Friday, July 22, 2016

On Vacation

I will not have internet until the 29th as I will be on vacation. If there is any significant LDS Church growth development that occurs during the next week, I will post about it when I return. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Reaching the Nations - Kindle Edition Price Reduced

If you have not purchased your own Kindle edition of Reaching the Nations: International Church Growth Almanac: 2014 Edition, I recommend that you acquire a copy on amazon.com. We have reduced the price to $1.99 per volume. Although some of the material may be outdated for some nations, this 1,900 page work represents the most thorough and comprehensive analysis of LDS growth trends to date. In the next couple years, we plan to update the almanac to reflect church growth developments and additional research conducted since mid-2013. See below for links to these volumes:

Volume I

Volume II

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

New Stake Created in Nigeria, New District Created in Cote d'Ivoire

Nigeria
A new stake was organized in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. The Ikot Akpatek Nigeria Stake was organized from a division of the Eket Nigeria and the Ikot Akpaden Nigeria Stakes. The new stake includes the following six wards and one branch: the Ikot Akpatek, Ikot Anang, Ikot Ebidang, Ikwe, Okom, and Udo Wards, and the Okat Branch. There are now nine stakes and three districts in Akwa Ibom State.

There are now 39 stakes and 17 districts in Nigeria. The number of stakes in Nigeria has tripled every 10 years. If this trend continues for the next decade, there may be more than 100 stakes in Nigeria by 2026.

Cote d'Ivoire
A new district was organized in Cote d'Ivoire. The Agboville Cote d'Ivoire District was organized from five mission branches located between the cities of Anyama and Agboville. The new district includes the following six branches: the Agboville, Agboville Cote d'Ivoire District, Azaguié 1st, Azaguié 2nd, Blankro 1st, and Blankro 2nd Branches. The organization of the district branch suggests that there are likely member groups that operate within the boundaries of the new district. All five former mission branches in the new district were organized within the past 18 months.

There are now 10 stakes and nine districts in Cote d'Ivoire. The number of stakes in Cote d'Ivoire has also tripled every 10 years. If this trend continues for the next decade, there may be 30 stakes in Cote d'Ivoire by 2026.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

New Stakes Created in Brazil, the DR Congo, Honduras, Nigeria, and Taiwan; New Districts organized in Angola, Cote d'Ivoire, and South Africa

Brazil
The Church organized a new stake in Parana State on June 19th. The Apucarana Brazil Stake was organized from the Apucarana Brazil District and the Maringá Brazil Stake. Most, if not all, of the five branches in the former district appear to have become wards.

There are now 20 stakes and one district in Parana State, and 261 stakes and 38 districts in Brazil.

DR Congo
The Church organized a new stake in the southern Democratic Republic of the Congo on June 26th. The Likasi Democratic Republic of the Congo Stake was organized from the Likasi Democratic Republic of the Congo District. Information on which of the 10 branches in the former district that became wards remains unavailable. The new stake is the Church's first stake to operate in the southern Democratic Republic of the Congo outside of Lubumbashi.

There are now 16 stakes and two districts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Honduras
The Church organized a new stake in San Pedro Sula on June 26th. The new stake was organized from a division of the San Pedro Sula Honduras and Satélite Honduras Stakes. The new stake appears to be named the El Carmen Honduras Stake or the San Pedro Sula Honduras El Carmen Stake. The new stake includes the following five wards and one branch: Calpules, El Carmen, La Aldea, Las Lomas, and Ocotillo Wards, and San Juan Branch.

There are now 25 stakes and seven districts in Honduras. 

Nigeria
The Church organized a new stake in western Nigeria on June 26th. The Ile-Ife Nigeria Stake was organized from the Ile-Ife Nigeria District. Information on which of the 10 retained branches in the former district that became wards remains unavailable. The Ile-Ife Nigeria Stake is the Church's first stake in Osun State where four million people reside. The Church originally organized the Ile-Ife Nigeria District in 1999.

The Church organized a new stake in south-central Nigeria on June 19th. The Onitsha Nigeria Stake was organized from the Onitsha Nigeria District. Information on which of the nine retained branches in the former district that became wards remains unavailable. The Onitsha Nigeria Stake is the Church's first stake in Anambra State where 4.8 million people reside. The Church originally organized the Onitsha Nigeria District in 1988. Prior to the creation of the new stake, the Onitsha Nigeria District was the oldest district of the Church in Nigeria.


