By Associate Editor Joe May

Flavil YeakleyHENDERSON, Tenn. (BNc)- For the past several years, those in churches of Christ throughout the United States have despaired of hope since dropping from being the fastest-growing religious group in the nation.

But now a recent study by Harding professor Dr. Flavil Yeakley indicates that churches of Christ in America have better numbers than many may have realized.

According to an article by Steve Higginbotham, posted on, Yeakley surveyed where the church stands in relation to other religious groups:

  • Churches of Christ constitute the twelfth largest religious group in the U.S.
  • They are the sixth fastest-growing group in the U.S.
  • They rank fourth in the total number of congregations.
  • The church is fifth in the U.S. in number of counties in which there is a congregation.
  • It ranks first in the nation in distribution of congregations.
  • Churches of Christ are first in the nation in weekly attendance among membership.

Higginbotham notes that Yeakley’s study revealed that the greatest retention rate of high school graduates comes frm those congregations who are described as “middle of the road.”

The worst retention rate come from those bodies who are described as liberal.

Yeakley shared these results recently on the campus of Freed-Hardeman University.

He has studied church growth among the congregations in the U.S. for many years.