The Acorn newspaper, based outside of Los Angeles, recently published my op-ed, “A Tale of Two Denominations,” examining the contrasting directions of the mainline United Methodist Church (UMC) and the evangelical Assemblies of God (AG), nationwide and especially in the Southern California region. The UMC is rapidly declining amidst internal theological as well as ethnic divisions, while the AG’s rapid growth appears to be helped by how it has combined of theological unity with ethnic diversity.
You can begin reading this op-ed, “A Tale of Two Denominations,” below.
Two of America’s largest Protestant denominations are the United Methodist Church and the Assemblies of God. Both have long histories in Southern California and some shared beliefs, including ordaining women, that set them apart from other Protestants.
But official statistics, which typically have a couple years of lag time, for the decade immediately before the pandemic show these denominations have been on very different trajectories, especially regionally.