There are now 38 stakes and 17 districts in Nigeria.

Taiwan
The Church in Taiwan organized a new stake on June 26th. The Chiayi Taiwan Stake was organized from the Chia Yi Taiwan District. Information on which of the seven branches in the former district became wards remains unavailable. The Chia Yi Taiwan District was the last district of the Church in Taiwan as all others have become stakes. The Church in Taiwan has implemented an aggressive strategy to organize several new stakes within the past five years, resulting in the number of stakes increasing from 11 to 17.

Angola
The Church organized its second district in Angola on June 12th. The Viana Angola District was organized from a division of the Luanda Angola District. The new district includes the following three branches: Terra Nova, Viana, and Zango. Missionaries have reported within the past couple years plans for the organization of the first stake in Angola within the near future. However, the decision to divide the Luanda Angola District, which previously had eight branches, appears to indicate plans to organize several new branches in the Luanda metropolitan area to spur greater growth in this massive city of 6.8 million inhabitants.

Cote d'Ivoire
The Church organized a new district in central Cote d'Ivoire on June 5th. The Bouake Cote d'Ivoire District was organized from the following five mission branches that operate within the city of Bouake: Ahougnanssou, Bouake 1st, Bouake 2nd, Bouake 3rd, and Bouake 4th Branch. The Church originally established its first branch in Bouake in 1989. At least two branches functioned in the city in the early 2000s, but all branches were discontinued in the mid-2000s due to the First Ivorian Civil War. The Church reestablished official branches in Bouake in 2015.

There are now 10 stakes and eight districts in Cote d'Ivoire.

South Africa
The Church organized a new district in southwestern South Africa on June 12th. The George South Africa District was organized from two mission branches in the George area, namely George and Knysna. The decision to organize a district with only two branches suggests plans to organize additional branches in the area within the near future as districts typically have at least three branches.

There are now 15 stakes and five districts in South Africa.

Friday, July 1, 2016

June Monthly Newsletter

Click here to access our June monthly newsletter for cumorah.com.

Monday, June 20, 2016

New Stakes Created in Argentina, Arizona, Brazil, Connecticut, Cote d'Ivoire, Nevada, Utah, and Washington; Stakes Discontinued in California and Utah

Argentina
A new stake was created in Argentina on June 19th. The Lujan Argentina Stake was created from the Lujan Argentina District. Most of the seven branches in the former district have appeared to become wards in the new stake.

There are now 76 stakes and 28 districts in Argentina.

Arizona
A new stake was created in Arizona on June 12th. The Mesa Arizona Clearview Stake was organized from a division of the Mesa Arizona Kimball East and Mesa Arizona Skyline Stakes. The new stake includes the following six wards: the Baywood, Brimhall, Century Gardens, Desert Vista, Ellsworth, and Hampton Wards.

There are now 106 stakes in Arizona.

Brazil
A new stake was created in Brazil on June 12th. The Juazeiro do Norte Brazil Stake was organized from the Juazeiro do Norte Brazil District. Most of the six branches in the district appear to have been organized into wards.

There are now 260 stakes and 39 districts in Brazil.

Connecticut
On June 12th, a new stake was organized in Connecticut for the first time since 1981. The New London Connecticut Stake was organized from a division of the Hartford Connecticut, New Haven Connecticut, and Providence Rhode Island Stakes. The new stake includes the following six wards and two branches: the Ashford, Cromwell, Groton, Madison, Norwich, and Waterford Wards, and the Quaker Hill (Spanish) and Westerly Branches.

There are now three stakes in Connecticut.

Cote d'Ivoire
A new stake was organized on June 12th. The Grand-Bassam Cote d'Ivoire Stake was organized from a division of the Port-Bouet Cote d'Ivoire Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards: the Adjouffou, Bonoua, Gonzagueville, Grand-Bassam 1st, Grand-Bassam 2nd, and Jean-Folly Wards. There are now nine stakes in the Abidjan metropolitan area.

There are now 10 stakes and seven districts in Cote d'Ivoire.

