Thursday, December 18, 2014

Another Two Missions to be Created in 2014

Missionaries serving in Utah report that the following new missions will be created in mid-2015:
  • Utah Logan Mission (division of the Utah Ogden Mission)
  • Utah Orem Mission (division of the Utah Provo Mission)
The number of missions in Utah will increase to 11 after these two new missions are created. This means that the average Utah mission will have a mere quarter of a million people within its geographical boundaries.

So to recap, here's a list of new missions I have come across to be organized in 2015.
  • Barbados Bridgetown
  • California Modesto
  • Peru Trujillo North
  • Utah Logan
  • Utah Orem
At this rate, I imagine that we may see 60 or so new missions organized in 2015, with the vast majority of these new missions organized in the Americas.

Two Additional Missions to be Created in 2015

I have come across reports of two additional missions to be organized in 2015. These missions include:
  • California Modesto Mission (to be created from the California Fresno and California Sacramento Mission)
  • Peru Trujillo North Mission (to be created from the Peru Trujillo Mission)
With the announcement of the new Barbados Bridgetown Mission, the number of LDS missions in 2015 will increase to 409.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

LDS Presence in Vietnam No Longer Sensitive

The Church has recently reclassified its presence in Vietnam from sensitive to non-sensitive. This change appears attributed to the Church obtaining government recognition earlier this year. Currently the Church in Vietnam reports one district located in Hanoi (organized on December 12th, 2010) and four branches (Hanoi, Hanoi District Branch, Tan Son Nhat, and Thao Dien). Full-time missionaries serving in the Cambodia Phnom Penh Mission speculate that larger numbers of missionaries may be assigned and additional cities outside of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City may open to proselytism within the near future.

Earlier this year the Church reported 1,600 members in Vietnam.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

New Mission to be Created in the West Indies

Missionaries serving in the West Indies Mission report that in July 2015 the Church will realign the West Indies Mission and the Dominican Republic Santo Domingo East Mission to create the Barbados Bridgetown Mission. The new mission will include the following countries/overseas departments: Anguilla, Barbados, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The West Indies Mission will be renamed the Trinidad Port of Spain Mission and the realigned mission will include Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Guyana, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Potential New Stakes - Districts Likely to Become Stakes

One of the primary methods that the Church has organized new stakes has been from districts. Districts are administrative organizations that operate in many ways like a stake. Districts have limited autonomy and are closely supervised by the mission president who acts in many ways as the stake president. For more information about districts, please see cumorah.com's Missiology Encyclopedia for district.

Below are a list of districts that appear likely to become stakes within the foreseeable future. Predicting which districts are likely to become stakes is a difficult endeavor as there are many criteria that must be met which are not reported to the public such as the number of active, full-tithe paying Melchizedek Priesthood holders, the number of active members, and the number of branches that meet the criteria to become wards. Consequently, I have developed a three-tiered system to help more accurately predict which districts may become stakes. This system ranks the district from one to three (1=highly likely, 2=very likely, 3 somewhat likely) based on the likelihood of whether the district will soon become a stake. Information I have gathered to generate this list has come from studying congregational growth trends, obtaining reports from members and missionaries, and analyzing LDS growth trends in surrounding stakes and districts.

