Friday, December 13, 2013

An Interesting Map

Dr. Steve Lemke recently posted a link on Facebook to a very interesting graphic and article regarding the concentration of "Christian" denominations across the U.S.  Here is a link to the article.  The map shows a breakdown of the most dominant religions in the United States on a county by county basis.  The information was compiled from the 2010 Census.

There are many interesting things to talk about regarding this graphic.

One of the things that obviously jumps out at me is the great concentration of churches aligned with the Southern Baptist Convention in the southeastern United States.

This is one of the obvious reasons that our SBC North American Mission Board has turned their focus in church planting efforts toward some of the great metropolitan areas in the Northeast and Northwest and the West Coast.  That's not to say that the SBC churches in the Southeast are reaching everyone with the Gospel, but it is obvious that we do have a strong presence here and there is a need for evangelical work in many other areas of the US and Canada.

I live in Kentucky, which has over 2000 Southern Baptist Churches but my current place of ministry for the past eleven years is just across the Big Sandy River in my native state of West Virginia.  The Mountain State seems to be fairly evenly divided predominantly by American Baptists in the west and United Methodists in the east.  There appear to be four counties where the Church of Christ is most heavily concentrated, with a Roman Catholic presence in the northern panhandle and two counties where the SBC is in majority status.

That last fact is somewhat surprising to me since one of those counties is Wayne County, where the church I serve is located.  I would not have thought of Wayne as being predominantly Southern Baptist due to the high number of other Baptist (American, Free Will, United, Primitive and Independent types) in the mostly rural county.  However, my guess is that the statistic comes from ours, and five other SBC churches located in the more urban northern end of the county, roughly along the Ohio River in Huntington, Ceredo, and Kenova areas.

Any how, as you look over the map, you will probably find many interesting points.

When it comes to religious sports fans, I'd guess that the average Southern Baptist would most likely be a fan of the SEC or ACC.  The purple area would likely root for the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.


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