On Saturday afternoon, the Rev. George Speake, Conference Statistician, reported statistics for 2016, noting that 2,378 new members were received by profession of faith which is 428 fewer than 2015.
In addition, 1,727 new members were received from other United Methodist Churches and 1,248 from other denominations, both being less than 2015. The total conference membership at the end of 2016 was 226,323, down by 2,288.
Churches continue to audit their roles and as a result, the total membership number is falling. One large church removed 1,803 “numbers” from their rolls; that is, “there was never a person associated with these numbers.” Speake emphasized the necessity of accurate record keeping and reporting for the Tables.
During 2015, our churches spent a slightly more than $21.9 million on building improvements and slightly more than $12 million on debt retirement. Both categories were higher than the previous year. $183,798,543 was the grand total spent by all churches in the conference.
One major emphasis of the report was reminding all members of the annual conference that accurate reporting is a necessity.
All the monies reported on Table II have an impact on the local church apportionment calculations. Speake said all pastors will receive their 2018 Apportionment Report by late July.
The local church finance team should review this report for potential errors before charge conference. He stated that if a church experiences a significant increase in apportionments, he is always available to assist rectifying any possible reporting errors.
On a final note, Speake gave thanks to Douglas Ward, NC Conference Informational Technology Director and his work on rewriting the Online Data Collection System with emphasis on streamlining the Table collection module and reporting tools.