Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Details on the First Stake in Albania

The Church organized its first stake in Albania last Sunday from the Tirana Albania District and the Albania Tirana Mission. The new stake includes the following six wards and four branches: The Durrës, Tirana 1st, Tirana 2nd, Tirana 3rd, Tirana 4th, and Vlorë Wards and the Elbasan, Fier, Lushnjë, and Shkoder Branches. Missionaries report that members from Kosovo and Macedonia also participated in the special conference to organize the stake but branches and groups in these countries do not pertain to the new stake.

Missionaries report that the area presidency has encouraged the Church in Albania to set a goal to create a second stake within the next three years.

See below for a map of LDS units in Albania.

View Branches in Albania in a larger map


alien236 said...

I believe the Swedru Ghana Stake you have listed as created this year (according to ldschurchtemples.com) should be the Winneba Ghana Stake.

Mike Johnson said...

Exciting news from Albania.

The Bougambilias Ward, Quetzaltenango Guatemala West Stake, was created on 2 March. There are now 7 wards and 2 branches in the stake:

Bougambilias Ward
Garibaldi Ward
Jardines de Xelaju Ward
La Esperanza Ward
Las Américas Ward
Los Altos Ward
Minerva Ward
San Juan Ostuncalco Branch
San Mateo Branch

The West Point 19th Ward, West Point Utah Lakeside Stake, was created on 9 March. There are now 9 wards and 1 branch in the stake:

West Point 1st Ward
West Point 3rd Ward
West Point 5th Ward
West Point 6th Ward
West Point 9th Ward
West Point 13th Ward
West Point 16th Ward
West Point 17th Ward
West Point 19th Ward
Clinton 28th Branch (Spanish)

Mike Johnson said...

The Winneba Ghana Stake has 6 wards and 3 branches:

Ansaful Ward
Kojo Bedu Ward
Swedru 1st Ward
Swedru 2nd Ward
Winneba Ward
Asikuma Branch
Odoben 1st Branch
Odoben 2nd Branch

Mike Johnson said...

The Fogo district is still showing up in CDOL as a district. But, I believe it is a stake.

Also, according to missionaries the Achada Grande Branch, Praia Cape Verde Stake, became a ward in February, but it likewise is still listed as a branch in CDOL.

Matt said...


A new branch was recently created in Italy. Do you have the details on the name and assigned stake/district?

Mike Johnson said...

Matt, I have posted every stake, district, ward, or branch that is listed as having changed to active in the last 42 days--there are currently 59 in CDOL.

CDOL has the following in the two Italian Area Coordinating Councils:

Italy Rome Area Coordinating Council

Palermo Italy Stake

Catania Ward
Messina Ward
Palermo 1st Ward
Palermo 2nd Ward
Ragusa Ward
Siracusa Ward
Agrigento Branch
Gela Branch
Mistretta Branch
Sciacca Branch
Sigonella Branch
Trapani Branch

Puglia Italy Stake

Bari Liberta' Ward
Bari Poggiofranco Ward
Foggia Ward
Taranto 1st Ward
Taranto 2nd Ward
Bitonto Branch
Brindisi Branch
Lecce Branch

Rome Italy East Stake

Pescara Ward
Roma 2nd Ward
Roma 3rd Ward
Roma 6th Ward
Terni Ward
L'Aquila Branch
Roma 5th Branch

Rome Italy West Stake

Cagliari Ward
Ladispoli Ward
Roma 1st Ward
Roma 4th Ward
Battipaglia Branch
Caserta Branch
Castellammare Branch
Flegreo Branch
Napoli Branch
Olbia Branch
Oristano Branch
Sassari Branch

Italy Rome Mission

Mosta Branch (in Malta)

