Saturday, April 23, 2016

New Stakes Created in Arizona, Nevada, New Zealand, and Washington; New District Created in Brazil; Stake Discontinued in Utah

Two new stakes have been organized in Arizona within the past two weeks.

The Queen Creek Arizona Central Stake was organized on April 10th from a division of the Queen Creek Arizona Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards: the

The Gilbert Arizona Gateway Stake was organized on April 17th from a division of the Gilbert Arizona San Tan and Gilbert Arizona Williams Field Stakes. The new stake includes the following eight wards: the

The Church organized a new stake in the Reno area on April 10th. The Reno Nevada Mount Rose Stake was organized from a division of the Reno Nevada Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards and one branch: the Foothill, Galena, Lakeside, Mount Rose, South Meadows, and Washoe Valley Wards, and the Sierra Branch (Spanish). The new stake is the first new stake organized by the Church in the Reno area since 1978. Members report that a second new stake will be created in the area in June.

There are now 38 stakes in Nevada.

New Zealand
The Church organized a new stake in the South Island of New Zealand. The Dunedin New Zealand Stake was organized from the Dunedin New Zealand District. The new stake includes the following four wards and four branches: the Dunedin 1st, Dunedin 2nd, Oamaru 1st, and Oamaru 2nd Wards, and the Gore, Invercargill, Queenstown, and Timaru Branches. The Dunedin New Zealand District was originally organized in 1892 and was the second oldest district in the worldwide Church. The Dunedin New Zealand Stake is the Church's second stake to be organized on the South Island of New Zealand where the Church has a significantly less prominent presence compared to the North Island. Visiting church leaders challenged members and leaders in the Dunedin New Zealand Stake to divide the stake within the next 10 years.

There are now 30 stakes and two districts in New Zealand.

The Church organized a new stake in the Tacoma area on April 17th. The Tacoma Washington South Stake was organized from a division of the Tacoma Washington Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards: the Buena Vista (Spanish), Chambers Creek, Lincoln, Mountain View, Sunset, and Wapato Park Wards. The Church maintained 12 wards in the Tacoma Washington Stake for nearly a decade prior to the division of the stake. The decision to divide the stake may indicate success with increasing the number of active members in the area, or renewed efforts to reactivate members and provide more penetrating LDS outreach in the area. Contrary to some reports, the Church has never discontinued a stake in the Tacoma area. Rather, the Church in 2006 renamed the Tacoma Washington Stake to the Gig Harbor Washington Stake and renamed the Tacoma Washington South Stake to the Tacoma Washington Stake.

There are now 60 stakes in Washington.

The Church organized a new district in Rio de Janeiro State. The Três Rios Brazil District was organized from a division of the Juiz de Fora Brazil Stake. The new district includes the following three branches: the Paraíba do Sul, Três Rios, and Vila Isabel Branches. All three branches previously operated as wards in the Juiz de Fora Brazil Stake. The Juiz de Fora Brazil Stake has been significantly reduced in size as a result of the organization of the Leopoldina Brazil District in 2015 and the organization of the Três Rios Brazil District in 2016. Currently there are six wards in the Juiz de Fora Brazil Stake.

There are now 259 stakes and 39 districts in Brazil.

The Church recently discontinued a stake in the Magna area. The Magna Utah Central Stake was discontinued and the six wards that previously pertained to the stake were reassigned to the Magna Utah East and Magna Utah South Stakes. The Church has experienced slight congregational decline in the Magna area within the past five years due to active members moving away from the area.

There are now 578 stakes and one district in Utah.


John Pack Lambert said...

This week there were 16 bios of new mission president couples published in the Church news. Several from the US however several were from other countries. These include the Brother and Sister Catala from Argentina called to preside over a mission in Chile. Sister Catala is a native of Taiwan.

A couple from Protugal was called to preside over a mission in Brazil, also a couple from Brazil. A couple from Tonga will preside over the Zambia Lusaka Mission. A couple from Abidjan Ivory COast will preside over one of the missions there. I am not sure if it is the one they reside in though. A couple from Canada will preside over the Washington Vancouver Mission. A couple from Guatemala will preside over the Managua Nicaragua North Mission, one from Venezeula was called to preside over a mission in Venezuela (which has been the case of all missions in that country for almost 10 years) and a couple from Honduras will preside over the McAllen Texas Mission.

John Pack Lambert said...

The ward listings for the two Arizona stakes are cut off.

Will said...

What's the oldest district in the Church?

Will said...

What's the oldest district in the Church?

Ryan Searcy said...

The Wangaratta Australia District (near Melbourne), it was organized in 1890.

Eduardo Clinch said...

I find the ages of the missionary presidents very interesting. The brothers and their wives in their 60s are basically retired and this may be the culminating act of service on "larger scale" in their lives. They might be temple or family history workers, or repeat missionaries after.
Those in their 50s and 40s may be groomed for other things later on, including being general authorities.

