Thursday, July 25, 2013

Rapid LDS Growth in Gagnoa, Cote d'Ivoire

Within the last month, the Church organized three new branches within the city of Gagnoa, Cote d'Ivoire.  No wards or branches previously functioned in the city prior to the creation of the Babre, Garahio, and Ouragahio Branches, suggesting that the Cote d'Ivoire Abidjan Mission established multiple member groups in Gagnoa either through mission leaders traveling to visit isolated members and investigators in the city or through assigning full-time missionaries and starting multiple member groups.  Due to limited member and missionary reports from Cote d'Ivoire, I cannot confirm how the Church has established an initial presence in this large city.  However it appears that the Church has become more aggressive in its outreach expansion efforts in the Africa West Area as demonstrated by the recently opening of two additional major cities in Ghana (Tamale and Techiman) and significant congregational growth in Benin and Togo.  Two additional cities in Cote d'Ivoire have had the first LDS units organized recently included Bonoua and Bouafle.

See below for a map displaying the locations of wards and branches in Cote d'Ivoire.

View Wards and Branches in Cote d'Ivoire in a larger map


Mike Johnson said...

The Taapuna Ward, Punaauia Tahiti Stake, was created on 21 July. There are now 9 wards in the stake:

Anau Ward
Manutahi Ward
Matatia Ward
Maupiti Ward
Outumaoro Ward
Punaruu Ward
Punavai Nui Ward
Taapuna Ward
Vaitape Ward

The Cococodji Branch, Cotonou Benin District, Benin Cotonou Mission, was created on 21 July. There are now 7 branches in the district:

Akpakpa Branch
Cococodji Branch
Fidjrosse Branch
Finagnon Branch
Gbedjromede Branch
Gbegame Branch
Menontin Branch

The Fyodorovka Branch, Ukraine Kyiv Mission, was created on 21 July. There are now 7 branches in the mission:

Bila Tserkva Branch
Cherkassy Tsentralny Branch
Chernihivs'ka Branch
Fyodorovka Branch
Ukraine Kyiv Mission Branch
Vinnyts'ka Branch
Zhytomyrs'ka Branch
Odessa Ukraine Tsentralny District

Ed Clinch said...

It is encouraging to see growth of the LDS Church in francophile lands. As far as I am aware, there are no strictly French speaking MTCs yet. In the Americas, there is a mission in Quebec, Haiti, and some of the east Caribbean covers French Guinea. In Europe, both Belgium and France, plus part of Switzerland. In Africa, there are more and more French mission efforts every year, including Benin (what my mom called Dahome when she lived in Togo), Togo, Rwanda, Burundi and I think Cameroon (I am pretty sure the missionaries are there.) In the Pacific there is Tahiti and Caledonia. Although I guess there is non-French Caledonia too, since I heard a couple is going there from Indiana without French.
Where would a good base be to provide an all French MTC? Congo or Ivory Coast? Belgian Congo? Plus, there are at least 5-7 French speaking Muslim nations in Africa.

I suppose Kinshasa would make the most sense with a new temple there. Cote D'Ivoire will still depend on Accra for their temple access.

Mike Johnson said...

Interesting question, Ed.

Comparing France and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, I get:

France has a temple under construction; DRC has a temple announced.

Both have 2 missions located inside the country (and all four missions extend outside the host country).

DRC has 11 stakes and 3 district; France has 9 stakes and 1 district.

DRC has 86 wards + 35 branches = 121 (up 5 since the end of 2012); France has 61 wards + 46 branches = 107 congregations (down 1 since the end of 2012)

France has 69 Family History Centers; DRC only has 6.

France has 20 Institutes and 13 Seminaries; DRC has 18 Institutes and 16 Seminaries.

DRC had 34,547 members as of the end of 2012; France had 36,968. But DRC has activity rates of 80 to 90%. France, well they still suffer from the secularization of the Napoleonic era (from an interview last month with the outgoing Mission President in Paris).

Numbers are very similar in both countries. But, DRC is growing rapidly and France is stagnant. DRC is close to self sufficient in missionaries and France is not. I would select DRC for an MTC before France.

Ed Clinch said...

Perhaps that was Mitt's problem: he was too secularized by France. I know the mission he served and the culture of the people there may not have to do with his personality and mentality/strategy as a presidential candidate, but in my opinion he did not use his faith and its strengths enough.

I always thought that after the McCain loss in 2008 he should have spent the next year or so giving "firesides" across the whole nation, speaking at any club, church, town hall he could have; not only getting to know the people but explicating what Latter-day Saints are and what we do. Instead, he seemed reluctant and sat on his hands. Ultimately the people judged his character, and in my opinion he was not real, engaged or Mormon enough. Great guy, and I wished he had won, but he let many opportunities slip away, including gaffes in 2012.But earlier people work and showing what 6 million Mormons in the states are about would have done so much more for his perception as too rich, stuffy, disengaged, etc.

Huntsman does not stand a chance for different reasons.