Calabria Italy District

Catanzaro Branch
Cosenza Branch
Crotone Branch
Reggio Calabria Branch

Italy Milan Area Coordinating Council

Alessandria Italy Stake

Alessandria Ward
Collegno Ward
Genova 1st Ward
Genova 2nd Ward
Torino 1st Ward
Torino 2nd Ward
Vercelli Ward
Cuneo Branch
Sanremo Branch
Savona Branch

Milan Italy East Stake

Cimiano Ward
Lecco Ward
Lodi Ward
Merate Ward
Muggiò Ward
Pavia Ward

Milan Italy West Stake

Busto Arsizio Ward
Como 1st Ward
Como 2nd Ward
Lampugnano Ward
Lugano Ward
Navigli Ward
Varese Branch

Venice Italy Stake

Bologna Ward
Mestre Ward
Padova Ward
Pordenone Military Ward
Pordenone Ward
Trieste Ward
Vicenza Military Ward
Ferrara Branch
Gorizia Branch
Treviso Branch
Udine Branch
Vicenza Branch

Verona Italy Stake

Bergamo 1st Ward
Bergamo 2nd Ward
Bolzano Ward
Brescia 1st Ward
Modena Ward
Reggio Emilia Ward
Verona 1st Ward
Verona 2nd Ward
Bergamo 3rd Branch
Brescia 2nd Branch
Mantova Branch
Piacenza Branch
Trento Branch

Italy Milan Mission

Florence Italy District

Firenze 1st Branch
Firenze 2nd Branch
La Spezia Branch
Livorno Branch
Montevarchi Branch
Pisa Branch
Pistoia Branch
Prato Branch
Siena Branch

Rimini Italy District

Ancona Branch
Forli' Branch
Pesaro Branch
Ravenna Branch
Rimini Branch

Matt said...

Thanks Mike! The new unit is the Brescia 2nd Branch.

Gnesileah said...

Thanks, everyone, for your continuous information on the growth of the international church. I eagerly read your posts and comments daily. I'm interested in learning more about Area Coordinating Councils. I know there was some discussion on this earlier, but I'm still a little blurry about them. Are they part of the formal ecclesiastical structure of the church (e.g. ward/branch, stake/district, mission, area)? Or are they just semi-formal resources for local stakes? Does every ward/branch in the global church pertain to an Area Coordinating Council? How many are there? Where could I find a list of them? Thanks!

Pascal said...

I was a little confused about these councils as well, since I always thought that these councils are formerly organized units that combine several stakes and districts within an area, and that one Area Seventy is called from each of them. However, it appears that there are two councils in Italy but only one Area Seventy (Massimo de Feo, Third Quorum).

However, the location of the stake center (the seat, not necessarily the building) appears to be the driving force in assigning which ACC serves a unit, and not the Mission. For instance, the Bolzano Ward and the Trento Branch are both in the Alpine German-Speaking Mission. It can't be just based in political country borders either, since the Lugano Ward is situated in Switzerland. Therefore I would strongly argue that it's a council of stakes (and districts, and direct report branches).

Mike Johnson said...

The Area Coordinating Council is composed of stake and mission presidents to coordinate the work of the gospel. They are chaired by area seventies. The meet quarterly on a regular basis, but coordinate informally more often.

Area seventies need not live in the area coordinating council. Area seventies are called to serve the entire area and as such serve on the area council. They are further assigned to be either a member of an area presidency or to chair one or more area coordinating councils. I have seen an area seventy chairing as many as four such councils, but two area coordinating councils seems to be the most common.

The area coordinating council is a level of the church that is mostly invisible to members in general. They may or may not correspond to the boundaries of a mission. In the North America Northeast Area--my area--there is a one-to-one correspondence between missions and area coordinating councils. But, that isn't always the case. In Utah and eastern Idaho, one mission often covers several area coordinating councils.

There are three types of areas as organized right now. There are 14 areas with organized area presidencies residing around the world. Almost all of the members of these area presidencies are members of the 1st or 2nd quorums of the seventy, but there are a few area seventies so assigned. These areas each have well developed organizations under the area director of temporal affairs which is fully staffed inside the area.

