Adventist Church membership passes 18 million member mark

Fast-growing denomination hits new milestone in 2013’s third quarter

Silver Spring, Maryland, United States | Mark A. Kellner/Adventist Review

The Seventh-day Adventist Church, one of the fastest-growing Christian denominations in the world, has recorded more than 18 million baptized members. There were 18,028,796 Seventh-day Adventists worldwide as of September 30, according to the church’s Office of Archives, Statistics and Research.

An estimated 25 to 30 million men, women and children attend weekly Adventist worship services. The church does not baptize infants or very young children, thus the gap between attendees and baptized members.

In October, Adventist Church Executive Secretary G. T. Ng noted the continuing growth in church membership: “On any given day, 3,052 people join the church. Every hour 127 people are baptized. Every minute, two individuals are baptized, and we praise God for that,” he told church leaders during his report at the 2013 Annual Council in Silver Spring, Maryland.

David Trim, director of Archives, Statistics, and Research, commented on the milestone: “We are excited by this growth at a time when, globally, many religious groups are no longer growing. We thank God that, in the face of challenges such as political oppression, religious persecution, and increasing materialism and secularism, this movement, which emphasizes hope and wholeness, is continuing to grow and has now passed this statistical milestone.”

Formally organized in 1863, the Seventh-day Adventist Church operates 112 colleges and universities, more than 1,900 secondary schools and nearly 6,000 primary schools, with a total enrolment of more than 1.75 million, along with 172 hospitals, treating more than 16 million people annually. The church’s commitment to serving humanity includes the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), as well as evangelistic campaigns and broadcast ministries designed to share the Three Angels’ messages with a world in need of Bible-based answers.