But these are highly visible LDS who make an impression on the whole world. As they should in the positions they are in. And the former spoke French, not unlike John Kerry.

So that is my French connection for the day.

Funny that Rubio was LDS for a short season. We are seeing LDS more and more, as reflected by our map of percentages of members per state.

Anyway, enough politics. Perhaps another MTC would be more useful in Africa because the Europeans can go to others closer by. I would go with Congo (Zaire).

But I do think there ought to be a French primary Training Center.

Mike Johnson said...

It wouldn't surprise me if Rubio weren't still on the records somewhere.

Mike Johnson said...

It hasn't been Zaire since 17 May 1997. It is the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They had a revolution and changed a lot. It was tough going for a while, but the Church has blossomed there.

The ambassador to the DRC from 2001 to 2004, Aubrey Hooks, is an active member of the Church. He was in my ward in Lake Ridge Virginia between his tours in the "Little Congo" and the "Big Congo."

Mike Johnson said...

Although French is quite a ways down the list of native speakers, I do think the Church ought to have an MTC is a French speaking area.

Spanish is 2nd after Mandarin for most native speakers. Of 15 MTCs, 8 are in Spanish countries--Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, and Spain.

English is 3rd and there are 5 are in English speaking countries--Provo, England, Ghana, New Zealand, and South Africa.

1 Portuguese (Brazil) and 1 Tagalog in the Philippines.

John Pack Lambert said...

Plus in the Caribbean the Church has a presence in Guadaloupe. Elder Gamiette, one of the newly called area seventies, is from there. He previously served as president of the West Indies Mission (which includes Guadaloupe), being one of very few mission presidents serving over the mission he lived in when called as mission president.

John Pack Lambert said...

On the MTC issue, there is an MTC in Preston, England and one in Madrid. Those are easy to get to from France. In Africa there are MTCs in Johannesburg and Accra, those are far from Kinshasa. I really would not be surprised to see an MTC in Kinshasa. I would also not be surprised to see both missions in Congo divided soon.

Ivory Coast is so close to Ghana that I really do not see a change there. It is probably esier to instruct missionaries from Ivory Coast at the Ghana MTC than to set up a new MTC in Ivory Coast. I don't see that happening even if they build a temple in Ivory Coast soon, which I hope for, especially with 3 branches being formed in a new city, and with reports of high temple attendance from Ivory Coast. I would not be surprised to have a temple announced for Ivory Coast this year, but not surprised if it does not happen either.

Mike Johnson said...

The Canyon Creek, Echo Canyon, and Sweetgrass Creek wards, Billings Montana Stake, were created on 28 July. There are 11 wards and 4 branches in the stake:

Blue Creek Ward
Canyon Creek Ward
Central Ward
Echo Canyon Ward
Laurel Ward
Monad Ward
Pioneer Park Ward
Rimrock YSA Ward
Shiloh Ward
Sweetgrass Creek Ward
West Park Ward
Absarokee Branch
Belfry Branch
Harlowton Branch
Red Lodge Branch

The Klahanie Ward, Bellevue Washington Stake, was created on 28 July. There are now 11 wards and 1 branch in the stake:

Bellevue 1st Ward
Bellevue 2nd Ward
Bellevue 3rd Ward
Bellevue 6th Ward
Bellevue 7th Ward
Bellevue YSA Ward
Issaquah 2nd Ward
Issaquah 3rd Ward
Issaquah 5th Ward
Issaquah 6th Ward
Klahanie Ward
Bellevue 4th Branch (Spanish)

The Sugar Creek Ward, Rogers Arkansas Stake, was created on 28 July. There are now 11 wards and 4 branches in the stake:

Anderson Ward
Bella Vista Ward
Bentonville 1st Ward
Bentonville 2nd Ward
Centerton Ward
Central Park Ward
Grove Ward
Little Flock Ward
Rogers 1st Ward
Rogers 2nd Ward (Spanish)
Sugar Creek Ward
Bentonville 3rd Branch
Cassville Branch
Pea Ridge Branch
Rogers YSA Branch

The Jericho Branch, Cotonou Benin District, Benin Cotonou Mission, was created on 28 July. There are now 8 branches in the district:

Akpakpa Branch
Cococodji Branch
Fidjrosse Branch
Finagnon Branch
Gbedjromede Branch
Gbegame Branch
Jericho Branch
Menontin Branch

John Pack Lambert said...

It looks like Rogers Arkansas Stake may be divided soon. I would not be surprised to see a temple announced for North-west Arkansas soon.

Mike Johnson said...

It would not surprise me if the Rogers and Springdale Arkansas stakes together spawned a new stake. There are ample wards (19) in both stakes, plus something like 7 branches.

According to ARDA, the church reported about 9500 members in the congregations then in both stakes. There have been 2-3 new wards since then.

They have enough wards and it appears they have enough members for 3 stakes. The next question would be whether they have enough active full-tithe-paying Melchizedek Priesthood holders.

We will probably find out soon enough.