When we think of areas that lead the country in staying away from church, we normally think of places like New York or San Francisco. This week, however, Barna Research Group released a report ranking American cities by the percentage of residents who have never in their lives regularly attended church.

Guess who was number one?

That’s right: West Palm Beach.

What Are the Least Churched Cities in the U.S.

The stretch of Florida’s southeastern coast from West Palm Beach north through Fort Pierce ranks highest in the country for people who have never in their lives regularly attended church—17% of our residents, nearly one in five. That’s higher than New York City (15%).

We rank 11th in the country for the percentage of unchurched people, meaning that except for holidays, they have not attended a church service in six months.

churchless cities 11

This comes as no surprise to those of us who are striving to live on mission here in South Florida. We are finding that for many, church is a distant memory, and for some, church is something they have never experienced.

And yet, in conversations, we are finding that people are interested in and curious about the gospel. Some are ready to believe, and many are open to hearing more.

This is why we need more laborers ready to live here in paradise and obey Jesus’ command to go with the gospel. This is why Family Church and Send South Florida are undertaking to plant 100 churches in South Florida and beyond. (In October we will launch #8.)

The need is great, the fields are ripe, and the weather is awesome.

To find out more about how you can join this great work, check out our blog, find out more about our church planting residency, or contact us.