Presenting some of the most promising growth for the Church in many years among countries with fewer than 10,000 members, Madagascar continues to demonstrate consistent membership and congregational growth. No other country in 2009 had as few members as Madagascar and managed to gain as many congregations. Growth has not been limited to one geographical area. Congregations sprouted for the first time outside the capital of Antananarivo in 2004 in Tamatave, Antsirabe, Fianaranitsoa, and Fort Dauphin and more recently elsewhere.
During 2008 and 2009, congregations increased from 15 to 24. In 2009, the Church created its first branch in northern Madagascar in Mahajanga which had as many as 70 attending meetings by early 2010. The Antananarivo Madagascar Stake has grown from 6 wards and 4 branches at the end of 2007 to currently 12 wards and two branches. To the south of the capital, congregations have been established in rural areas for the first time in Enjoma and Manandona. The city of Ambositra has also opened to mission outreach and the Church has acquired buildings for Church meetings and missionary living quarters. I am also pleased to report that a week ago two new branches were organized in the port city of Tamatave, bringing the total number of congregations to five. At the conference for the creation of the two new branches, over 500 were in attendance. Currently there are at least 27 independent congregations with at least a couple dependent branches or groups. I also wanted to iterate that retention has been very high and local leadership has been consistently developed to allow for the creation of additional congregations.
By the end of 2012, Madagascar could easily have as many 8,500 members in 50 congregations even if modest growth occurs over the next two and a half years. Four stakes may operate by this time, three in Antananarivo and one in Tamatave. Districts may be operating in Antsirabe, Fianarantsoa, and Mahajanga. We will likely continue to see expanded mission outreach in rural areas between Antananarivo and Fianarantsoa primarily though local member-missionary efforts.
Below is a map indicating the locations of congregations in Madagascar. Markers do not represent the exact location of the building for the congregation but are placed within the geographical boundaries of the unit.
View Wards and Branches in Madagascar in a larger map