Sunday, October 20, 2019

New Stakes Created in Alabama, Australia, Brazil, DR Congo, Mozambique, and Peru

Alabama
The Church organized a new stake in Alabama on September 22nd. The Gadsden Alabama Stake was organized from a division of the Birmingham Alabama Stake and the Madison Alabama Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards and two branches: the Anniston, Attalla, Gadsden, Guntersville, Leeds, and Trussville Wards, and the Locust Fork and Talladega Branches. The new stake is the Church's eighth stake to be created in Alabama, where the first stake was organized in 1968. Prior to the creation of the Gadsden Alabama Stake, the last time a new stake was organized in Alabama was in Madison in 2011.

Australia
The Church organized a new stake today in rural Victoria and New South Wales. The Wangaratta Australia District was organized into the Riverena Australia Stake. The former district had eight branches, and most of these branches have appeared to become wards. Australian members report that this is the first "rural" stake to be organized in Australia as there are no cities within the boundaries of the new stake that appear to have more than 100,000 inhabitants. However, the Devonport Australia Stake in Tasmania also does not have any cities with more than 100,000 people within its boundaries. The Wangaratta Australia District was one of the oldest districts in the worldwide Church, as the district was originally organized in 1890.

There are now 42 stakes and 7 districts in Australia.

Brazil
The Church organized a new stake in Sao Paulo State on October 13th. The Piracicaba Brazil Rezende Stake was organized from a division of the Piracicaba Brazil Stake and the Rio Claro Brazil Stake. The new stake includes the following seven wards: the Limeira, Nova Itália, Parque das Nações, Piracicaba 2nd, Piracicaba 4th, São Pedro, and Vila Sônia Wards. The new stake includes wards based in three cities: Limeira (3), Piracicaba (3), and São Pedro (1).

There are now 276 stakes and 39 districts in Brazil.

DR Congo
The Church organized a new stake in the DR Congo on September 22nd. The Kolwezi Democratic Republic of the Congo Stake was organized from the Kolwezi Democratic Republic of the Congo District. All seven branches in the former district were organized into wards. The seven wards in the new stake are the Dilala, Diur, Kasulo, Kolwezi 1st, Kolwezi 2nd, Manika, and Mutoshi Wards. The Church organized the Kolwezi Democratic Republic of the Congo District in 1991 as Kolwezi was one of the first cities in the DR Congo to have a Church presence established. However, political instability and war resulted in significant setbacks for the Church as many members moved to more stable areas of the country in the late 1990s and 2000s. The Church has since experienced steady growth in Kolwezi for approximately the past 5-6 years.

There are now 22 stakes and 1 district in the DR Congo. The lack of districts in the DR Congo is indicative of the Church's very conservative "centers of strength" model being implemented, as well as high member activity rates in cities with a Church presence that has permitted the rapid organization of stakes in most areas with adequate numbers of congregations and members. Nevertheless, several additional districts appear likely to be organized in the near future in Fungurume, Kisangani, Matadi, and Uvira.

Mozambique
The Church organized a new stake in the Maputo metropolitan area on September 22nd. The Matola Mozambique Stake was organized from a division of the Maputo Mozambique Stake. The new stake includes the following five wards and one branch: the Liberdade, Matola, Mozal, Ndlavela, and T-3 Wards, and the Beluluane Branch. The new stake is the Church's second stake in the Maputo metropolitan area, and the Church's fourth stake in Mozambique. The Church organized its first stake in Mozambique in Maputo in February 2015.

There are now four stakes and one district in Mozambique.

Peru
The Church organized a new stake in Lambayeque Region on October 13th. The Chiclayo Perú Federico Villarreal Stake was organized from the Chiclayo Peru Stake, Chiclayo Peru Central Stake, Chiclayo Peru El Dorado Stake, and the Chiclayo Peru Latina Stake. The new stake includes the following five wards: the Chiclayo Central 1st, Federico Villarreal, Los Artesanos, Moshoqueque, and Santa Victoria Wards. Chiclayo is Peru's fourth most populous city with approximately 600,000 inhabitants. There are now seven stakes in the greater Chiclayo metropolitan area. Chiclayo is the most populous city, and the city with the most stakes in Peru, without a temple.

There are now 111 stakes and 18 districts in Peru.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Sneak Peak at Presentation for SSSR Conference in St. Louis, Missouri

Next week I will be presenting at the annual SSSR conference in St. Louis, Missouri as part of the Variable Patterns of International Growth in Twenty-first Century Mormonism. I will be part of presentations on Friday, October 25th from 3:00-4:30 PM. The SSSR schedule can be found here.

I have been busily analyzing the 6,816 survey responses included in this comprehensive analysis on church growth in preparation for my presentation, which will cover convert retention rates, member activity rates, church growth trends, and other relevant statistics and data in regards to tracking church growth. One of the pieces of data I will present at the conference is the below table, which includes an agglomeration of convert retention one year after baptism estimates given by 3,565 surveys completed by returned missionaries from August 11th, 2012 until October 13th, 2019. the vast majority of individuals who completed the survey served full-time missions after 2010. Fascinatingly, there is no significant difference in convert retention rates for missions outside of the United States versus inside the United States (49% and 50%, respectively). Also many of the lowest baptizing missions have the highest estimated convert retention rates one year after baptism, such as in Eastern Europe. However, many of the qualitative responses to survey questions indicate that convert retention 1-4 years after baptism has been a bigger challenge than retention within the first 12 months after membership in the Church.


 COUNTRY/MISSION         EST. RETENTION

USA
50%
Central Eurasian
80%
DR Congo
80%
Cote d’Ivoire
74%
Kenya
70%
Liberia
70%
Samoa
70%
Zimbabwe
69%
French Polynesia
66%
Hong Kong
63%
Romania/Moldova
63%
Adriatic South
62%
Bulgaria
60%
Sierra Leone
60%
Finland
59%
Ghana
59%
Czech/Slovak
58%
Vanuatu
58%
Canada
57%
Nigeria
57%
South Africa
57%
Germany
54%
Peru
54%
Tonga
54%
Ukraine
54%
Denmark
53%
Fiji
53%
Indonesia
53%
Mozambique
53%
Philippines
52%
India
51%
Madagascar
51%
New Zealand
51%
Spain
51%
El Salvador
50%
Haiti
50%
Belgium/Netherlands
49%
Benin/Togo
49%
Cambodia
48%
Ecuador
48%
France
48%
Italy
48%
Colombia
47%
Japan
47%
Marshall Islands/Kiribati
47%
Panama
47%
Uganda
47%
Bolivia
46%
Jamaica
46%
Russia
46%
Singapore
46%
Zambia
45%
Chile
44%
England
44%
Mexico
44%
Nicaragua
44%
Sweden
44%
Trinidad and Tobago
44%
Micronesia
43%
Norway
43%
Scotland/Ireland
43%
Taiwan
43%
Adriatic North
42%
Australia
42%
Brazil
42%
Dominican Republic
42%
Guatemala
42%
Hungary
42%
Portugal
42%
Argentina
41%
Switzerland
41%
Honduras
40%
Korea
40%
Mongolia
40%
Baltic
39%
Paraguay
38%
Thailand
38%
Cape Verde
36%
Costa Rica
36%
Puerto Rico
34%
Uruguay
33%
Armenia/Georgia
30%
Poland
29%
Austria
25%
Venezuela
25%