The membership of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod totaled more than 2.5 million in 1999, a drop of almost 12,000 members from the previous year.
Congregations reported a total baptized membership of 2,582,440 in 1999, down 11,964.
Congregations also reported a slight decline in average weekly attendance at worship services. The 1999 figure was 155.1, down by 1.5 from 1998.
Financial giving by congregations surpassed the $1-billion mark for the second year in a row. Congregational giving totaled $1.11 billion, an increase from the $1.05 billion of 1998.
The average amount of giving per confirmed member in 1999 was $570.41, an increase of $8.61.
John O'Hara, research analyst for the church's planning and research department, said the higher contributions combined with lower membership was not unusual.