AFRICA
  • Abak Nigeria (8 branches) - 1
  • Abomosu Ghana (7 branches) - 2 
  • Akamkpa Nigeria (7 branches) - 3
  • Antsirabe Madagascar (8 branches) - 2
  • Beira Mozambique (12 branches) - 3
  • Chyulu Kenya (10 branches) - 3
  • Cotonou Benin (12 branches) - 1
  • Ekpoma Nigeria (10 branches) - 1
  • Eldoret Kenya (9 branches) - 3
  • Ikot Ekpene Nigeria (7 branches) - 2
  • Ile-Ife Nigeria (8 branches) - 2
  • Jinja Uganda (7 branches) - 1
  • Kolwezi Democratic Republic of Congo  (7 branches) - 3
  • Likasi Democratic Republic of Congo (9 branches) - 1
  • Luanda Angola (5 branches) - 3
  • Maputo Mozambique (6 branches) - 2
  • Mbuji-Mayi Democratic Republic of Congo (8 branches) - 1
  • Mutare Zimbabwe (6 branches) - 3
  • Okpuala Ngwa Nigeria (8 branches) - 3
  • Onitsha Nigeria (11 branches) - 1
  • Toamasina Madagascar (5 branches) - 3
  • Twifo Praso Ghana (6 branches) - 3
ASIA
  • Agoo Philippines (7 branches) - 2
  • Aguilar Philippines (6 branches) - 3
  • Alicia Philippines (8 branches) - 1
  • Alaminos Philippines (6 branches) - 3
  • Baliwag Philippines (5 branches) - 3
  • Bambang Philippines (6 branches) - 3
  • Bangalore India (6 branches) - 3
  • Camiling Philippines West (6 branches) - 3
  • Cauayan Philippines (5 branches) - 3
  • Chia Yi Taiwan (6 branches) - 3
  • Gingoog Philippines (6 branches) - 3
  • Guimba Philippines (6 branches) - 2
  • Hua Lien Taiwan (6 branches) - 3
  • Iba Philippines (8 branches) - 2
  • Iriga Philippines (6 branches) - 2
  • Kuala Lumpur Malaysia (7 branches) - 2 
  • La Carlota Philippines (7 branches) - 1
  • Ligao Philippines (6 branches) - 2
  • Mangaldan Philippines (8 branches) - 1 
  • Morong Rizal Philippines (6 branches) - 3
  • Naic Philippines (8 branches) - 1
  • Olongapo Philippines (7 branches) - 1
  • Panabo Philippines (5 branches) - 3
  • Phnom Penh Cambodia East (5 branches) - 3 
  • Placer Philippines (8 branches) - 3 
  • San Antonio Philippines (6 branches) - 3
  • San Carlos Philippines (7 branches) - 3
  • Santa Cruz Zambales Philippines (6 branches) - 3
  • Solano Philippines (6 branches) - 3
  • Surigao Philippines (6 branches) - 3
  • Tagbilaran Philippines (9 branches) - 3
  • Tagum Philippines (6 branches) - 3
  • Toledo Philippines (8 branches) - 3
  • Ubon Thailand (9 branches) - 1
  • Udorn Thailand  (8 branches) - 1
  • Ulaanbaatar Mongolia East (5 branches) - 2
CARIBBEAN
  • Azua Dominican Republic (6 branches) - 3
  • Barahona Dominican Republic  (7 branches) - 3
  • Mandeville Jamaica (5 branches) - 3
  • San Pedro Dominican Republic (8 branches) - 3 
CENTRAL AMERICA
  • Cayo Belize (7 branches) - 2
  • Granada, Nicaragua (5 branches) - 3
  • Liberia Costa Rica (6 branches) - 3
  • Los Tuxtla México (9 branches) - 3
  • Manzanillo México (7 branches) - 3
  • Puerto Cabezas Nicaragua (5 branches) - 3
  • San Benito Guatemala (9 branches) - 2
  • Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa Guatemala (9 branches) - 3
  • Senahu Guatemala (8 branches) - 2
  • Solola Guatemala (7 branches) - 2
  • Tamaulipas México Río Bravo (5 branches) - 3
  • Ticul México (8 branches) - 3
EUROPE
  • Algarve Portugal  (7 branches) - 3
  • Bucharest Romania (9 branches) - 3
  • Novosibirsk Russia (9 branches) - 2 
  • Saratov Russia (9 branches) - 2
  • León Spain (7 branches) - 3
  • Santiago Spain (8 branches) - 3
NORTH AMERICA
  • Laredo Texas (7 branches) - 2

OCEANIA
  • Kwajalein Marshall Islands (5 branches) - 3
  • Namoneas Chuuk (9 branches) - 2
  • Port Vila Vanuatu (7 branches) - 1
  • Taveuni  Fiji (12 branches) - 3
SOUTH AMERICA
  • Alto Hospicio Chile (5 branches) - 3
  • Apucarana Brazil (5 branches) - 3 
  • Armenia Colombia (6 branches) - 3
  • Barranca Perú (6 branches) - 1
  • Bell Ville Argentina (9 branches) - 1
  • Boa Vista Brazil (5 branches) - 2
  • Botucatu Brazil  (6 branches) - 3
  • Concepción Argentina (6 branches) - 3
  • Coronel Oviedo Paraguay (8 branches) - 2
  • Corrientes Argentina (6 branches) - 3
  • Florida Uruguay (6 branches) - 3
  • Guadalupe Perú La Libertad (6 branches) - 3
  • Ibague Colombia (7 branches) - 2
  • Juazeiro Brazil (5 branches) - 2
  • Loja Ecuador (6 branches) - 3
  • Manizales Colombia (5 branches) - 3
  • Necochea Argentina (7 branches) - 3
  • Olavarría Argentina (10 branches) - 3 
  • Ovalle Chile (7 branches) - 3 
  • Paita Perú (5 branches) - 3
  • Palmira Colombia (7 branches) - 3
  • Popayan Colombia (5 branches) - 3
  • Rio Paraná Argentina (6 branches) - 3
  • Santa Marta Colombia (8 branches) - 2
  • Santa Rosa Ecuador (7 branches) - 2
  • Talagante Chile (8 branches) - 2
  • Talara Perú (5 branches) - 3
  • Tarapoto Perú (5 branches) - 3
  • Tarma Perú (7 branches) - 3
  • Três Corações Brazil (8 branches) - 2
  • Tulua Colombia (6 branches) - 3
  • Virú Perú (5 branches) -3

