Saturday, March 28, 2009

Benin, Togo, and New Branches In Africa

Some exciting news from Africa regarding Church growth. The Church has had a presence in Benin and Togo for roughly 10 years and up until recently Benin had one branch and Togo had two. The Conotou Branch in Benin was split into three new branches a few months ago: The Gbèdjromédé, Mentonin, and Akpakpa Branches. A third branch in Togo was also organized recently, named the Hedzranawoe Branch. So now each country currently has three congregations each. However, the other two branches in Togo (the Lome and Tokoin Branches) will each be divided to create two new branches. Missionaries serving in Togo report that the soon to be five branches will then be organized into the first district in the country. Currently both countries are part of the Cote D'Ivoire Abidjan Mission.

New branches are also being organized currently in Sierra Leone, Cameroon and Kenya. There was rumor that the city of Mahajanga, Madagascar would be receiving its first branch right before the recent violence and political instability arose, but as of yet I have found no information that this has taken place.


Gnesileah said...

How wonderful to here of the exciting growth in Togo and Benin. When the Ghana Cape Coast Mission was created in 2005, the following announcement was in the LDS Church News:

"The new Ghana Cape Coast Mission will include the western half of Ghana as well as the countries of Togo, Benin, Cameroon and the Central African Republic."

Do you know when Togo and Benin were transferred back to the Cote d'Ivoire Abidjan Mission? I guess the Central African Republic has since been transferred to the DR Congo Kinshasa Mission as well. Do you know what territory now comprises the Cote d'Ivoire Abidjan, Ghana Cape Coast and Ghana Accra Missions? It is fun asking you seemingly far fetched questions, because you most likely have the answer.

Also, do you know of any resource that has current mission boundary maps? I've thought about calling the MTC or Mission Department, but I'm assuming they probably won't give me copies of all 349 missions. I wonder if someone else has already compiled and posted them online somewhere...

Matt said...

When the Sierra Leone Freetown Mission was created in July of 2007, Benin and Togo were transferred to the Ghana Accra Mission. Benin and Togo were then transferred to Cote d'Ivoire Abidjan Mission in July of 2008. I think that this change might have been for the sake of the mission president in Accra because the Ghana Accra Mission is one of the highest baptizing missions in Africa. It also might have been due to the fact that the Church authorized the return of white missionaries to Cote d'Ivoire at the same time. Also both Benin and Togo have French as their official language, as does Cote d'Ivoire whereas Ghana's official language in English. I am sure revelation played the biggest role in this decision.

The Church has not announced mission boundary changes much at all in the past few years for countries where membership is small. I do not know the exact time of when the Central Africa Republic and Cameroon were transferred over to the DR Congo Mission, but it had to be sometime in late 2007 or the first half of2008.

The Cote d'Ivoire Abidjan Mission comprises Cote d'Ivoire, Benin and Togo. The two Ghana missions each comprise half of the country and no other countries. I know there are just a couple members in Burkina Faso, but I imagine that Burkina Faso and other countries in the Sub-Sahara area of West Africa report to the Area Presidency.

As for maps that show mission boundaries, I wish I had one! I do not know where and if you could obtain one, but the MTC sounds like the best bet. I have made a google map of all the missions of the Church, which I will be posting in the near future. However this map does not indicate boundaries, but rather where each mission is located.

Gnesileah said...

Thanks for the great info Matt! I did some more hunting on a resource that shows mission boundaries, and I found this:

It still needs a lot of work, but it is a good start.