The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of religiousness on the trajectories of difficulties with activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental ADLs (IADLs) in community-dwelling older adults over a three-year period. Seven waves of data from the University of Alabama at Birmingham Study of Aging were analyzed using a hierarchical linear modeling method. The study was based on the 784 participants who completed interviews every six months between December 1999 and February 2004. Frequent religious service attendance was associated with fewer ADL difficulties and IADL difficulties at baseline. Furthermore, religious service attendance predicted slower increases for frequent churchgoers and steeper increases for less frequent churchgoers in IADL difficulties, controlling for variables related to demographics and resources. Religious service attendance was independently associated with ADL and IADL difficulties cross-sectionally. However, significant protective effects of religious service attendance were identified longitudinally only for the IADL trajectory. © 2008 Sage Publications.