Seventh-day Adventist Church The Most Racially Diverse Group in United States

To what extent does the diversity match the demographic profile of the US. Being diverse is a good thing, but are there cultures that are under or over represented.


Well, I’ve done my own research, to the best of my ability.

In the US, 69% of people consider themselves “white alone”. That is white and not hispanic. This compares with 37% of SDA’s being white according to the pew research. The conclusion to be drawn is that the church is really struggling to hang onto whites. Not just young people.

Blacks make up 12.3% of the population, and 32% of the SDA church.

Asian makes up 3.6% of the population and 8 percent of the SDA church.

Latino make up 12.5% of the population and 15% of the SDA church.

Could I humbly suggest that the regional conferences take over all the other conferences. They seem to know what they are doing.

Now, how valid is that Pew research.


And some further interesting stuff:

In 2007 15% of SDA’s were over the age of 65. In 2014 this increased to 20%.

The number of Adventists between the ages of 30 and 49 has dropped from 44% to 35%.

Adventists have lower incomes than average and are better educated than the average. That is a somewhat unusual statistic.

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Not even this…not even now! Can people put their bickering away and be glad for once.

Thank you so much for the article, Jarred.


Suppose we take out the racial element. There was/is a German SDA church in Philadelphia; a Portuguese congregation in Toronto, and probably one on the Cape in Massachusetts - they are in their “comfort zones”. Speaking as a naturalized US citizen, I get what Cliff is saying. The problem in the US is that all separation where race is obvious, is called segregation, and carries with it strong emotions. It’s that “ugly American” syndrome - all things must make sense only as defined in “America”?


The “state conferences” are welcome to join the regional conferences–wait for it… :smile:

The regional conferences ARE the reason for the diversity!

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I agree with you Tony! It is as if people really do not know how to just live Christ and minister…That EVERYTHING has to be debated. It doesn’t!

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It would be interesting to see the demographic changes of age in the white grouping. Also the income levels per grouping.


One of the things I admire about the USA, is that naturalised citizens take on the identity of the USA first, before their ethnic roots. I know this is a sweeping statement, but by and large, this is my experience.

In the UK, we have been less successful at this.

Therefore, I agree that segregation shouldn’t happen. We should mix together.

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One of the issues I have seen since I was a little kid is Socialization of Church Members with other Members who attend other SDA churches in a rather close proximity of each other.
We had a Hungarian church group, a Black Church group, an East Side church group, and a Main White church group in my home town of Toledo. We did go to the Black Church for MV meeting 2 times a year. but I dont recall them visiting us.

Here in Macon the Much Larger Black Conf church and the smaller White Conf church do not talk to each other or socialize in any way. And I have been here 10 years. Our White Conf church over the past few years had had black members join. We now have about half who are Black [a couple of Black-White families], maybe 15-20 Hispanic. But our leadership is White. A couple of “deacons” are Black.

In a Huge diverse area like Chattanooga-Collegedale about the only way one can socialize is at Camp Meeting on the University campus. But I would suspect, 100% sit with friends from their own church.

In a previous blog Kim Green reminds us that:
“No, we don’t…but remember that we still don’t have “officially” sanctioned ordained women either!
Yes, I consider it a “moral” wrong that there are still racially divided conferences, too.”

I couldn’t agree more with this statement. Women are being discriminated against in the hierarchy of the church I belong to.
It is fascinating and very sad that the journey of women and blacks in the SDA church follows the path of DISCRIMINATION.
I use that word deliberately because the concept of discrimination (in it’s negative meaning) is a sin. (James 4:17. I am specifically talking about the failure of the church to not authorize the divisions to decide if they will ordain women and the continuance of separate “regional” organization for black SDA members in the USA.Let’s be honest about what is going on.The concept of discrimination provides an explicit way of thinking about a certain kind of wrong that can be found in virtually every society and era. The wrong involves a group-based structure that works in combination with relative deprivations built around the structure. The deprivations are wrongful because they treat persons as having a degraded moral status, but also because the deprivations tend to make members of the group in question vulnerable to domination and oppression at the hands of those who occupy positions of relative advantage. Despite the progress that has been made, the playing field is far from level. Women continue to earn 77 cents for every male dollar (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2010). Black people continue to have twice the unemployment rate of White people, twice the rate of infant mortality, and just over half the proportion of people who attend four years or more of college.
Let’s stop the discrimination!


I don’t know about that - When immigrants arrive in the US, they have a lot of acreage to choose from. When they settle in specific cities, you do have congregations of nationalities - Little Italy in NY; Chinatown in San Francisco; the Irish in Boston; the Finns in upper Michigan, and Swedes in Minnesota; Poles in Buffalo. They look for familiarity, at least for the first couple of generations. After that, some degree of amalgamation is inevitable.

My point, however, is that when there is this clumping together and the commonality is culture, but also race, somebody will make it a race issue. They don’t do that when the groups are of one race, obviously. Why do Blacks have to give up their cultural identities in worship just to accommodate some political correctness? Of course, segregation based on race alone shouldn’t be tolerated, butl who’s to say which is which. The knee-jerk reaction is that it’s all about race.

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Not always…however, I strongly advocate for the “melting pot” approach. In the case of individual churches…a little less so, but I have seen with my own eyes that some these ethnic churches end up being worlds unto themselves and have no intent with “mixing” with other cultures. I could give many examples of how the “saints” like to run their own show to the detriment of other spiritual values.

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Agreed, but usually it is here in the US…just my opinion, Sirje.

This may be the result of more growth opportunities, of additional church doors being open to them, both in mainstream and ethnic/regional congregations, where they are welcome and choose to worship and fellowship. The same may not be true for Whites. I’ve seen congregations that are predominantly white and that are increasingly becoming multicultural whose evangelistic outreach to native whites seemed to have come to a full stop.

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I’m sure there is that; but I think the US has an over the top obsession with race. I know, there is the history; but if you were to ask a white congregation to anonymously respond to a question about a racial bias, I don’t think it would come out as bad as it’s depicted.

When I first became an SDA, I was horrified to learn that there was a “Black conference” within the NY Conference. I didn’t understand it; but then, I hadn’t been in the US very long. Once the history became clear, I got it, and was more horrified. Over time, things got seemingly better; and then, seemingly worse, yet again - which baffles me since we have a black president, elected twice. The problem seems to be manufactured somehow.


I think this is a very good observation, and a valid point. I’m speaking from a European perspective. Our societies have changed dramatically over the last 30 years. Globalization has lead to migration, and what used to be more or less monocultural societies have now developed into multicultural societies. Questions of identity have become more urgent, not to serve racist perspectives, but simply because culture has become a marker of identity in a positive way. Communities have become important arenas for identy formation, and it has absolutely nothing to do with segregation or racism.

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For a developed country we certainly still have big issues with racial prejudice. I don’t think that polling a white congregation would give you an accurate picture of prejudice- you would need to go to the black or hispanic church communities for that.

I have lived through the Watts Riots, Affirmative action, etc., and I come from a fairly racially diverse family and will still say that the US and the Adventist Church here are still significantly prejudiced places as I have seen and experienced it myself.

Apparently the Gospel of Jesus is not working in American Adventism.

Are we not called out of the world into the Kingdom of God? Have we not gone back to the pigsty we were rescued from by identifying our worldly differences? For shame!

Seek ye first the Kingdom of God in which there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Jesus Christ.

Trust God.


Yes, this can be the case.

Perhaps not, but in the US I would say that there has been a historic correlation.