The national trend of declining membership in Southern Baptist churches continued in 2013, but churches in East Tennessee say they don't see it.
For the seventh year in a row, the Southern Baptist Convention found there are less people actively involved in its churches around the U.S. There were only 15.7 million church members in 2013, down from nearly 16 million in 2012.
One pastor thinks it's because the church's message is getting lost.
"I think people are looking for real, they're looking for authentic. And one of the things we try to do here is say 'come be a part of the journey with us, for real life with Jesus, and I think people respond to that. And so many of the churches that are having difficulties right now are examining the way they are presenting the message," said Jef Lawrence, pastor of First Baptist Concord.
The national survey also found attendance in Southern Baptist churches also dropped by two percent in 2013.