National Spiritualist Association of Churches

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Denominational Profile

Notes

Oldest and largest of the Spiritualist churches is the National Spiritualist Association of Churches (NSAC), formed in 1893 at Chicago. Among its leaders were Harrison D. Barrett and James M. Peebles, both former Unitarian clergymen, and Cora L. Richmond, an outstanding medium and author. The association was formed both for fellowship and to deal with fraudulent mediumship.

Membership Data

Year Clergy Churches Members
1936 - 258 11,266
1946 - 280 12,000
1950 186 265 7,801
1951 225 285 10,500
1952 216 252 8,105
1953 218 245 7,637
1954 219 244 7,958
1955 227 245 7,990
1956 224 244 7,900
1957 225 247 8,850
1958 220 214 8,001
1959 228 245 8,825
1960 235 225 8,000
1961 139 198 5,438
1962 225 178 5,721
1963 222 175 5,811
1964 216 195 6,082
1965 208 195 4,962
1966 174 183 -
1968 201 203 -
1970 204 201 -
1974 182 200 5,000
1976 - 164 5,168
1984 142 142 5,558
1990 218 120 3,406
1992 95 137 3,883
1994 97 143 3,634
1995 129 130 2,258
1997 134 130 3,530
1999 87 136 3,000
2000 - 156 -

Data were taken from the National Council of Churches' Historic Archive CD and recent editions of the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches. Denomination descriptions provided by Dr. J. Gordon Melton, Director, Institute for the Study of American Religion (ISAR). [More information on data sources]