Scott said...

I was looking at the growth here in the US for the year 2015. The church grew a total of about 65,000 in the US. Utah was about 40,000 of that growth. The Northeast part of the US (MD, DE, PA, WV, NJ, NY, RI, CT, MA, NH, VT, ME) grew about 1000 members in total. Those states have a combined church population of around 300,000 members. Interestingly, the SW and Pacific areas (HI, AK, WA, OR, CA, NV, AZ, NM, CO) also grew 1000 members in total. But the church's population in those states is 2,070,000 approximately.

There are many reasons for this happening. I think economics, job growth, resignations from the church, better record keeping all contributed to the stagnant growth in these two areas. But, Utah's growth I think also occurred as a result of the surge in FT missionary work.

A large portion of the FT missionaries that served during the past four years came from the US. There membership records did not leave the home ward that they served from. These young men and women, when they come home have changed their friendship base. Their high school friends have moved on, and with social media they seek out those from their missions to live with. Utah during the surge made it easy for returned missionaries to go to Utah for their education by charging the same tuition to out of state students as well as in state students. So many FT returned missionaries went to Utah and there membership records have gone with them.

Economics will have an effect on how many leave. Many will find spouses and start families. They may not return home and the states they came from may not economically be a great place to start. Most Americans just delay getting married as a way to cope with tough economic conditions. Those coming home from missions may not follow this trend.

Obviously, there are many reasons for church growth in certain areas of the world, and I could be wrong on my theories of why Utah grew so much and other western states grew so little, but I think it may offer a plausible explanation. I think if each of us looked in our own states and asked how many of the returned missionaries left the stake to go to Utah or BYU-I after their missions we would find that number would be significant.

Alex Compton said...

Scott, where do you get state level year by year membership statistics?

Scott said...

I have church almanacs going back several years. I also have recorded each states growth over the past 15 years or so.

Mike Johnson said...

has statistics on membership and congregations for US states, Canadian provinces, and countries throughout the world. The current data for year end 2015.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Scott: Interesting analysis of the regions and their growth. Virginia borders MD and DE and some of of those areas, even PA, but is experiencing better church growth.

James Anderson said...

Here in Provo, in early February the Provo Utah Mission President came to our stake conference, it was the day after RootsTech, and I had heard that mission presidents were included in a leadership meeting held just before the Family Discovery Day event.

So I asked him about it, he said that he had personally had to miss it, but the reason why was he was going literally from one baptism fo another largely inside the metro area portion of the mission itself.

Richard Lionheart said...

The Gilbert Arizona Gateway Stake includes the following wards: Chaparral, Cooley Station, Gateway Married Student, Meadowview 1st, Meadowview 2nd, Pecos Park, San Tan 1st, and San Tan 2nd.

Also, Elder Gay will be returning this weekend to create another stake in the Mesa/Gilbert area.

Johnathan Whiting said...

Eduardo, how do you think the presence of Southern Virginia University has influenced Church growth in Virginia?

Johnathan Whiting said...

Eduardo, how do you think the presence of Southern Virginia University has influenced Church growth in Virginia?

Eduardo Clinch said...
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Eduardo Clinch said...

I think that it has brought some extra Utah talent to the state, which is always nice. Hopefully it has brought more marriages together, which is a signicant way for our faith to grow. It seems to be expensive for those without scholarships but perhaps it frees up a few more spots at LDS schools, including some state ones (institutions where there are many members).
I have only been there once driving by but it has added at least a stake and a half to VA and I think it is still growing. I would like to see its numbers.
Thanks for asking, perhaps some others know more...

Johnathan Whiting said...

Thanks, Eduardo. I looked it up and there are only about 800 students at SVU currently. It will be interesting to see how the school grows in the future. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing other small schools like it with LDS values develop in other parts of the country. The large official LDS schools are fine, but I think smaller schools like SVU could help strengthen the diaspora of the Saints in other states.

John Pack Lambert said...

Considering how long SVU took to get regionally accredited due to a combination of anti-Mormon bias in the South and anti-religious bias in academia, it is hard to see many more such institutions of higher learning. There was an attempt to form such an institution in Nauvoo, but it failed. There was also ground work being done to form such an institution in Overton/Logandale just north-east of Las Vegas, but I have not heard much on that plan of late.

There is also a foundation the Acorn to Oak Foundation that aims to form a Mormon-related university in Latin America. I am not sure they have even a specific country in mind. I would say the best bet would be to form one such institution in Mexico and another in Peru. ALso maybe a third in Brazil.

Johnathan Whiting said...

Good point, John. Considering the Church used to have the Benemérito de las Américas preparar school in México City, perhaps México would be a good place to start.

Johnathan Whiting said...
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