Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Church Growth Updates


Members of the Church in Angola report that a counselor to the Mission President in the Mozambique Maputo Mission was called to administer to the Church's needs in Angola. This will make it more likely for groups to be established in larger cities throughout the Church where enough members of the Church can meet to have Sunday Church meetings. Currently there are two branches in Luanda. Missionaries appear to have returned to the country after problems with visas were resolved. Unofficial reports for membership in Angola indicate that there are over 800 members in the country.


Two new branches were recently created in Kenya in Busia and Kisumu. Missionaries report that four months after the creation of the Kisumu Branch, over 120 are now attending Church meetings. The Busia Branch is located on the border with Uganda.


Two new branches were created in Zimbabwe. The new branches were created in the Bulawayo area and in Bindura. Few new congregations have been created in Zimbabwe over the past few years, which may be a result of difficult political and social conditions in the country.

Convert Baptisms Up 18% in the United States

A senior couple serving in the Dominican Republic reported that convert baptisms are on the rise in the United States. If increase of children on record remains constant from last year for the United States, we will likely see membership increase by over 100,000 in the United States for 2009 to a total of nearly 6.1 million. Elder Hinckley reported to a group of missionaries in Santo Domingo that one of the likely reasons for the increase is bishops and branch presidents taking a stronger role in coordinating missionary efforts in their congregations. The down economy also seems like a factor which may have made some Americans more receptive to the Gospel.

According to my count, the increase in congregations in the United States in 2009 has now reached over 100, which is lower than the typically increase for congregations in the United States. This lower increase in congregations in 2009 is typical of what the Church has seen in some recessions in the United States.

Swine Flu in Mongolia Results in Government Banning Public Meetings

Missionaries serving in Mongolia report that for the past several weeks Church meetings have not been held in Mongolia due to the Mongolian government's concern about the spread of swine flu. Meetings will likely continue not to be held for an additional two weeks. The Church has followed rules and regulations put forth by the government due to the flu. Missionaries report that the sacrament is administered to many Mongolian members in their homes for the time being. Convert baptisms have also been on hold, with as many as 40-50 waiting to receive baptism. The Church in Mongolia has also encountered difficulties with missionaries obtaining visas and is still awaiting news on whether pending visas have been approved.


rfelsted said...

Matt, thanks for the great reporting on current Church growth. It's very encouraging to see the success the missionaries are having in Africa.

The 2010 Church directory is due out in the next few days and will show membership as of Oct 1, and based on last year's annual growth it should be about 13,744 750, with year-end '09 13,824,000.

However, if the convert rate is up 18% this year then the totals should be closer to 13,750.000 and 13,850,00 for the year.

Congregational growth has picked up lately. I've been tracking it since 10-13-09, and through yesterday there were 53 net new units, or close to 500 units on a yearly basis.

Gnesileah said...

Ray -

Great comments. Are the 53 new units on a global basis, or a particular geographic area? Are you able to get these numbers from LDS.org, CDOL, or from some other official source? Thanks in advance.

Matt said...

I think membership may be as high as 13.8 or 13.85 million right now based on comments made by General Authorities on worldwide membership in regional stake conferences. There has been a big increase in baptisms in Argentina and in South American from what missionaries have said.

Growth in Africa is very exciting to see despite all the challenges. The South Africa Johannesburg and Durban Missions have reportedly baptized around 1,500 and 500 new converts this year respectively. With all the reports I get from Madagascar, I imagine that membership may increase by over 1,000 in that country. Congregational growth in Madagascar has also been very good, with the number of new congregations in the country increasing by around eight since the beginning of the year.

rfelsted said...

To: Gnesileah

That information comes from the CDOL and is updated almost daily on ldschurchtemples.com. It is for the entire church, but Rick has it broken down by Utah, US, and outside-US congregations.

Since 10/13 and through yesterday US congregations are up by 21 (18 wards & 3 branches), Utah up by 10 (10 wards & 0 branches, and non-US congregations are up by 32 (17 wards & 15 branches).

I only found this website on Aug 10 and wish I had started tracking those statistics then but didn't think I'd be interested at the time. Hope this helps! --Ray

Tod Robbins said...

Hey Matt,

Is there any way you can post links/citations to your updates? I'd love to read the articles you are aggregating on the blog. I love this site. Thanks for all your hard work.

Matt said...

I have in the past provided some citations, but I have stopped recently. This is mainly because the blogs and people I have extracted information from usually do not want links to their blogs on ldschurchgrowth.blogspot.com and have in the past requested for me to remove them.

If you provide me an email address, I'd be happy to email you the urls for the mission blogs I get some of this information from.

Tod Robbins said...

Awesome Matt. I totally understand what you're getting at. I'd love to help you in your effort as well.

todd.d.robbins [at] gmail [dot] com


Anonymous said...

A few years ago I thought it might be useful to put LDS World membership in tabular form so that it can be sorted and compared easily ( http://www.rickety.us/2009/11/updated-lds-church-membership-statistics/ )

Perhaps it will be of interest. I did the same for the U.S., U.K., and Canada.

Thank you for your very useful blog.

Matt said...

I don't have a copy of the 2010 Church Almanac yet. In the past, there are membership numbers published for October 1st of the current year. Can anyone provide the membership totals for October 1st as a comment if it's available?

rfelsted said...

Matt, sorry you haven't been able to get a copy of he 2010 Church Almanac, but this year they changed the format of giving year-to-date membership and new stakes to Oct. 1. No mention of current membership is given, and they also did not list new stakes of 2009 through October as they did last year.

It's a disappointment, although the country profiles are very interesting. Since Brazil and Mexico account for so much of the Church now, I think it would be great to break out the membership figures, stakes, districts, etc. for Mexican and Brazilian states.