Monday, January 18, 2010

First Stake Created in Uganda

The first stake in Uganda was created this past weekend. The Kampala Uganda Stake had a large number of the 10+ branches become wards, although no reports indicate the exact number of wards and branches in the new stake at this time. I will provide additional information once it becomes available. Uganda was the country with the fifth most members without a stake at the end of 2008. For more information about the Church in Uganda, click here.

In 2010 we may see stakes created in many nations which currently do not have a stake. Missionaries report that the Hyderabad India District may become a stake by the end of the year or in 2011. The Kingston Jamaica District may also become a stake later this year. Still no word on the status of potential new stakes in Guyana and Cambodia. The creation of the first stake in a nation indicates that the Church has grown in these areas to the point where enough active members can fill the leadership positions needed to operate a stake and fulfill temple and missionary responsibilities.

13 comments:

Matt said...

I believe that the new stake has six wards and five branches.

--- said...

Good news to see and a positive start to what hopefully can be a strong year of growth in the church. I am happy to see the church slowly become established in more countries and grow at a faster rate. Hopefully Uganda can become a hotbed of active members in the near future, if local leadership can be established to sustain such.

Although this is off topic to the post altogether. I've realised, How comes the Seventh Day Adventist church has managed to establish itself around the world and grow much faster than our church? a) they started off 30 years later b) they have no missionary movement like we do and despite this they have a total higher population of members and likely higher percentage of active members.

So the question is, how have they managed to establish themselves more quickly, and how have they also established better retention amongst members, whilst we struggle with that?

Spencer said...

I'm not sure how valid this is, but I just spoke with an RM who returned from the Moscow mission a month ago. He says that one of the two districts in Moscow should become a stake this summer.

Matt said...

That would be great if Russia got its first stake this year. There have been rumors of a stake being created in Russia for a decade in various cities including Moscow, St. Petersburg and Samara. Inactivity and poor retention have continued to delay the creation of stakes.

There are many reasons for why Seventh-Day Adventist growth has outpaced LDS growth in many areas around the world. The SDA Church has a clergy which plants new congregations in areas without members, something rarely done by the LDS Church nowadays with full-time missionaries. This has allowed for more rapid outreach. The SDA Church is also viewed by many Christians as being a Protestant Church with peculiar beliefs which produces a lesser amount of ostracism than the LDS receives. Seventh-Day Adventists also tend to have members who actively participate in missionary work and are less reliant on outside missionary forces. I don't know much about SDA member activity, but I do know that they tend to have more rigorous standards for membership than the LDS Church. SDAs do have member activity problems

Something that is not often highlighted about the SDA Church is the decline of membership or the stagnation of congregational growth in several areas around the world. The SDA Church experiences some of its greatest growth in Africa, Latin America and Asia but also sees declining or stagnant membership in Eastern Europe and Central Asia with slow growth in the Pacific (excluding Papua New Guinea). Growth in the United States and Canada is pretty similar with the LDS Church.

I think what we can take away from comparing growth between the LDS Church and SDA Church is that the SDA Church has had a much longer and stronger outreach outside the U.S. than the LDS Church. Although we are an international Church, we are really more of a Western Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere Church still.

We also need to remember that it isn't a contest to see who has the most members. The SDA Church does do a lot of good around the world and I think will play an important role in preparing many to join the LDS Church.

Ryan said...

I'm surprised that the Church is still growing in Uganda, especially with all that Joseph Kony business and his Invisible Children.

Matt said...

The Church has begun to grow more rapidly in Uganda starting in 2007. Currently missionaries report that a lot of success is occurring with new converts joining the Church throughout the country. The LRA has moved out of many areas in Uganda and now operates along the border or in neighboring nations like the DR Congo and Sudan.

Margalho said...

there is another rumor about the creation of the macae stake in rio de janeiro, brazil. apparently this is going to happen within the next few months.

Ryan said...

Death Penalty and Life in Prison for Gays and Lesbians are usually promoted by the Muslims and Islam, as most countries with Muslim majority hold these laws and practices.

Ryan said...

The Church is not hateful towards gays. That is always said in a matter of opinion when people speak against same-sex marriage. I disagree with the ideas and lifestyle of homosexuality, but not homosexuals. "Love the person, not the sin." Understandably, people might feel "hated" if people say their lifestyle is unsupported by millions. Our church had faced persecution and discrimination, and might always will. What always makes no sense to me is why people who are against a viewpoint would join the opposite side to heckle them. On Facebook, there was an "I bet males could get 1 million fans before females" page and vice versa. Females would join the male page and make fun of them.

rfelsted said...

To: James

Your post is antithetical to the spirit of this blog. You've heard the saying, "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything."

It is exactly because of the high standards of the Church that amazing growth takes place.

Matt said...

Ryan-

The article you provided the link does not mention the LDS Church at all. The Church's presence in Uganda is still very small, only one member per 4,534 people. Active membership is less than one member per 10,000 people. I believe the Church only seeks to protect the institution of marriage as defined as between a man and woman. Just because we don't support a lifestyle and want to limit its influence on society does not mean that we are hateful. With alcoholics we certainly wouldn't say we hate them even though we stand against their behavior.

Furthermore I would point out that the churches which experience the strongest growth are the most conservative. Denominations which have very liberal views of homosexuality experience great declines in attendance and membership, often leading to the establishment of additional denominations which have small memberships that die out after a decade or two.

The SDA Church is also against gay marriage and an official statement by the denomination may be found on the link below.

http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/statements/main_stat46.html

Comments on this blog are meant to be constructive. I will remove comments which have unfounded information or portray the Church in a negative light.

Matt said...

Missionaries report that a fourth stake will be created in Cote d'Ivoire in February. Also I just heard that the first missionary from Uzbekistan just began his mission. He is an Uzbekistani-Korean and is serving in Korea currently.

rfelsted said...

Matt,

Good news about Cote d'Ivoire. It doesn't surprise me that there will be a new stake there next month. I don't know how membership increased last year but congregational growth went from 32 to 41, an increase of 28%. Church growth all throughout West Africa has just been phenomenal.

Ghana congregations grew by 21% in 2009 but from a much larger base than Ivory Coast. Good to hear about the Uzbekestani-Korean missionary. We have a daughter-in-law from Korea who was baptized in Salt Lake.