There are 10 North America areas with the presidency of the seventy responsible for them. The senior president is listed as supporting all 10, while the other 6 presidents of the seventy each are responsible for 1 or more areas. These areas have their temporal affairs offices in Salt Lake. The area executive secretary and the area seventies live in the areas.

Finally, there is the Middle East/Africa North Area, headed by a member of the 1st quorum and a member of the 2nd quorum supported by an area executive secretary, an area seventy, and an area director of temporal affairs, all of whom live in Salt Lake, although the area seventy has a mobile phone and a work phone with Saudi Arabia numbers.

Mike Johnson said...

Some background on how area coordinating councils were developed.

In the 1930s, regions were created, with several stake presidents assigned to each region and one stake president assigned to take the lead in calling the region council, which was to coordinate the welfare program in the region.

In the early 1960s, these regional councils were assigned to coordinate all programs in the mission of the Church which was defined then by the Priesthood Committee chaired by Elder Harold B. Lee as being 4-fold: Missionary Work, Temple Work, Priesthood, and Welfare.

Starting in 1967, regional representatives were called in each region, usually a former stake president, to train stake leaders, but did not preside over regional councils yet. So, at this point, there was a regional representative in each region.

In 1976 to 1979, the Church progressively created areas under area supervisors (members of the quorum of the seventy). At this point, regional representatives began chairing regional councils and were established as line authorities between the area supervisors and the stake presidents.

At this time, responsibility for Aaronic Priesthood quorum meetings on Sundays was transferred from the presiding bishopric to the Young Men's presidency (which previously was only responsible for the weekday/scouting activities). In exchange, the presiding bishopric took over all the temporal affairs of the church, freeing apostles of these functions.

In 1984, area presidencies were called. We moved from a large number of smaller areas to a small number of larger areas in this process. Regional representatives served with the area presidencies as part of the area councils.

In 1995 the regional representatives were released and a smaller number of area authorities were called in their place. There were several differences, namely that one area authority could chair multiple area coordinating councils instead of having a regional representative in each region.

In April 1997, the area authorities were called as seventies. President Hinckley stated that their duties are to:
• Preside at stake conferences and train stake presidencies.
• Create or reorganize stakes and set apart stake presidencies.
• Chair regional conference planning committees.
• Serve on area councils.
• Tour missions and train mission presidents.
• Serve in Area Presidencies.

Many of these are functions not exercised by regional representatives. These functions correspond to the functions of the area supervisors of 1977 to 1984.

Many area seventies today preside over "areas" (if we include all of the area coordinating councils each chairs) that correspond to what general authority area supervisors were responsible for from 1977 to 1984.

TempleRick said...

It looks like there is a fourth branch that belongs to the stake: Shkodër Branch.

Pascal said...

Shkoder should be direct-report, if I'm not very much mistaken. It wasn't part of the old Tirana District either.

Mike Johnson said...

The Tirana Albania Stake was created on 9 March. There are 6 wards and 4 branches in the stake:

Durrës Ward
Tirana 1st Ward
Tirana 2nd Ward
Tirana 3rd Ward
Tirana 4th Ward
Vlorë Ward
Elbasan Branch
Fier Branch
Lushnjë Branch
Shkoder Branch

The Osizweni Branch, Newcastle South Africa District, South Africa Durban Mission, was created on 9 March. There are now 7 branches in the district:

Dundee Branch
Ezakheni Branch
Ladysmith Branch
Madadeni 2nd Branch
Madadeni 1st Branch
Newcastle Branch
Osizweni Branch

John Pack Lambert said...

Actually, regional representatives were often assigned to two, and I believe sometimes three regions.

I am not sure, but I have the impression that the Toledo Ohio Stake might be in the Area Coordinating Council with the four South-east Michigan Stakes, even though it is in the Cleveland Ohio Mission and not the Detroit Mission.

