Sunday, June 5, 2011

New Stakes Organized in Honduras, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and Venezuela


The LDS Church organized its first new stake in Honduras since 1997.  The Tegucigalpa Honduras Loarque Stake was organized from the Tegucigalpa Honduras Toncontin Stake and includes the following five wards and two branches: The Jardines de Toncontin, Nuevo Loarque, Pedregal, Roble Oeste, and Tizatillo Wards and the Ojojona and Villeda Branches.  Congregational growth rates have rebounded in the past year in Honduras although they are far below membership growth rates, indicating ongoing retention and leadership challenges.  Progress has occurred in northern Honduras and several stakes appear close to splitting in the coming years as stakes in La Ceiba, Fesitrahn, and San Pedro El Progreso each have nine wards.  There are now 21 stakes and seven districts in Honduras.

Papua New Guinea

The Church organized its second stake in Papua New Guinea.  The Daru Papua New Guinea Stake includes the following six wards and one branch: The Daru 1st, Daru 2nd, Isumo, Tawoti, and Tawo'o Wards and the Suki Branch.  Five of the six wards are located on Daru Island, which is a small island off the mainland of New Guinea Island with approximately 13,000 inhabitants.  The recently organized Sogere Papua New Guinea District pertained to the Daru Papua New Guinea District prior its creation in late 2010 and church growth in the region has been steady and sustainable as indicated by increases in the number of congregations.  A further indication of strength in the newly organized stake in Daru is that one of the branches which became a ward - the Tawoti Ward - was organized as a branch not even six months ago.  At present no additional districts in Papua New Guinea appear close to becoming stakes as many districts have an inadequate number of total members and congregations, but additional districts appear likely to be organized in Kukipi and Angoram.  There are now two stakes and eight districts in Papua New Guinea.  

The Philippines

The Church created a new stake in the Philippines from a division of a preexisting stake for the first time in over a decade.  The Makati Philippines East Stake was organized from the Makati Philippines Stake and includes six wards: The Bonifacio 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and Makati 1st Wards.  A few stakes appear close to dividing in the near future in Butuan (10 wards, one branch), Cavite (10 wards and one branch), and Tuguegarao (9 wards, 4 branches).  There are several districts throughout the Philippines which appear close to becoming stakes.  There are now 81 stakes and 85 districts in the Philippines.


Another new stake was organized in Venezuela.  The Cagua Venezuela Stake was organized from the Maracay Venezuela Stake and includes the following seven wards: The Cagua, La Mora, La Victoria, San Juan de los Morros, Sorocaima, Turmero, and Villa de Cura Wards.  Of Venezuela's 31 LDS stakes, half have been organized since 2000.  Only a couple stakes appear likely to divide to create new stakes in the foreseeable future, the Ciudad Ojeda Venezuela and the San Cristobal Venezuela Stakes.  There are also eight districts functioning in the country, some of which appear close to becoming stakes.

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