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Are You On A Church Membership Roll?


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Someone on another thread commented that after a discussion on official church withdrawal, he looked into his own history and discovered that he was still a member of a childhood church though he hadn't attended in years.

 

This made me wonder, how many of you are aware of your church membership (at even more than one place) or if your name is still on rolls. I don't know if churches get any special credit for having high numbers, but are they accurate?

 

Came across this article from 2007 about how misleading some church and polling information can be.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/18/AR2007051801701.html

 

It states:

The Southern Baptist Convention, with 16.3 million members on the books, claims to be the nation's largest Protestant denomination. But the Rev. Thomas Ascol believes the active membership is really a fraction of that.

Ascol, pastor of the 230-member Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Fla., points to a church report showing that only 6 million Southern Baptists attend church on an average Sunday.

"The reality is, the FBI couldn't find half of those if they had to," said Ascol of the claimed members.

 

and

 

...it is possible, for example, to be born Catholic, married Methodist, die Lutheran and still be listed as a member of the Catholic Church.

 

Wondering if you've thought about your status on a church roll. Would you check into it? Withdraw? Why or why not?

Just find this topic interesting if you feel like sharing.

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Well, I let the pastor of the church I went to know I'd be leaving, but I don't think he's officially removed me yet. I still get the newsletters, and they're keeping it under wraps for now. They want to see if I'll change my mind.

 

I think I made it pretty clear that I have good reasons for my lack of belief and that it was highly unlikely I'd change my mind. But I didn't want to give the impression that I was close minded. Maybe that was a mistake, as they still hold out hope I will come back. Anyway... hopefully they'll eventually realize I won't come be coming back and take me off.

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I'm sure I'm still on the rolls at the church I was raised in, but I don't care enough to have myself removed. I never became a full member of the church I attended with my wife as a young adult.

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The Southern Baptist Convention, with 16.3 million members on the books, claims to be the nation's largest Protestant denomination. But the Rev. Thomas Ascol believes the active membership is really a fraction of that.

Ascol, pastor of the 230-member Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Fla., points to a church report showing that only 6 million Southern Baptists attend church on an average Sunday.

"The reality is, the FBI couldn't find half of those if they had to," said Ascol of the claimed members.

 

Ahhh very interesting. Nice find, and confirms what I had thought.

The problem is that they do, in a way, get "credit" for those numbers. The SBC can use their huge membership roster while stumping for one extremist right-wing cause or another, claiming to speak for a vast number of people. As it turns out, a good number of them are not necessarily in agreement and a good number may be double-counted by having multiple church memberships, or, as was my case, old memberships they had no idea still existed.

 

 

I'm sure I'm still on the rolls at the church I was raised in, but I don't care enough to have myself removed.

In my case it was very important to abolish that tie because of the SBC's extensive anti-gay activism. I simply cannot in good conscience allow my name to be associated in even the slightest way with an organization that has done so much harm.

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The Southern Baptist Convention, with 16.3 million members on the books, claims to be the nation's largest Protestant denomination. But the Rev. Thomas Ascol believes the active membership is really a fraction of that.

Ascol, pastor of the 230-member Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Fla., points to a church report showing that only 6 million Southern Baptists attend church on an average Sunday.

"The reality is, the FBI couldn't find half of those if they had to," said Ascol of the claimed members.

 

Ahhh very interesting. Nice find, and confirms what I had thought.

The problem is that they do, in a way, get "credit" for those numbers. The SBC can use their huge membership roster while stumping for one extremist right-wing cause or another, claiming to speak for a vast number of people. As it turns out, a good number of them are not necessarily in agreement and a good number may be double-counted by having multiple church memberships, or, as was my case, old memberships they had no idea still existed.

 

 

I'm sure I'm still on the rolls at the church I was raised in, but I don't care enough to have myself removed.

In my case it was very important to abolish that tie because of the SBC's extensive anti-gay activism. I simply cannot in good conscience allow my name to be associated in even the slightest way with an organization that has done so much harm.

