The New England landscape is dotted with white steeples. But pulpits that once boasted gospel preachers like Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield now proclaim universalism, liberalism and postmodernism. Influential colleges like Harvard, Yale and Princeton, founded to train such preachers, lead the way into spiritual darkness.
Consider these facts:
- All six New England states – Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont - rank in the top 10 least religious states in the US. Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts make up the top four. (Gallup 2009)
- In 2008, New England emerged as the new stronghold for "Nones" - adults with no religious affiliation. (ARIS 2009)
- Roughly 2% of New Englanders attend evangelical churches. (Glenmary Research Center 2000)
- One of every six residents of Massachusetts and Connecticut is atheist or agnostic, nearly double the national average. (Barna 2005)
- Of the 27 most populous states, Massachusetts has by far the lowest percentage of self-professed "born agains." (Barna 2005)
- Hartford, Conn., and Providence, R.I., rank among the top three largest metropolitan areas for lowest percentage of evangelicals. (Barna 2005)
- There is a higher percentage of evangelical church attendees in Mormon Utah than in Rhode Island. (Glenmary 2000)
Clearly the need in New England is great. Obstacles to the gospel are many. NETS is committed to seeding the ground with gospel-preaching pastors who will raise up gospel-proclaiming congregations, changing New England's spiritual landscape one church at a time.