Monday, December 8, 2014

Stakes Likely to Split Outside the United States and Canada

Below is an updated list of stakes likely to split within the near future. Previous lists are available for December 2012 and January 2014.

AFRICA
  • Aba Nigeria (13 wards, 2 branches)
  • Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire Toit Rouge (11 wards)
  • Abuja Nigeria (10 wards, 3 branches)
  • Benin City Nigeria New Benin (10 wards)
  • Benin City Nigeria Ugbowo (10 wards, 1 branch) 
  • Calabar Nigeria (13 wards, 2 branches)
  • Cape Coast Ghana (11 wards, 2 branches)
  • Cocody Cote d'Ivoire (10 wards, 1 branch) 
  • East London South Africa (11 wards, 1 branch)
  • Eket Nigeria (11 wards, 2 branches)
  • Kananga Democratic Republic of Congo (12 wards)
  • Kinshasa Democratic Republic of Congo Binza (10 wards)
  • Lubumbashi Democratic Republic of Congo (10 wards)
  • Nairobi Kenya (12 wards, 3 branches)
  • Nsit Ubium Nigeria (9 wards, 4 branches)
  • Owerri Nigeria (5 wards, 10 branches) - likely to split to form a new district
  • Port-Bouet Cote d'Ivoire (11 wards, 1 branch)
  • Praia Cape Verde (12 wards, 4 branches)
  • Takoradi Ghana (11 wards, 5 branches)
ASIA
  • Angeles Philippines (11 wards, 2 branches)
  • Butuan Philippines (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • Lipa Philippines (10 wards, 2 branches)
  • Mandaue Philippines (9 wards)
  • Singapore (10 wards)
EUROPE
  • Verona Italy (8 wards, 5 branches)
CENTRAL AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
  • Amatitlán Guatemala (9 wards)
  • Guatemala City Stake (9 wards, 2 branches)
  • La Ceiba Honduras (10 wards)
  • Managua Nicaragua (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • San José Costa Rica Los Yoses (10 wards, 2 branches)
  • San Miguel El Salvador (9 wards, 3 branches)
  • San Salvador El Salvador La Libertad (10 wards, 3 branches)
  • Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Ozama (10 wards)
MEXICO
  • Amecameca Mexico (11 wards)
  • Celaya Mexico (11 wards)
  • Chalco Mexico (10 wards)
  • Chilpancingo Mexico (10 wards, 5 branches)
  • Ciudad Victoria Mexico (10 wards, 4 branches)
  • Coatzacoalcos Mexico Puerto (13 wards)
  • Culiacan Mexico (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • Juchitan Mexico (10 wards, 3 branches) 
  • Mexico City Anahuac (11 wards)
  • Mexico City Chapultepec (10 wards)
  • Mexico City Cuautitlan (11 wards)
  • Mexico City Culturas (11 wards)
  • Mexico City Iztapalapa (10 wards)
  • Mexico City La Perla (10 wards, 2 branches)
  • Mexico City Tecamac (11 wards)
  • Mexico City Tepalcapa (11 wards)
  • Oaxaca Mexico Monte Alban (10 wards, 3 branches)
  • Puebla México La Libertad (10 wards)
  • Veracruz Mexico Villa Rica (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • Villahermosa Mexico Gaviotas (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • Xalapa Mexico (10 wards)
OCEANIA
  • Ha'apai Tonga (9 wards, 5 branches) 
  • Newcastle Australia (10 wards, 2 branches)
SOUTH AMERICA
  • Brasilia Brazil Alvorada (11 wards)
  • Buenos Aires Argentina Castelar (10 wards)
  • Cochabamba Bolivia Jaihuayco (10 wards)
  • Joao Pessoa Brazil Rangel (10 wards)
  • Juiz de Fora Brazil (11 wards)
  • Jujuy Argentina (10 wards, 3 branches)
  • Lima Peru Canto Grande (10 wards)
  • Luque Paraguay (10 wards, 1 branch) 
  • Maceió Brazil  (11 wards)
  • Machala Ecuador (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • Maipu de Cuyo Argentina (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • Maracanaú Brazil (9 wards, 1 branch)
  • Rio Branco Brazil (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • Santa Maria Brazil (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • São José dos Campos Brazil (10 wards)
  • São Luis Brazil (10 wards) 
  • São Paulo Brazil Casa Grande (9 wards)
  • São Paulo Brazil Guarapiranga (9 wards)
  • São Paulo Brazil Penha (10 wards)
  • Tarija Bolivia Stake (10 wards)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Stake and District Database

