Thursday, October 10, 2013

Makeni, Sierra Leone Opening for Missionary Work

Missionaries serving in the Sierra Leone Freetown Mission report that Makeni will have full-time missionaries assigned for the first time beginning next missionary transfer.  Furthermore, mission leaders taught, interviewed, and baptized the first 11 converts in the Makeni Group and report that the group will soon become the first branch in this city of over 100,000.  Currently there are approximately 70 people attending group meetings, including 50 members who were baptized in other cities that have relocated to Makeni.  Additional cities may open to missionary work in Sierra Leone within the next few months as more than 60 new missionaries will arrive before the end of the year.  Missionaries also indicate the districts in Freetown East and Bo will likely become stakes in the near future.

See below for a map of LDS units in Sierra Leone.

View Wards and Branches in Sierra Leone in a larger map


Mike Johnson said...

The Ogbeson Ward, Benin City Nigeria New Benin Stake, was created on 6 October. There are now 9 wards in the stake:

Aduwawa Ward
Eghosa 1st Ward
Eghosa 2nd Ward
Esigie Ward
Igun Ward
New Benin Ward
Ogbeson Ward
Ohovbe Ward
Oregbeni Ward

The Tigaon 2nd Ward, Goa Philippines Stake, was created on 6 October. There are now 8 wards and 1 branch in the stake:

Goa 1st Ward
Goa 2nd Ward
Lagonoy 1st Ward
Lagonoy 2nd Ward
Ocampo Ward
San Jose Ward
Tigaon 1st Ward
Tigaon 2nd Ward
San Roque Branch

Mike Johnson said...

Great news.

Note, both the Freetown East and the Bo district have 8 branches.

Ed Clinch said...

Nice to see growth in Sierra Leone, land where my parents were married while serving in the Peace Corps back in the 60s.
I have been following the missionary activities of my California nephew in this country for a year now, where he started in the capital in two Freetown areas, and now is inland in Bo. They seem to teach a lot and baptize well.
My nephew was there when Freetown became a stake. I think Elder Holland went there for that.

I met a Mende (major tribe of Sierra Leone) soldier here in Virginia last month, but he thought the idea of the Book of Mormon was too non-Christian. Slow slow, as they say.

People have to have time to get used to new ideas. And then figure out if they are true.

That is why we have missionaries.

The Opinion said...

Okay this has nothing to do with Africa but rather the Rome Italy stake that was created. Read below to see how many members are in each stake. My mouth froze wide open. (from Rome Italy mission president blog)

The members of the Rome Italy Stake were so excited The prospect of having two stakes is breathtaking. Knowing that an Apostle would be there was the icing on the cake. There wasn't a church building large enough to hold the conference so it was held in a hotel. They do that for all stake conferences. It's hard to believe there are enough people for two stakes. They aren't like the stakes in Utah. When the Rome Stake was first created, it had 550 members. With the division of the stake, each stake will have approximately 650 members. The new stake includes the island of Sardegna. That means the new stake president will have to do a lot of traveling between the mainland and the island.

Adam said...

You gotta think that they are talking about just the members in Rome. No way that among the number of units that the stakes now has with the addition of the districts that their membership numbers are that low.

Mike Johnson said...

Could you post the link to the blog?

I wonder if those are active member numbers or perhaps attendance figures.

The minimum requirement for a stake outside the US and Canada is 1900. Each stake has 5 wards and the minimum required number of members for a ward outside the US and Canada is 150. Each ward would need 15 active, full tithe paying, Melchizedek Priesthood holders, each branch 4-6 more, and the stake 24 more than required for the units.

If those numbers are the nominal membership, than these stakes are the size of districts and the wards are small branches. And they would be violating all kinds of policies creating them.

I think active membership or attendance is probably what was meant, especially since he was talking about having a place large enough for them to meet in stake conference.

It might even have meant the number of those attending the meeting that created the stake.

Mike Johnson said...

There are now 9 stakes in Italy, 3 districts, and an independent branch.

The total membership was published for the end of last year as 24,970 in 100 congregations and 2 missions.

That would be roughly 2500 members per stake. Of course, that is the nominal membership--active, semi-active, and no longer attending with either positive, neutral, or negative feelings about the church.

I think those 550 when the Rome Stake was created and 650 in each of the stakes (which of course add in 2 additional wards and 7 branches to the mix of units in a Rome Stake), have to be attendance figures.

John Pack Lambert said...

When the Rome Stake was formed, did they have people come from Sadrinia, or did they broadcast it to remote locations? If it is the latter, I am wondering if those are the numbers from those stakes in attendance in the Rome meeting and not counting those from outlying areas.

On the Sierre Leone issue, it was Elder Holland who organized the 3000th stake there.

How the 1000 number stakes go is Stake 1000 was organized by then Elder Ezra Taft Benson (I think he was president of the 12, but not yet church president) in Nauvoo, Illinois. The 2000 stake was organized by President Howard W. Hunter in Mexico City, and the 3000th stake was organized by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in Sierre Leone.

The Opinion said...

The Chatelain's said...

I don't know how recent this is, but the Cordele branch that was previously closed in Georgia, has been reestablised as a group/dependent branch. There are missionaries serving in the area, and former chapel that was sold is being rented back to us for Sunday use. As far as I can tell, this is still the Columbus stake (85miles), but if the branch becomes independent I could see the Tifton stake (40miles) picking it up. Cordele is currently dependent on the Americus branch.
Is "dependent branch" an obsolete term? Or is it the same the newer "group" term?

Ed Clinch said...

I have been a part of four LDS groups because of the military. They are dependent on bishops or branch presidents, or possibly district presidents (so many some are administered by stake presidencies?).
For example, the LDS group that met on base at Fort Huachuca was dependent on a nearby Sierra Vista ward, so the bishop had a high priest that was assigned to us soldiers (and airmen and any other visitors, of which some were civilians). We had a full time missionary married couple there who would usually conduct meetings and coordinate events. The brother was an older convert and volunteered to serve with troops.
I was able to attend 3 different LDS groups while in Afghanistan, and they were all under the Kabul District, which had around 1,000 members last year, 2012.

Ed Clinch said...

I meant to write "maybe some are administered by stake presidencies", which brings up the question of mission presidencies, such as independent branches belonging to those.

The groups in Afghanistan ranged from regular attendance of 2 to 50.
Most of my time up north was with a group of about 15.
Actually, the group in Bagram was 50, and Camp Phoenix in Kabul was only 12.

Bagram was just a one time visit while the other 3 I was able to be a member of the group.

Matt said...

The membership numbers of stakes in Rome must be active membership figures - there's no way that a stake could operate with so few members. Stakes outside the United States must have 1,900 members to operate.

There appear two types of "dependent units" - dependent branches and member groups. Dependent branches are pretty rare and consist of an actual branch presidency for the dependent branch whereas a group can just have one priesthood holder designated as "group leader."