 

I know that it's both inconvenient and difficult to withdraw, it just got me to thinking that if we ensured we had our names removed they wouldn't be able to get away with politically representing people at this rate.

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I withdrew my memebership from the SBC church I was attending after I called off my engagement last year and need to do the same with the church I've stopped attending now. Funny thing is that I applied for a became a member of the church that my parents go to in an attempt to save my faith.

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I'm probably on at least a couple. I recall getting a call from one after moving at least two times. I told them I wasn't near them and wanted nothing to do with them but this didn't seem to mean anything to the person I was talking with. I think it translated into "Put my account on hold." Since I really didn't have any huge issues with the religion at that time I just let it go...as long as the calls stopped. I haven't heard anything since.

 

I still have family that goes to the one church (and I was confirmed there) so I'm probably on some list I'll never get off of there. Depending on which way the wind blows they tend to hold a once saved always saved attitude so I'm good to go. I'm also good to be the Prodigal Son and make a big return some day (and pick up my little tithe envelopes).

 

mwc

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I only ever officially joined one church, the last one I was actively involved with. I haven't been there in years, but my wife still goes, so I don't know about my membership status. I did get the prayer chain emails for quite a while after I quit attending, but I haven't gotten them in a few years, so I may have been removed.

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well, i became a member before i was baptised in a methodist church.

 

i sent a formal letter of withdrawl from membership from that church 2 years of non-attending, as I understand methodist churches must contribute to the HQ money in terms of head count.

 

so, I am definitely NOT on their roll.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am still on the membership role of the church I grew up in. I'm getting ready to move out of the house and I WON"T be attending church after having it shoved down my throat for years. At my church, when a member withdraws it is read at a buisness meeting and if they are transferring churches the name of the church they are transferring to is included. I don't like the idea of having my personal buisness announced in front of the entire congregation....I'm trying to figure out a way to get out of it.

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I am still on the membership role of the church I grew up in. I'm getting ready to move out of the house and I WON"T be attending church after having it shoved down my throat for years. At my church, when a member withdraws it is read at a buisness meeting and if they are transferring churches the name of the church they are transferring to is included. I don't like the idea of having my personal buisness announced in front of the entire congregation....I'm trying to figure out a way to get out of it.

 

One way would be to not tell them anything. Leave your name on it. Everyone's name is in 10,000 computer systems anyway.

 

Another way could be to write a letter to them expressing your wish to be removed from the rolls without being announced to the congregation and you will consider a public announcement of your leaving a deliberate act to indirectly urge parishioners to 'disturb your peace' (call the police to get the local ordinance number). Any attempt to violate your privacy, disturb your peace or harass you will be pursued legally through the criminal and/or civil court system. Send the letter certified with a return receipt request.

 

Find a way to record your telephone conversations...maybe an app?...then if someone calls to bug you, start recording them and let them know they are being recorded and ask them how they found out you left the church? Keep all texts, emails, facebook exchanges that can be used as evidence that you are being harassed. Then file a criminal complaint for disturbing the peace or whatever your local law is called and provide your church/pastor with a copy.

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About a year after my wife and I quit attending church we got a nice letter from them that our membership had been dropped for non-attendance (2001 or 2002?). I think I tossed the letter because I have looked for that letter and cannot find it. These days I would have framed it on the wall. At least I know my membership in the Jesus Club has expired.

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I am still on the membership role of the church I grew up in. I'm getting ready to move out of the house and I WON"T be attending church after having it shoved down my throat for years. At my church, when a member withdraws it is read at a buisness meeting and if they are transferring churches the name of the church they are transferring to is included. I don't like the idea of having my personal buisness announced in front of the entire congregation....I'm trying to figure out a way to get out of it.

 

One way would be to not tell them anything. Leave your name on it. Everyone's name is in 10,000 computer systems anyway.

 

Another way could be to write a letter to them expressing your wish to be removed from the rolls without being announced to the congregation and you will consider a public announcement of your leaving a deliberate act to indirectly urge parishioners to 'disturb your peace' (call the police to get the local ordinance number). Any attempt to violate your privacy, disturb your peace or harass you will be pursued legally through the criminal and/or civil court system. Send the letter certified with a return receipt request.