Nevada
A new stake was created in the Reno metropolitan area on June 12th. The Sparks Nevada West Stake was created from a division of the Sparks Nevada Stake (renamed Sparks Nevada East Stake). The new stake includes the following five wards and one branch: the Eagle Canyon, El Rancho, Marina, Royal Heights (Tongan), and Sun Valley Wards, and the Vista Branch (Spanish). There are now six stakes in the Reno metropolitan area.

There are now 39 stakes in Nevada.

Utah
Two new stakes have been created in Utah thus far in June. One stake has been discontinued.

The Provo Utah Freedom Stake was created from a division of the Provo Utah East and Provo Utah South Stakes. The new stake includes the following seven wards: the Freedom 1st, Freedom 2nd, Freedom 3rd (Spanish), Provo 1st, Provo 6th, Provo Peak 3rd, and Provo Peak 11th Wards.

The Mapleton Utah West Stake was organized on June 12th from a division of the Mapleton Utah, Mapleton Utah North, and Spanish Fork Utah Maple Mountain Stakes. The new stake includes the following eight wards: the Legacy Farms, Maple Highlands, Mapleton 10th, Mapleton 12th, Mapleton 17th, Mapleton 19th, Mapleton 22nd, and Spanish Highlands 2nd Wards.

Organized in 1991, the Salt Lake Monument Park North Stake was discontinued on June 12th. Retained congregations were reassigned to the Salt Lake Monument Park Stake.

There are now 580 stakes and one district in Utah.

Washington
A new stake was created on June 19th in the Spokane area. The Spokane Washington Mount Spokane Stake was organized from a division of the Spokane Washington, Spokane Washington North, and Spokane Washington Valley Stakes. The new stake includes the following five wards and one branch: the Beacon Hill, West Valley, Shiloh Hills, Greenbluff, and Foothills Wards and the Friendship Park (Marshallese) Branch.

There are now 61 stakes in Washington.

California
The Church discontinued a stake in San Diego on June 12th. Organized in 1962, the San Diego California Sweetwater Stake was discontinued and retained congregations were reassigned to the Chula Vista, San Diego California, and San Diego California East Stakes.

There are now 155 stakes in California.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

First Official LDS Branch Organized in Ekiti State, Nigeria

Last Sunday, the Church organized its first official branch in the Nigerian state of Ekiti. Assigned to the Nigeria Benin City Mission, the Ado Ekiti Branch was organized in the city of Ado Ekiti. Ado Ekiti was previously the sixth most populous Nigerian city without a known LDS presence prior to the organization of the new branch. The city of Ado Ekiti supports 450,000 people - approximately the same population size as Colorado Springs in the United States. There are 2.8 million people in Ekiti State where the population appears evenly divided between Christians and Muslims.

The Church in Nigeria has recently made significant progress in regards to national outreach expansion. The first branches have been organized in several additional large cities within the past two years, including:
  • Makurdi - 355,000 inhabitants (first branch created in late 2015)
  • Otukpo - likely more than 100,000 inhabitants (first branch created in late 2015)
  • Oyo - 370,000 inhabitants (first branch created in spring 2016)
  • Sapele - 300,000 inhabitants (first branch created in mid-2014)
  • Ugep - likely more than 200,000 inhabitants (first branch created in spring 2016)
With over 181 million inhabitants, Nigeria continues to present excellent opportunities for the Church to expand outreach despite religious violence in central and northern areas of the country. The greatest challenge to realize this potential will be limited mission resources allocated to the country and the Church's rapid growth in major cities (e.g. Lagos, Port Harcourt, Benin City) siphoning available missionary manpower.

See below for a map of the Nigeria Benin City Mission

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Over 50 New Stakes Organized in 2016

With the creation of at least five new stakes last Sunday, the Church has surpassed 50 new stakes organized in 2016. I have confirmed the organization of at least 51 new stakes as of June 12th, 2016. I have received reports of at least eight additional stakes to be organized in the coming months. Based on growth trends during the first six months of 2016, it appears likely that the Church will organize at least 100 new stakes during 2016 - the largest number of new stakes organized in a single year since 1997. The rate that the Church has discontinued stakes has appeared to remain steady for the past decade. The Church has, on average, discontinued one stake for every 10 stakes it creates. Thus far in 2016, there have been six stakes discontinued.

