Sunday, December 19, 2010

Four New Stakes Created


Elder L. Tom Perry organized the first stake on Guam last Sunday, named the Barrigada Guam Stake. The new stake was created from the Guam District and each of the five branches became wards. One of the five wards in the new stake functions on neighboring Saipan. In 2010, two countries/territories had their first LDS stakes established, which were Uganda and Guam. The creation of the new stake increases the likelihood of a future LDS temple to be build in Micronesia to service members in the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, the Marshall Islands, and Kiribati.


The Church created the Pacajus Brazil Stake last Sunday from a division of the Fortaleza Brazil East Stake, which had nine wards and two branches. Consisting of five wards and one branch, the Pacajus Brazil Stake includes the Pacajus 1st, Pacajus 2nd, Pedras, Russas, and Tabajaras Wards, and the Aracati Branch. The Tabajaras Ward was formerly a branch prior to the creation of the new stake. LDS Church growth has been among the strongest worldwide in eastern Fortaleza as the Fortaleza Brazil East Stake was created in 2005 and has since divided in 2008 and 2010. The Aracati Brazil District operated from 2003 to 2008 until it was absorbed into the Fortaleza Brazil East Stake and two of its original three branches have since become wards. Growth has occurred in other areas of Fortaleza and a new stake has been created every year in the city since 2005. Located in the northeast of Fortaleza, the Fortaleza Brazil Stake has experienced rapid congregational growth in 2010 as the number of wards has increased from five to eight. The Church announced a temple for Fortaleza in October 2009. There are now 236 stakes in Brazil.


The Maracaibo Venezuela South Stake had 12 wards and two branches and was divided last Sunday to create the new San Francisco Venezuela Stake. Comprising seven wards in the southern areas of Maracaibo, the new stake consists of the Bolivar, El Caujaro, El Sol, La Canada, San Francisco, Union, and Veintecuatro de Julio Wards. The Maracaibo Venezuela South Stake now has five wards and two branches. Prior to the creation of the new stake, the last stake created by the Church in Maracaibo was in 2006. At present, only the Ciudad Ojeda Stake appears close to splitting among stakes in the Maracaibo area. Former LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley visited Maracaibo a decade ago and predicted that a temple would one day be build in the city. Temple attendance at the Caracas Venezuela Temple appears too low currently to merit the construction of a temple in Maracaibo in the immediate future, but prospects appear high for a temple in Maracaibo in the coming decade. There are now 28 stakes in Venezuela and six stakes in the Maracaibo area. For more information about prospects, challenges, and opportunities for LDS Church growth in Venezuela, please read an article recently written by me and David Stewart at found here.

The Philippines

Becoming the first new stake of 2010, the Church created the Paniqui Philippines Stake from the Paniqui Philippines District last Sunday. The new stake consists of five wards (Anao, Gerona, Moncada 1st, Paniqui 1st, and Paniqui 2nd) and four branches (Cuyapo, Moncada 2nd, Panique 3rd, and Ramos). The stake is located not too far from Urdaneta where the third LDS temple in the Philippines will be constructed in the coming years. The creation of the new stake is a major accomplishment for the Church in that there have been no new stakes created in northern Luzon since 2001 and that several stakes were discontinued in the early 2000s in this area. Dozens of districts appear close to becoming stakes in the near future throughout the Philippines, but low member activity and poor convert retention have delayed the creation of additional stakes and congregations. For more information about the Church in the Philippines, I refer you to another article written by me and David Stewart on found here.


Tom said...

There is nothing grander than to hear the warming news of the church growing around the globe. Yet another new Stake for Brazil, and you've been announcing 1 new stake for Brazil a week currently.. amazing.

I hope 2010 as a whole proves to be a stronger year for growth than 2009 did. About how likely is this?

One thing is for sure though, the total number of baptisms overall will go through the roof in Africa in the coming years as leadership and congregations are established.

In many places, we havent even scratched the surface yet. Over the next nine years, we will achieve this!

Ryan Searcy said...

Looks like 2 new stakes in Belem and one in Fortaleza. There have been 9 new stakes in Brazil in the last 3 months. Impressive! What's the new stake total for 2010 so far?

Ryan Searcy said...

Brookville Pennsylvania District was dissolved, and the Ammon Jordan District now shows up.

Brandon Plewe said...

Things are really moving on the north coast of Brazil. 5 stakes in one month!

Brookville is interesting. It (and as the Dubois district) has been an anomaly for many years, one of the last rural districts in the Eastern U.S. (with one in northern NY and one in northern MI). But it had 7 branches, and the surrounding three stakes have 8 or 9 units; perhaps a new stake is brewing...

Ryan Searcy said...

The Paterson New Jersey, Brooklyn New York North, and Lynbrook New York Districts are really close to other stakes.

jackeldave said...

Great blog you have here. I don't know if this is accurate, but someone from Fortaleza is saying that there was another stake created in the Fortaleza mission at the same time as the Pacajus stake - called the Benfica stake. I served in Fortaleza, and I think I vaguely remember an area or neighborhood called Benfica. Is this accurate?

Brandon Plewe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brandon Plewe said...

Ryan, I would really like to know the story behind the three urban New York districts. I have thought it was a diversity thing (i.e., allowing leaders to focus more on language branches), but all of the stakes in the area are just as diverse.

Actually, 5 of the 7 NY metro stakes have at least 11 units (rather pregnant IMO), and there are 15 spanish units (10w 5b) in New York City, with 13 more (7w 6b) in the inner metro area. I would not be surprised to see a couple Spanish stakes (or several spanish districts) created in the near future. Here would be my prediction:
Manhattan/Bronx/Staten/Westchester: 7w 2b
Brooklyn/Queens: 5w 4b
New Jersey: 5w 4b

But with New York, who knows? It has always been a hotbed of creative approaches to congregations and leadership, because of the numerous issues in a big city.

Ryan Searcy said...

Paterson New Jersey has an English branch and 2 Spanish

Brooklyn New York North has 2 English branches and 3 Spanish

Lynbrook New York has 4 English branches and a Spanish one.

They are all within 30 minutes of the nearest stake.

The Chatelain's said...

It looks like all of the Brookville district went to the Altoona stake. Brookville the only branch becoming a ward. Punxsutawney and Dubois branches being absorbed or consolidated