Friday, January 28, 2011

New Stake in Utah; Districts Discontinued in Guyana and French Guiana


A new stake was created in Utah last Saturday. The Riverton Utah Harvest Park Stake has eight wards and was created from a division of the Fort Herriman Utah Stake which had 15 wards prior to the creation of the new stake. There are now 547 stakes in Utah.


Full-time missionaries serving in Guyana report that the Canje Guyana District was discontinued at the end of 2010 and branches pertaining to the former district now report directly to the West Indies Mission. Guyana experienced rapid membership and congregational growth in the late 2000s. Growth came to a dramatic halt following the removal of nearly the entire North American missionary force in September 2009 and the implementation of stricter standards for convert baptisms under a new mission president who began serving in July 2009. A combination of low convert retention, inadequate numbers of active priesthood leadership to fill branch and district presidencies, apostasy, and reliance on full-time missionaries for church administrative duties contributed to the discontinuation of the district. Many of the new congregations established in the late 2000s continue to operate under local leaders, indicating that some self-sustaining progress has been achieved in recent years. There are no signs that the Georgetown Guyana District will mature into a stake in the near future and much of the excitement and anticipation for strong church growth in Guyana exhibited only a couple years ago has disappeared. Increasing sacrament attendance has been reported in some branches in the New Amsterdam area over the past couple months.

French Guiana

Organized in 2009, the Cayenne French Guiana District was discontinued and the Kourou Branch was closed. Full-time missionaries serving in French Guiana reported that staffing leadership for congregations in Cayenne has been a major challenge. Inadequate numbers of local leaders appear the primary reason for the discontinuation of the district. The LDS Church has always struggled in French Guiana due to high rates of emigration and a transient migrant worker population.


Ryan said...

It's kind of sad that the districts in Guyana and French Guiana weren't that strong. Shouldn't the Canje District be combined with the Georgetown district and maybe become a stake?

I also think Utah should let other states catch up as well. When do you think the 5th Temple in Salt Lake County the First Presidency "announced" with the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple will be announced?

Ryan said...

Predominately Christian Southern Sudan voted to become independent from predominately Muslim Northern Sudan. How do you think this will affect the Church in Southern Sudan?

Matt said...

As regarding the dissolution of the Canje Guyana District, transportation challenges and distance from Georgetown make it unfeasible to combine the two districts. I think that a stake in Georgetown will eventually happen in the coming few years as long as leadership is consistent.

I think that a temple in Riverton will be announced in the coming decade.

The independence of Southern Sudan will be required for the Church to establish an official presence and permanently assign missionaries. Church growth prospects are tremendous. The Church has already established a branch in Juba and operates groups and self-affiliated groups in several additional areas.

Tom said...

yes Matt,

I do remember when the first branch was established in Sudan in 2009. If southern sudan is independent then the Islamic ties will be cut off allowing for the growth of the LDS church.

Here is me also hoping that the Egyptian authoritarian state will be toppled and become more democratic- opening the gateway to religious pluralism and protection for the coptic orthodox christians and thus allow the income of LDS missionaries.