Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Georgia Macon Mission to consolidate with surrounding missions this July; New Mission Rumors

Full-time missionaries serving in the Georgia Macon Mission report that the mission will be consolidated with three neighboring missions this July.  Missions headquartered in Georgia and surrounding states tend to service few stakes, but receptivity has been higher in this area than many other regions on the United States in recent years.

Missionaries serving in the Fiji Suva Mission report that the mission may divide to create a separate mission for New Caledonia and Vanuatu.  I will provide more information when it becomes available.


Tod Robbins said...

This consolidation trend is very fascinating. Is the level of consolidation similar to previous eras or greater?

Jeff said...

Interesting about the Fiji mission, as the new mission would serve only around 400,000 people. But then some of the South Pacific missions serve even less than that. Do you by chance know how many missionaries serve in these low-population missions (Marshall/Tonga/Samoa/Tahiti/Guam/Fiji)?

MLewis said...

Matt would probably know the larger trend better than me, but I'd say it's not too far from what could be expected from the past decade or so. For example, in 2002, five missions were consolidated, but seven opened up, many of which were a surprise to the missionaries themselves. Given that missionaries usually know a mission is going to be consolidated before they know it will split (though they usually speculate about it splitting many years before that actually happens), I'd say the number of consolidations that have been reported will be matched in the near future with other new missions being announced. In 2002 we saw a net gain of two, but with current demographic trends I wouldn't surprised if we had a net loss of the same. Either way we should know for sure by mid-March when the Church makes an official announcement.

John Pack Lambert said...

As of now it appears that the balance will be 5 new and five consolidated.

The reasons for consolidating missions or forming new ones are quite complexed, so speaking more on the matter is at times difficult. Macon Mission did lack a clear population center, with its population being largely focused in multiple pockets near the edge of the mission and the population in the central region of the mission being extremely low. Beyond this the mission had a very irregular shape, and I believe some of the mission area had already been lost in stake boundary realignments where Tallahasee stake took in some units previously in Georgia stakes.

On the other hand the split of the Atlanta mission seems to have reflected population and membership growth in North Georgia that was not matched further south in the state.

It appears that the split of the Fiji mission is not happening yet.