The First Presidency has approved the creation of the first stake in Guam, which will be known as the Barrigada Guam Stake. Apostle Elder L. Tom Perry will create the stake on the weekend of December 11th and 12th. The Guam District had only four branches until just a year or two ago, when a fifth branch was created. Missionaries report that branches in the district have high church attendance and that the creation of a stake has come after many years of preparation. The Guam District currently consists of four branches on the island of Guam, and one branch in Saipan (which is part of the Northern Mariana Islands).
Guam is the country/territory with the twentieth most Latter-day Saints (1,971) without a stake according to membership totals reported by the LDS Church at the end of 2009. There were 735 members in the Northern Mariana Islands at the end of 2009. Once the stake is created, only one nation will have a stake and fewer Latter-day Saints than Guam, which is Bahrain. The Church bases the stake for wards and branches on the Arabian Peninsula in Bahrain due to greater religious freedom than neighboring countries and its central geographic location. Bahrain had 281 members and one branch at the end of 2009.