58 percent, were age 50 and older. Only 94 of them, or 7 percent, were under age 30, registration figures show.

Messengers were nearly evenly distributed among the remaining age groups. Messengers 30-34 years old accounted for 8.5 percent; messengers in the 35-39 and 40-44 age groups accounted for 8.7 each, with the remaining age group, 45–49, drawing 8.9 percent of those registered.

Virginia had the largest number of messengers, 506, at the June 10-11 meeting in the Baltimore Convention Center, accounting for 9.55 percent of the registration total. A total of 183 Virginia Baptist congregations sent messengers.

The next four leading states in messenger count were Maryland, 428 (8.08 percent of the total) from 153 churches; North Carolina, 420 (7.93 percent of the total) from 205 churches; Tennessee, 419 (7.91 percent of the total) from 173 churches; and Georgia, 371 (7 percent of the total) from 173 churches.

Official registration numbers follow: Alaska, 15; Alabama, 250; Arkansas, 179; Arizona, 20; California, 99; Colorado, 29; Connecticut, 10; District of Columbia, 20; Delaware, 23; Florida, 301; Georgia, 371; Hawaii, 12; Iowa, 4; Idaho, 4; Illinois, 94; Indiana, 76; Kansas, 29; Kentucky, 251; Louisiana, 175; Massachusetts, 17; Maryland, 428; Maine, 1; Michigan, 29; Minnesota, 3; Missouri, 153; Mississippi, 200; Montana, 6; North Carolina, 420; Nebraska, 2; New Hampshire, 5; New Jersey, 39; New Mexico, 32; Nevada, 26; New York, 67; Ohio, 89; Oklahoma, 134; Oregon, 2; Pennsylvania, 111; Puerto Rico, 4; Rhode Island, 4; South Carolina, 242; South Dakota, 4; Tennessee, 419; Texas, 317; Utah, 8; Virginia, 506; Vermont, 6; Washington, 5; Wisconsin, 10; West Virginia, 41, and Wyoming, 6.

The official number of churches from each state registering messengers: Alaska, 10; Alabama, 125; Arkansas, 69; Arizona, 11; California, 54; Colorado, 13; Connecticut, 6; District of Columbia, 6; Delaware, 9; Florida, 127; Georgia, 173; Hawaii, 8; Iowa, 2; Idaho, 2; Illinois, 40; Indiana, 30; Kansas, 12; Kentucky, 121; Louisiana, 70; Massachusetts, 6; Maryland, 153; Maine, 1; Michigan, 16; Minnesota, 2; Missouri, 72; Mississippi, 99; Montana, 3; North Carolina, 205; Nebraska, 1; New Hampshire, 4; New Jersey, 11; New Mexico, 16; Nevada, 12; New York, 27; Ohio, 43; Oklahoma, 5; Oregon, 1; Pennsylvania, 35; Puerto Rico, 3; Rhode Island, 1; South Carolina, 125; South Dakota, 1; Tennessee, 173; Texas, 135; Utah, 4; Virginia, 183; Vermont, 4; Washington, 4; Wisconsin, 3; West Virginia, 17, and Wyoming, 4.

By gender, 62.9 percent of the messengers were male, 37.1 percent female.

By vocation, according to the data supplied by the messengers responding to the survey, 41 percent were senior pastors; 11.5 percent were homemakers; 13.6 percent were other church staff; 3.7 percent worked in associational missions; 6.5 percent were state convention, entity or institution staff members; 1.8 percent were seminary students; 1.7 percent were involved in North American or international missions; 2.7 percent were other denominational employees; 1.2 percent worked in evangelism; and 15.9 percent listed "other."

For 297 of the responding messengers, or 23 percent of the total, the convention in Baltimore was their first SBC annual meeting; 397 had attended an SBC meeting five times or less (31 percent); 273 had attended six to 10 times (21 percent); and 301 had attended 11 or more times (23 percent).

In traveling to Baltimore, 45.2 percent of the messengers came by plane, 52.4 percent by car, and 2.4 percent by another form of transportation. In terms of expenditures to attend the annual meeting, 54 estimated they would be spending under $100 (3.12 percent); 73 estimated $100-299 (5.75 percent); 167 estimated $300-599 (13.2 percent); 241 estimated $600-999 (19 percent); 306 estimated $1,000-1,499 (24.13 percent); 290 estimated $1,500-1,999 (22.8 percent); and 137 estimated $2,000 or more (10.8 percent).

Of the 1,298 messengers who provided the additional information at registration, 402 said no other family members were with them in Baltimore (31.7 percent); 621 brought one family member (48.9 percent); 201 brought two to four family members (15.8 percent); and 44 brought five or more family members (3.5 percent).


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