Here is a list of new stakes organized thus far in 2016:

1. San Antonio Texas Cibolo Valley - Jan. 10th, 2016
2. Vero Beach Florida - January 10th, 2016
3. Barranca Peru - January 17th, 2016
4. El Paso Texas Chamizal - January 17th, 2016
5. Maceió Brazil Colina - January 24th, 2016
6. Palermo Honduras - January 24th, 2016
7. Ridgefield Washington - January 24th, 2016
8. San Antonio Texas La Cantera - January 24, 2016
9. Rio Verde Brazil - January 31st, 2016
10. Irving Texas - February 7th, 2016
11. Linda Vista Guatemala - February 21st, 2016
12. Managua Nicaragua Las Américas - 2/21/2016
13. Chandler Arizona South - February 28th, 2016
14. Mesa Arizona Red Mountain - March 6th, 2016
15. Enumclaw Washington - March 13th, 2016
16. Ipswich Australia West - March 20th, 2016
17. Maracanaú Brazil North - March 20th, 2016
18. Mpintsin Ghana - March 20th, 2016
19. Nairobi Kenya West - March 20th, 2016
20. Palmer Alaska - March 20th, 2016
21. Sherman Texas - March 20th, 2016
22. Queen Creek Arizona Central - April 10th, 2016
23. Reno Nevada Mount Rose - April 10th, 2016
24. Dunedin New Zealand - April 17th, 2016
25. Gilbert Arizona Gateway - April 17th, 2016
26. Tacoma Washington South - April 17th, 2016
27. Cotonou Benin - April 24th, 2016
28. Mbuji-Mayi DR Congo - April 24th, 2016
29. Cookeville Tennessee - May 1st, 2016
30. Ikot Eyo Nigeria - May 1st, 2016
31. Mesa Arizona Flatiron - May 1st, 2016
32. Sydney Australia Prairiewood - May 1st, 2016
33. Bell Ville Argentina - May 8th, 2016
34. Ikot Ekpene Nigeria - May 15th, 2016
35. Prague Czech Republic - May 15th, 2016
36. Saratoga Springs Utah Mount Saratoga - 5/15/2016
37. Tarija Bolivia Tabladita - May 15th, 2016
38. Yamoransa Ghana - May 22nd, 2016
39. Abuja Nigeria North - May 29th, 2016
40. Kinshasa DR Congo Ngaba - May 29th, 2016
41. Ulaanbaatar Mongolia East - May 29th, 2016
42. Cedar Park Texas - June 5th, 2016
43. Guatemala City San Cristóbal - June 5th, 2016
44. Hong Kong China Lion Rock - June 5th, 2016
45. Hong Kong China Kowloon East - June 5th, 2016
46. Provo Utah Freedom - June 5th, 2016
47. Grand-Bassam Cote d'Ivoire - June 12th, 2016
48 Juazeiro do Norte Brazil - June 12th, 2016
49. Mapleton Utah West - June 12th, 2016
50. New London Connecticut - June 12th, 2016
51. Sparks Nevada West - June 12th, 2016

Below is a list of stakes discontinued in 2016:

1. Salt Lake Sugar House
2. Magna Utah Central
3. Moscow Idaho University
4. Yerevan Armenia
5. Salt Lake Monument Park North
6. San Diego California Sweetwater

