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Shelby County (Tennessee)

Religious Traditions, 2010

260,401 150,894 87,990 61,202 1,125 26,520 339,512
Evangelical Protestant Black Protestant Mainline Protestant Catholic Orthodox Other Unclaimed

Congregational adherents include all full members, their children, and others who regularly attend services. The 2010 reports contain incomplete counts of congregations and adherents belonging to the eight largest historically African-American denominations. These denominations are not included in the 2000 reports and are largely missing from the 1990 and 1980 reports.
[More information on the data sources]


Religious Bodies Tradition Family Congregations Adherents Adherence Rate
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church Black Protestant Methodist/Pietist 6 1,176 1.42
Catholic Church Catholic Catholicism 27 50,000 60.51
Advent Christian Church Evangelical Protestant Adventist 1 51 0.06
Assemblies of God Evangelical Protestant Pentecostal 15 7,565 9.15
Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church Evangelical Protestant Presbyterian-Reformed 4 499 0.60
Baptist Missionary Association of America Evangelical Protestant Baptist 4 1,025 1.24
Black Baptists Estimate Evangelical Protestant Baptist --- 103,916 125.76
Christian and Missionary Alliance, The Evangelical Protestant Holiness 1 83 0.10
Christian Brethren Evangelical Protestant Ind. Fundamentalist 1 58 0.07
Christian Churches and Churches of Christ Evangelical Protestant Baptist 5 1,216 1.47
Church of God (Anderson, Indiana) Evangelical Protestant Holiness 3 195 0.24
Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee) Evangelical Protestant Pentecostal 10 1,645 1.99
Church of God of Prophecy Evangelical Protestant Pentecostal 4 248 0.30
Church of the Nazarene Evangelical Protestant Holiness 10 1,805 2.18
Churches of Christ Evangelical Protestant Baptist 69 22,839 27.64
Cumberland Presbyterian Church Evangelical Protestant Presbyterian-Reformed 12 3,062 3.71
Evangelical Free Church of America, The Evangelical Protestant Methodist/Pietist 1 60 0.07
Evangelical Presbyterian Church Evangelical Protestant Presbyterian-Reformed 2 3,992 4.83
Independent, Charismatic Churches Evangelical Protestant Pentecostal 9 5,150 6.23
Independent, Non-Charismatic Churches Evangelical Protestant
10 12,747 15.43
International Pentecostal Holiness Church Evangelical Protestant Pentecostal 6 727 0.88
Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod Evangelical Protestant Lutheran 10 4,781 5.79
National Association of Free Will Baptists Evangelical Protestant Baptist 5 487 0.59
Presbyterian Church in America Evangelical Protestant Presbyterian-Reformed 3 451 0.55
Primitive Baptists Associations Evangelical Protestant Baptist 2 142 0.17
Salvation Army Evangelical Protestant Holiness 3 329 0.40
Seventh Day Baptist General Conference, USA and Canada Evangelical Protestant Baptist 1 15 0.02
Seventh-day Adventist Church Evangelical Protestant Adventist 8 3,877 4.69
Southern Baptist Convention Evangelical Protestant Baptist 122 169,276 204.85
Wesleyan Church, The Evangelical Protestant Holiness 1 10 0.01
Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod Evangelical Protestant Lutheran 1 148 0.18
American Baptist Churches in the USA Mainline Protestant Baptist 6 3,290 3.98
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Mainline Protestant Baptist 15 10,117 12.24
Episcopal Church Mainline Protestant Episcopalianism/Anglicanism 20 10,439 12.63
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Mainline Protestant Lutheran 8 2,207 2.67
Friends (Quakers) Mainline Protestant European Free-Church 1 52 0.06
Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Mainline Protestant Lutheran 1 21 0.03
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Mainline Protestant Presbyterian-Reformed 30 11,667 14.12
United Church of Christ Mainline Protestant Presbyterian-Reformed 2 239 0.29
United Methodist Church, The Mainline Protestant Methodist/Pietist 69 46,357 56.10
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Orthodox Eastern Liturgical (Orthodox) 1 --- ---
Orthodox Church in America Orthodox Eastern Liturgical (Orthodox) 1 --- ---
Church of Christ, Scientist Other Christian Science 3 --- ---
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The Other Latter-day Saints 6 2,540 3.07
Jewish Other Judaism 5 8,417 10.19
Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations Other Liberal 2 694 0.84
Totals: 526 493,615  

The population of Shelby County, Tennessee was 826,330 in 1990; in 1980 it was 777,113. The total population changed 6.3%. The adherent totals of the religious groups listed above (493,615) included 59.7% of the total population in 1990.

* In an effort to better match the ASARB standards for adherents, a few religious bodies changed the way their adherents were reported in 2010, including the Catholic Church, Amish groups, Friends groups, Jewish groups, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Non-denominational Christian Churches, and the United Methodist Church. This change does not affect any of the data in the newly released 2010 U.S. Religion Census: Religious Congregations & Membership Study. In fact, the data for these groups are now more comparable to that of other bodies than it was in previous decadal reports.

However, the change in methodology can distort assessments on growth or decline between 2000 and 2010 for each of these groups. County-level 2000 data using the new methodology are not readily available. ASARB staff has adjusted some 2000 county-level adherent statistics to allow for a more accurate picture on growth or decline. The revised maps and charts are now available on-line at for those who are interested in these trends.


2010 data were collected by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB) and include statistics for 236 religious groups, providing information on the number of their congregations and adherents within each state and county in the United States. Clifford Grammich, Kirk Hadaway, Richard Houseal, Dale E. Jones, Alexei Krindatch, Richie Stanley and Richard H. Taylor supervised the collection. These data originally appeared in 2010 U.S. Religion Census: Religious Congregations & Membership Study, published by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB). [More information on the data collection]

The adherence rate provides the number of adherents of a particular group per 1,000 population. For example, in 2010 the Episcopal Church had an adherence rate of 7.6 in Autauga County, Alabama. This means that about 8 out of every 1,000 people in Autauga County were Episcopalian.

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