Tuesday, November 26, 2013

District Discontinued in Papua New Guinea

A district was discontinued in Papua New Guinea.

Originally organized in 1993, the Nine Mile Papua New Guinea District was consolidated with the Gerehu Papua New Guinea District.  The realigned Gerehu Papua New Guinea District includes the following five branches: Eight Mile, Gerehu, Makana, Nine Mile, and Tokarara.  Two branches were closed in the former Nine Mile Papua New Guinea District (Morobe and Saivara) and one branch was closed within the original boundaries of the Gerehu Papua New Guinea District (Waigani).  The consolidation of the two districts may be part of plans for the district to become a stake within the foreseeable future.  See below for an updated map of LDS units in the Port Moresby area.

View Wards and Branches in Papua New Guinea in a larger map
The Church has experienced congregational decline in the Port Moresby metropolitan area within recent years whereas rapid congregational growth has occurred in many other areas of the country during this time.  Earlier this year one of the wards in the Port Moresby Papua New Guinea Stake was closed and the stake now has a mere four wards and two branches.  A lack of LDS growth in Port Moresby may delay the announcement of a temple for Papua New Guinea as the Church currently lacks a sufficiently large center of strength that could support its own temple.

There are now two stakes and 11 districts in Papua New Guinea.


The Opinion said...

I liked how you broke out the Colorado membership to determine the feasibility of a new stake.
There is a new building being built in Raleigh on 10 acres. Supposedly it will house a stake center. Do you have access to the Raleigh and Apex stake total membership numbers. I would be curious if the stake numbers would support a split.

Mike Johnson said...

The ARDA (Association of Religious Data Archives) has congregation and membership data on a county level as of the end of 2010--they query churches and collect their data every decade.

Looking at the Apex, Raleigh, and Durham stakes and comparing them to the ARDA data:

Wake County had 20 congregations with 8,660 members. These are entirely from the Apex and Raleigh stakes.

Apex Stake (11 wards and 1 branch)
Garner Ward
Cary 2nd Ward
Raleigh YSA Ward
Cary 3rd Branch (Spanish)
Apex Ward
Cary 1st Ward
Holly Springs Ward
Green Level Ward
Morrisville Ward
Fuquay-Varina Ward
Harris Lake Ward
Swift Creek Ward

Raleigh North Carolina Stake (9 wards)
Falls Lake Ward
Wake Forest 1st Ward
Wake Forest 2nd Ward
Zebulon Ward
Raleigh 1st Ward
Raleigh 2nd Ward
Raleigh 3rd Ward (Spanish)
Knightdale Ward
Raleigh 4th Ward

The Harris Lake Ward was created this past summer, to make 21 current congregations

Durham Stake

Orange County had 4 congregations with 1,783 members
Chapel Hill 1st Ward
Chapel Hill 2nd Ward
Durham 1st Ward
Durham YSA Ward

Durham County had 4 congregations with 1,761 members
Durham 2nd Ward
Durham 4th Ward
Mebane Ward
Durham 5th Branch (Spanish)

Vance County had 1 congregation with 433 members
Henderson Ward

Chatham County had 1 congregation with 141 members
Pittsboro Branch

Person County had 1 congregation with 265 members
Roxboro Branch

Halifax County, Virginia is not mentioned in ARDA for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The South Boston Branch is part of the Durham Stake and has been in existence since the 1950s. It is possible the branch was meeting in a different county or simply was forgotten.

I don't know how membership would have changed over the past three years. Also, I don't know the number of full tithe paying Melchizedek Priesthood holders. But, it is possible that the two stakes in Wake County have enough members now for a third stake and there are enough wards for 3 stakes. Given that a ward was created in 2013 (and 2 others in 2010) in Wake County, growth appears to be occurring. If needed, I suppose it could be possible that the Pittsboro Branch could be added to the Apex Stake or the Henderson Ward to the Raleigh Stake to get the two stakes over the top in terms of creating a third stake.

The Opinion said...

@ Mike, Thanks for that breakdown. What I see possibly happening is the Durham, Raleigh and Apex Stake combining as the fourth stake due to the location of this new building under construction in Raleigh that is supposedly a stake center. It is out by I-540 in northwest Raleigh. I still think the Apex and Raleigh stake will spilt but it will be probably 5 years out.
The Apex Stake growth is from members moving to the area. The bishop from the Morrisville ward said that this summer 165 people moved in that were current temple recommend holders. His sacrament attendance is 90% and his primary is 50% of the 375 members in the ward. That ward is close to the new building being built so it probably will be split soon.

Ed Clinch said...

There are indicators that Papua New Guinea is indeed a unique place. Jared Diamond has done a lot of studies there, as well as hundreds if not thousands of other social scientists. There are cultural factors that are hard to account for there, and the LDS Church is quite a new agent, comparably.

Anecdote wise, a former student from Austria who is/was very used to Thai culture said that his time in this archipelago was unlike anywhere he has ever been. He said the people gave off a vibe that was sub-civilized, almost like he did not feel he was worth much as a human. Does that make sense? Our faith and the rest of the world has to do some catching up there. More missionaries will help hasten the work, hopefully.
Our world, besides the hard core Orthodox Christian, Jewish and Muslim, provides many challenges for the Restoration. Patience is the virtue, we hope.

ElGuapo said...

Speaking of Jared Diamond, I recently finished his latest book, in which he specifically mentions that Port Moresby is "one of the world's most dangerous cities."