Mike Johnson said...

I am curious about why you have the impression that the Toledo Ohio Stake is in the Michigan Detroit Area Coordinating Council.

According to CDOL, the Toledo Ohio Stake is in the Ohio Cleveland Area Coordinating Council.

Perhaps, there were some regional representatives that served more than one region, but it must have been rare. In April 1995, President Hinckley announced that the 284 Regional Representatives then serving would be released. In October 1995, it was announced that 286 Regional Representatives had been released in August and that 117 area authorities were called.

In April 1995, there were 2038 stakes, or an average of just under 7.2 stakes per regional representative. Missions and districts were not in regions.

Even today, we have not yet reached the number of area seventies as there were regional representatives in 1995.

Today, we have a total of 234 Area Seventies:

Africa Southeast Area: 7
Africa West Area: 9
Asia Area: 6
Asia North Area: 8
Brazil Area: 16
Caribbean Area: 4
Central America Area: 10
Europe Area: 16
Europe East Area: 7
Idaho Area: 6
Middle East/Africa North Area: 1
México Area: 19
North America Central Area: 8
North America Northeast Area: 9
North America Northwest Area: 5
North America Southeast Area: 7
North America Southwest Area: 10
North America West Area: 9
Pacific Area: 11
Philippines Area: 10
South America Northwest Area: 15
South America South Area: 17
Utah North Area: 4
Utah Salt Lake City Area: 10
Utah South Area: 10

Area seventies have significantly more responsibilities than regional representatives did, we have fewer of them, but more stakes (more than a thousand more 3059 currently in CDOL) and missions and districts are parts of area seventy chaired area coordinating councils. And yet we still have fewer. We average more than 13 stakes per area seventy today.

I have two personal stories. The bishop of the ward I was a teenager in became a member of our stake presidency and later a regional representative. While he was serving in that calling, I asked him what it was like to be a regional representative. He said it was the loneliest calling in the church. Bishops and stake presidents of counselors, but not regional representatives.

After regional representatives were replaced by area authorities, I asked a stake president what he thought of the change. I honestly thought he would say something like "not much." Instead, he said "it is like night and day." He then explained that regional representatives were not empowered to make decisions and served as messengers to and from the area presidency. But, area authorities could make decisions. Now, I have thought a lot about this. It could have simply been personalities in the experience of one stake president. But, what he said made some sense.

John Pack Lambert said...

I could be totally wrong about the Toledo Ohio Stake. All I know for sure is that multi-stake YSA activities often included it along with the Detroit Area Stakes. I might have misunderstood some things to come to a false conclusion.

John Pack Lambert said...

I think though most regions averaged more like 4 stakes. I have read enough calls of regional representatives in old Ensigns to know they were generally assigned to multiple regions. To quote from the May 1974 Ensign on Devere Harris "Brother Harris will be Regional Representative in the Pocatello and Pocatello North Regions."

Here is a passage from the March 1978 Ensign "Ten new Regional Representatives have been called. Their assignments take them to the following regions: Juan Carlos Avila of Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Buenos Aires, Argentina; Nyle C. Brady of Manila, Philippines, to the Philippines; David Orin Dance of Seattle, Washington, will yet receive his specific assignment; Faaesea P. Mailo of Laie, Hawaii, to the Samoa region; Donald R. McArthur of Escondido, California, to the regions of Anaheim and Palm Springs, California; Douglas James Martin of Hamilton North, New Zealand, to Hamilton and Wellington, New Zealand; David E. Poulsen of Hong Kong, to Hong Kong and Taiwan; D. Carl Richards of Dallas, Texas, to San Antonio, Texas; Hans B. Ringger of Zurich, Switzerland, to Hamburg and Frankfurt, Germany; and Lawrence E. Welling of Kaysville, Utah, to the regions of Custer and Shelley, Idaho."