After four months of development, we have completed a comprehensive database listing all of the Church's stakes and districts known to have ever operated. Information in the database includes the name of each stake or district and its corresponding country, administration division, creation date, former names, parent stake or district, notes, discontinuation date (when applicable), and reasons for discontinuation (if known). We hope that this database will be utilized by researchers and the public to promote greater interest and scholarship in the study of the growth of the LDS Church. If you notice any errors in the database or have something to add, please contact me by commenting to this blog post.

The database can be accessed here and may be viewed in Google Sheets or downloaded into Microsoft Excel.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

New Stakes in Brazil, Mexico, and Taiwan

Brazil
On November 16th, the Church created a new stake in Brazil. The São José do Rio Preto Brazil South was organized from a division of the São José do Rio Preto Brazil Stake. The new stake included the following five wards and one branch: the Anchieta, Barretos, Catanduva, Parque Celeste, and Quinta das Paineiras Wards, and the José Bonifácio Branch. There are now 78 stakes and seven stakes in São Paulo State and 253 stakes and 39 districts in Brazil.


Mexico
On November 23rd, the Church created a new stake in Chihuahua State, Mexico. The Ciudad Juárez México Las Torres Stake was organized from the Ciudad Juárez México East Stake and includes the following four wards at the moment: the Aeropuerto, Ampliación, Granjero, and Hacienda de Las Torres Wards. It is like that additional wards will be assigned to the new stake as the Ciudad Juárez México East Stake currently has nine wards. There are now 228 stakes and 37 districts in Mexico.


Taiwan
On November 30th, the Church created a new stake in Taiwan. The Taipei Taiwan South Stske was organized from the Taipei Taiwan West Stake and includes the following six wards: the Ankang, Ching Hsin, Hsin Tien, Mu Cha Ward, Shuang Ho 1st, and Shuang Ho 2nd Wards. There are now 12 stakes and two districts in Taiwan.

Friday, November 28, 2014

November 2014 Newsletter

Click here to access our November 2014 monthly newsletter for cumorah.com.

LDS Growth Predictions for Nigeria

Although the Church has globally posted steady gains in nominal church membership over the past 15 years, there has been a significant decline in the percentage growth rate for the number of active members as measured by increases in congregations (wards and branches) and organizations (stakes and districts). The Church has experienced some of its most dramatic declines in growth rates within Brazil, Mexico, the Philippines, and Latin American nations with at least 50,000 members.

One country where the Church has experienced steady increases in congregations and organizations during this period has been Nigeria. Within the past decade the number of congregations increased from 237 to 413, the number of stakes increased from 14 to 26, and the number of districts increased from 11 to 20. The Church in 2014 alone has thus far experienced a net increase of 35 congregations; a nine percent increase within less than 12 months. The Church in Nigeria has a self-sufficient full-time missionary force staffed by members serving missions from Nigeria and surrounding nations. The Church has also implemented aggressive church planting tactics in many of the most populous cities. This has resulted in accelerated membership and congregational growth, and improvements in achieving "real growth" as measured by increases in active membership, the organization of additional stakes, and increasing numbers of members serving full-time missions.

I have created a map forecasting LDS stake and district growth in Nigeria for the next decade. I estimate that there may be as may as 69 stakes and 17 districts in Nigeria by 2025 based on recent growth trends. It is likely that there will be many more districts by 2025. Predicting where additional districts will be organized is extremely challenging as the organization of new districts in Nigeria has depended on decisions made by mission and area leaders to open cities to missionary work or redistrict outlying areas of stakes into districts.