Friday, June 10, 2016

Rapid Growth Accelerates in Cote d'Ivoire

The Church in Cote d'Ivoire continues to not only report rapid growth, but accelerating growth during the first five months of 2016. The Church has reported a net increase of 24 official congregations since January 1st - an 18.5% increase in less than six months. Here is a list of some of the most noteworthy developments:
  • The number of cities with an official ward or branch has quintupled in the past five years from six to 32.
  • The Church organized its first branch in the city of Adzope in early 2014. Currently there are nine branches in the Adzope Cote d'Ivoire District - five of which are in Adzope. The Adzope Cote d'Ivoire District was organized last February.
  • The Church organized its first branch in Aboisso in 2013. Today there are nine branches in the Aboisso Cote d'Ivoire District - three of which are located in Aboisso.
  • There are now eight branches in Daloa - a major city where the Church organized its first branches in early 2014.
  • The Church has recently begun to aggressively expand into small cities and towns, primarily in southeastern areas of the country. Examples include:
    • Ayame
    • Azaguié (first branch organized in mid-2015, second branch recently organized)
    • Bangolo
    • La Me (location of the Ahoutoue 2nd Branch)
    • Maféré 
  • The Church organized its first branch it the second most populous city of Bouake in early 2015. Currently there are five branches in the city.
  • Three of the eight stakes in Abidjan currently have 12 wards. All three of these stakes appear likely to split before the end of the year. One of these stakes, the Abobo Cote d'Ivoire East Stake, was organized less than 18 months ago.
  • Annual membership growth rates for Cote d'Ivoire have been sustained at 19-21% a year since 2013.
The recent growth of the Church in Cote d'Ivoire appears to stand as the most impressive LDS growth achievement for the worldwide church in decades. The full-time missionary force is comprised of native African members and the Church is remarkably self-reliant in meeting its own administrative needs. Native members consistently serve as mission presidents in the country. The rapid expansion of the Church into previously unreached areas stands as a quintessential model for other nations to establish the Church. These findings indicate that the Church in Cote d'Ivoire is likely to continue these trends and replicate the rapid growth the Church experienced in the Philippines and Latin America during the 1980s and 1990s, but with significantly fewer resources allocated, much high convert retention and member activity, and robust self-sufficiency in local church leadership.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

New Stakes Created in Guatemala, Hong Kong, Nigeria, and Texas; District Created in Nigeria

Guatemala
The Church organized a new stake in Guatemala City on June 5th. The Guatemala City San Cristóbal Stake was organized from a division of the Guatemala City Mariscal Stake. The new stake includes at least four wards and one branch: the Balcones, Panorama, Peronia, and San Cristóbal Wards, and the Jerusalén Branch. It is likely that the Jerusalén Branch became a ward when the stake was organized, or that another ward or two will be assigned to the newly organized stake. The new stake is of special interest because it was organized from a division of the Guatemala City Mariscal Stake - a stake that includes congregations from only stake to ever be discontinued in Guatemala City: the Guatemala City Monte María Stake (discontinued in 2008).

There are now 46 stakes and 16 districts in Guatemala.

Hong Kong
The Church organized two new stakes in Hong Kong on June 5th.

The Hong Kong China Kowloon East Stake was organized from a division of the Hong Kong China Kowloon (renamed Hong Kong China Kowloon West) and the Hong Kong China (renamed Hong Kong Island China) Stakes. The new stake includes the following five wards: the Kowloon City, Kwun Tong, Po Lam, Tseung Kwan O, and Tsim Sha Tsui Wards. The new stake is technically a reinstatement of the original Hong Kong China Kowloon East Stake that operated between 1980 and 2006.

The Hong Kong China Lion Rock Stake was organized from a division of the Hong Kong China Kowloon (renamed Hong Kong China Kowloon West), the Hong Kong China (renamed Hong Kong Island China), and Hong Kong China Harbour Stakes. The new stake includes the following five wards: the Cheung Sha Wan, Ngau Tau Kok, Sham Shui Po, Shatin, and Tai Wai Wards.

There are now six stakes and one district in Hong Kong.

Nigeria
A new stake was created in Akwa Ibom State. The Ikot Ekpene Nigeria Stake was organized from the Ikot Ekpene Nigeria District on May 15th. Information on which branches became wards in the former district remains unavailable. However, most of the seven branches have appeared to become wards. The Ikot Ekpene Nigeria District was organized from a handful of mission branches in the Ikot Ekpene area in 2009.

There are now eight stakes and three districts in Akwa Ibom State.

A new district was organized in Enugu State on June 5th. The Nsukka Nigeria District was organized from the following three mission branches: the Nsukka 1st, Nsukka 2nd, and Obollo-Afor Branches. Rapid LDS growth has occurred in the Nigeria Enugu Mission within the past five years as all three stakes and two of the four member districts were created during this time period.

There are now 36 stakes and 19 stakes in Nigeria

Texas
The Church organized a new stake in the Austin area on June 5th. The Cedar Park Texas Stake was organized from a division of the Austin Texas, Austin Texas Oak Hills, and Round Rock Texas Stakes. The new stake includes the following five wards and one branch: the Carriage Hills, Cedar Park, Cypress Creek, Marble Falls, and New Hope Wards, and the Llano Branch. With only five wards and one branch, the new stake is one of the stakes with the fewest congregations organized in Texas within the past 15 years.

There are now 70 stakes and three districts in Texas.