Thursday, October 21, 2010

Recent Church Growth News

Burundi dedicated for missionary work

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated Burundi for missionary work on October 19th, 2010. Besides a few local members in attendance, only the eight young full-time missionaries and two senior couples who are assigned to Burundi were in attendance. The building in use for church meetings in Bujumbura was remodeled in the past couple weeks as the room used for sacrament meetings was expanded.

Angola dedicated for missionary work

Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated Angola for missionary work on October 20th, 2010. The dedication service occurred outside the capital Luanda. Missionaries have served in the country for a couple years now, and the Church has faced challenges obtaining visas for foreign missionaries.

Remote city in interior Peru opens for missionary work

A senior missionary couple serving in the Peru Lima North Mission was been assigned to Nauta, located south of the large city Iquitos. Nauta becomes the first small city outside of Iquitos to open for missionary work in the Amazon Basin of northeastern Peru. Currently there is not organized branch and church services are likely held as a group or dependent branch.

District discontinued in Russia

The Church recently discontinued the Ufa Russia District and the two former branches of the district were consolidated into one branch. The number of congregations in Ufa has steadily declined over the past decade as in 2001 there were four branches. Congregation consolidations have occurred in many areas of Russia over the past 18 months, primarily in areas where there are no local branch presidents or where there are few active members meeting in more than one congregation. Other Russian cities which have experienced congregation consolidations include Vladivostok and Krasnodar, both of which today only have one branch. In the past 12 months, over 10 branches have been discontinued in Russia.

First branch established in western DR Congo outside of Kinshasa

The Church created its first independent branch in western Democratic Republic of Congo outside the capital city of Kinshasa in the large city of Matadi. Matadi is located near the Angolan border and supports a population over a quarter of a million. This is a major development in expanding national outreach in the DR Congo as there has previously been no official church presence anywhere in the region outside of Kinshasa. Most areas in the DR Congo remain far from any operating LDS wards or branches. Most of the Latter-day Saint population resides in the largest cities, mainly Kinshasa and Lubumbashi, but also Kananga, Kolwezi,
Likasi, Luputa, Mbuji-Mayi, and Mwene-Ditu.

New Stake in Utah

Last Sunday, the West Haven Utah Stake was created from a division of the Kanesville Utah Stake, which had 12 wards and one branch. There are now 546 stakes in Utah.

New Stake in Texas

Last Sunday, the Waco Texas Stake was created from the Killeen Texas Stake, which had 10 wards and five branches. There are now 56 stakes in Texas.

New Branch in East Malaysia

Missionaries report that a new branch was created in Sarawak, East Malaysia in the small town of Mukah. The Mukah Branch is part of the Sibu East Malaysia District, which now has five branches.


Tom said...

Has there been any positive news regarding growth in Russia in the past year? Heavy branch decline there does not seem like a good factor.

Good to see yet another branch in the DR Congo. In contrast to Russia, the country seems to have experienced rapid congregational growth in 2010. How many is it in total for this year?

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to have the situation in France (the wards and branches, and the decline of active members) since the 10 last years?
Thank you

JonErik said...

As a former missionary to the Peru Lima North Mission, it is great to learn of the growth outside of Iquitos. While I never served in Iquitos, I visited the city several times, over 20 years ago. The people of Iquitos may be simple and very humble, but many members have strong testimonies and faith. I believe there are at least two stakes in Iquitos, possibly more?

Erik said...

With ten branches in Russia discontinued over the past twelve months, how many branches does Russia have now? 105? Any ideas on when Moscow and St. Petersburg will have stakes? Moscow combined its two districts a couple months ago in preparation for a stake so I expect it won't be too long until they get one.

Ray said...

To Eric: There are now 116 branches in Russia after recent consolidations. There were 126 at the beginning of 2010.

Other European countries have experienced recent growth, with 2 new wards in Switzerland and one new ward in Italy just since this summer. All three were formed from existing branches.

Erik said...

According to my sister, currently serving her mission in Moscow, Moscow Mission President Sorensen told the missionaries at the latest zone conference that he has great hopes a stake will be created in 2011. Hopefully we'll see St. Petersburg become a stake over the next few years as well. I expect a temple could well be announced after these two stakes are created and that the building of a temple, together with a maturing membership, will serve to accelerate membership growth in the years ahead.

Erik said...

"Mormon Missionaries enter Eastern Europe" by Kahlile B. Mehr, page 321: "Reflecting the Church's vision of the future, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, addressing an audience in a 1200-seat facility in November 1995, said, 'In my lifetime I will return to Moscow, and a hundred theaters like this will not be enough to hold the members of the church.'" 120,000+ members in the lifetime of Elder Holland portends a great acceleration of church growth ahead of us in Russia -- since there are only some 20,000 members currently, with growth around 300-400 a year.