 

Find a way to record your telephone conversations...maybe an app?...then if someone calls to bug you, start recording them and let them know they are being recorded and ask them how they found out you left the church? Keep all texts, emails, facebook exchanges that can be used as evidence that you are being harassed. Then file a criminal complaint for disturbing the peace or whatever your local law is called and provide your church/pastor with a copy.

 

Another option would be to start going to another church temporarily, then have your membership cancelled because you've switched churches, and then just quit going to the new church.

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I wrote the Southern Baptist church I attended in the 80s to ask them to remove my name shortly after I left their denomination, but never did formally quit the UPC after leaving them. I'm probably still on UPC rolls then. I also am probably still on Catholic rolls. I don't want my Evil Ex to know where I am so I'm not going to write the UPC, and I have an aunt who is a nun who is apparently very buddy-buddy with the fat cats in Rome, so I'm going to have to carefully consider the Catholic one--I'm pretty sure if I wrote to withdraw my name, ninjas would come after me.

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I know that I officially still belong to my previous church but at the moment, I am really tired of trying to get removed from their member list. Did anyone here have a problem with that too? I talked to my former pastors, emailed them and tried to call them but they still refuse to to take me off their list and require another personal conversation (which I am willing to have, but they are not available whenever I try to contact them and fix a date). I guess they think I am in some sort of a phase that will pass (no, it won't) and if they just wait long enough I will come back (no, I won't). It really annoys me that they cannot accept the fact that I definitely want to leave for good.

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I know that I officially still belong to my previous church but at the moment, I am really tired of trying to get removed from their member list. Did anyone here have a problem with that too? I talked to my former pastors, emailed them and tried to call them but they still refuse to to take me off their list and require another personal conversation (which I am willing to have, but they are not available whenever I try to contact them and fix a date). I guess they think I am in some sort of a phase that will pass (no, it won't) and if they just wait long enough I will come back (no, I won't). It really annoys me that they cannot accept the fact that I definitely want to leave for good.

 

Require a personal conversation???? Tell them to take a run and jump, its your life and you don't want to belong to their club any more. You've asked to be removed from the membership and that should be enough!

 

Hello BTW :D

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It would be interesting to know if they still count me. I just started writing "REFUSED" on mail from the church, eventually it stopped. It makes me ill to think the Southern Baptists would still consider me a member.

 

It isn't worth contacting them about since it has been years. But I don't want my name on anything that church supports--even if I agree with it.

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Guest Babylonian Dream

I might be on the rolls as Independant Baptist, Methodist, presbyterian, and I know I'm on the rolls as a member of the UU church because my going there was relatively recently. Its funny if I'm still listed as Baptist.

 

Grace Baptist was the name of one of the churches I attended as a kid! The pastor lost his congregation after leaving his wife for another woman. He's apparently still a pastor!

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I know that I officially still belong to my previous church but at the moment, I am really tired of trying to get removed from their member list. Did anyone here have a problem with that too? I talked to my former pastors, emailed them and tried to call them but they still refuse to to take me off their list and require another personal conversation (which I am willing to have, but they are not available whenever I try to contact them and fix a date). I guess they think I am in some sort of a phase that will pass (no, it won't) and if they just wait long enough I will come back (no, I won't). It really annoys me that they cannot accept the fact that I definitely want to leave for good.

I know that I officially still belong to my previous church but at the moment, I am really tired of trying to get removed from their member list. Did anyone here have a problem with that too? I talked to my former pastors, emailed them and tried to call them but they still refuse to to take me off their list and require another personal conversation (which I am willing to have, but they are not available whenever I try to contact them and fix a date). I guess they think I am in some sort of a phase that will pass (no, it won't) and if they just wait long enough I will come back (no, I won't). It really annoys me that they cannot accept the fact that I definitely want to leave for good.

Best thing to do with people like that is nothing. Ignore their requests and the will go away and your name will eventually be purged from the roles. Welcome too!

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