This City was Named Most Bible-Minded City in U.S.

According to the Barna Group’s annual “Bible Minded Cities” report – Chattanooga, Tennessee has been named the “most Bible-minded city” in the United States for 2017.

The faith profile of 131 cities in the United States was explored with the following guidelines for Bible Minded. “Individuals considered to be Bible-minded are those who report reading the Bible in the past week and who strongly assert the Bible is accurate in the principles it teaches.”

Chattanooga, Tennessee was also voted the “most churchgoing city in the U.S., with 59% of individuals living in Chattanooga attending church services at least once a week. The city houses 3 mega churches and several religiously affiliated academic institutions. With a population of 173,000-plus, 8 in 10 profess Christianity with more than half of those being Evangelical.

Nathan Grubbs, Director of Youth Ministries at Brainerd Presbyterian Church stated last year “Christianity is an undercurrent that runs through everything we do in Chattanooga.” That statement is a testament showing why Chattanooga has been voted most Bible-minded for the years 2016 & 2017. The state was also at the number one spot in 2013 & 2014. Birmingham, Anniston, and Tuscaloosa in Alabama bumped them from the top in the year 2015, moving Chattanooga to second place in the top ten.

The southern states are usually at the top for the most Bible-minded cities and the least Bible-minded is usually found in the North. With 49%, Birmingham, Anniston, and Tuscaloosa in Alabama take the number 2 spot. With 48%, Roanoke and Lynchburg in Virginia take 3rd place in the top ten most Bible-minded cities. The 4TH spot with 48% is the Tri-Cities area in Tennessee followed by Shreveport, LA in 5TH place at 47%.

Located in the Southern Bible-belt are the next 5 “Bible-Minded Cities” in order: Charlotte, NC; Springfield, MO; Little Rock/Pine Bluff, AR; Knoxville, TN; and Greenville/Spartanburg/Anderson SC/Asheville, NC.

Tennessee is also known for having the highest ranking cities within the state. Dennis Culbreth, Director of Missions for the Hamilton County Baptist Association states, “One reason we’re always at or near the top is the great heritage of evangelical Christian work in this city.” The Tennessee Temple, which left in 2015, had been in Chattanooga for 70 years. Ministries such as AMG International and Precepts, and the religious colleges and universities are some of the examples of why Chattanooga remains as the most churched city in the U.S.

Plus, the influence of Godly leadership with deep biblical roots behind the pulpits encouraging and leading the people as they should go.

Even though Chattanooga is at the top of the list for the most Bible-Minded City in the U.S., the percentages have still dropped on Bible reading and church attendance in comparison with previous years. Barna shows this southern state at the top with 50% in 2017. In 2011, the percentage was 55. Also, the number of Chattanooga citizens attending church has dropped also from 69% to 55%. And practicing Christians who said that their faith was very important has dropped 10%.

Local leaders are aware of the falling away but have great hope in the Church changing for the best and the percentages rising to the highest levels of people needing God.

“When I grew up it was assumed that you went to church, it was expected, to be a part of the community. It’s not that way so much anymore; there’s been an erosion,” Culbreth said.

There are generational differences in the importance of attending church and “Church is no longer the best show in town,” wrote David Murrow in his Six Seeds blog. Times have changed with a wide variety of entertainment and things to do on Sunday morning. There’s cable television, video games, jobs and stores operate on a 24/7 timeline.

Ronnie Phillips JR., co-pastor of Abba’s House stated “Many millennials have been hurt by the church, been pushed away for various reasons… Where the church has gone wrong in the past, they’ve given truth without love, truth without spirit.”

Chattanooga, Tennessee – the most Bible-minded city in the U.S. has Evangelical leaders that still have hope that the church will rise up again even though it may not look the same – the message of Christ will remain.

~ Christian Patriot Daily


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