Saturday, August 27, 2016

New Stakes Created in Arizona, Brazil, Idaho, and Virginia

Arizona
Two new stakes were organized in Arizona on August 21st.

The Phoenix Arizona South Mountain Stake was created from a division of the Phoenix Arizona Stake. The new stake includes the following seven wards: the Aguila (Spanish), Gila River, Laveen, Montana Del Sur (Spanish), South Mountain, Trailside, and Vineyard Wards. The Phoenix Arizona Stake was also realigned with the neighboring Phoenix Arizona West Maricopa and the Glendale Arizona Stakes.

The San Tan Valley Arizona North Stake was organized from a division of the Queen Creek Arizona North Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards: the Cambria, Ironwood Crossing 1st, Ironwood Crossing 2nd, Ironwood Crossing 3rd, Ironwood, and Vineyard Wards.

There are now 108 stakes in Arizona.

Reports I have received from local church leaders and regional church leadership indicate that the North America Southwest Area has been successful with increasing the activity rate of many congregations in the area. Statistical analysis has been utilized to determine what congregation size (e.g. number of active members) is most likely to yield the highest member activity rates in the area. As a result, many new wards have been organized to help achieve this "ideal" number of active members per ward (not too many or too few active members per congregation). Similar analyses have also appeared to be implemented to determine the ideal number of congregations per stake. It appears that this tactic may be implemented in additional areas in North America to help improve activity rates and member participation.

Brazil
A new stake was created in Brazil on August 21st. The São Luís Brazil East Stake was organized from a division of the São Luís Brazil Stake. The new stake includes the following five wards: the Cidade Operária, Cohatrac, Jardim Tropical, Maiobão, and Pioneiros Wards. With 1.4 million inhabitants, São Luís was previously the only city in Brazil with more than one million inhabitants and only one stake. The original São Luís Brazil Stake was organized in 1995. There are now two stakes in São Luís and three stakes in Maranhão State.

There are now 262 stakes and 38 districts in Brazil.

Idaho
A new stake was created in Idaho on August 21st. The Meridian Idaho Linder Stake was organized from a division of the Meridian Idaho North, Meridian Idaho Paramount, and the Star Idaho Stakes. The new stake includes the following seven wards: the Ashbury, Crosby Park, Kingsley Park, Lochsa Falls, Paramount, Silverleaf, and Verona Wards.

There are now 127 stakes in Idaho.

Virginia
A new stake was created in Virginia on August 21st. The Stafford Virginia Stake was created from a division of the Fredericksburg Virginia Stake. The new stake includes the following seven wards and one branch: the Accokeek, Aquia, Garrisonville, Hartwood, King George, Rock Hill, and White Oak Wards, and the Stafford Branch (Spanish).

There are now 21 stakes in Virginia.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

New Stakes Created in French Polynesia and Honduras; New Districts Created in Ecuador and Peru; Districts Discontinued in French Polynesia and Honduras

French Polynesia
The Church organized a new stake in Tahiti on July 17th. The Taravao Tahiti Stake was organized from a division of the Mahina Tahiti and Papeari Tahiti Stakes. The new stake includes the following six wards: the Hitiaa, Taravao 1st, Taravao 2nd, Tautira, Toahotu, and Vairao Wards. The Tubuai Australes District was also discontinued and the five branches in the former district were reassigned to the Papeari Tahiti Stake. The decision to discontinue the district likely indicates plans for branches in the former district to become wards in the foreseeable future. No branches have been discontinued in the Tubuai Australes District within recent years.

There are now nine stakes and three districts in French Polynesia

Honduras
The Church organized two new stakes in Honduras.

The Comayagüela Honduras Bulevar Stake was organized on July 24th from a division of the Comayagüela Honduras Torocagua Stake. The new stake currently includes three wards and two branches: the Bulevar, Carrizal, and Jardines del Carrizal Wards, and the Ciudad España and
Zambrano Branches. With only three wards officially reported, it appears that either additional wards are assigned to the stake or both of the branches became wards when the stake was organized. These updates will likely be made in the near future. The organization of the new stake coincided with the discontinuation of the Talanga Honduras District. Organized in 1994, the Talanga Honduras District previously administered four branches - two of which now pertain to the Comayagüela Honduras Torocagua Stake. The remaining two branches in the Talanga Honduras District were reassigned to the Juticalpa Honduras District (previously the Catacamas Honduras District).

The Olanchito Honduras Stake was organized from the Olanchito Honduras District on August 7th. The new stake includes five wards and one branch: the Bellavista, Olanchito, Sonaguera, Tocoa, and Trujillo Wards, and the Coyoles Branch. Missionaries have reported within the past year or two plans for the district to become a stake. Originally the area was serviced by two districts headquartered in Olanchito and Tocoa (discontinued in 2009). The Olanchito Honduras District was originally organized in 1985.

There are now 27 stakes and five districts in Honduras.

Ecuador
The Church organized a new district in Ecuador on August 7th. The Guaranda Ecuador District was organized from a division of the Riobamba Ecuador District. The new district includes two branches: the Guaranda 1st and Guaranda 2nd Branches. Distance from Riobamba and prospects for greater growth in the Guaranda area appeared to have prompted the organization of the new district.

There are now 36 stakes and 10 districts in Ecuador.

Peru
The Church organized a new district in southern Peru on July 17th. The Majes Perú District was organized from a division of the Camaná Perú District and a mission branch in the Peru Arequipa Mission. The new district includes three branches: the Aplao, La Joya, and Pedregal Branches.

There are now 101 stakes and 20 districts in Peru.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

July 2016 Monthly Newsletter

Click here to access the July 2016 edition of our monthly newsletter for cumorah.com.

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