Thursday, June 16, 2016

First Official LDS Branch Organized in Ekiti State, Nigeria

Last Sunday, the Church organized its first official branch in the Nigerian state of Ekiti. Assigned to the Nigeria Benin City Mission, the Ado Ekiti Branch was organized in the city of Ado Ekiti. Ado Ekiti was previously the sixth most populous Nigerian city without a known LDS presence prior to the organization of the new branch. The city of Ado Ekiti supports 450,000 people - approximately the same population size as Colorado Springs in the United States. There are 2.8 million people in Ekiti State where the population appears evenly divided between Christians and Muslims.

The Church in Nigeria has recently made significant progress in regards to national outreach expansion. The first branches have been organized in several additional large cities within the past two years, including:
  • Makurdi - 355,000 inhabitants (first branch created in late 2015)
  • Otukpo - likely more than 100,000 inhabitants (first branch created in late 2015)
  • Oyo - 370,000 inhabitants (first branch created in spring 2016)
  • Sapele - 300,000 inhabitants (first branch created in mid-2014)
  • Ugep - likely more than 200,000 inhabitants (first branch created in spring 2016)
With over 181 million inhabitants, Nigeria continues to present excellent opportunities for the Church to expand outreach despite religious violence in central and northern areas of the country. The greatest challenge to realize this potential will be limited mission resources allocated to the country and the Church's rapid growth in major cities (e.g. Lagos, Port Harcourt, Benin City) siphoning available missionary manpower.

See below for a map of the Nigeria Benin City Mission

18 comments:

Joseph said...

Unit Up date.
It was a really busy week.
At the current rate of new unit creation we wold need to have no units created for 4 weeks to come down to the rate for all of last year. If we maintain this rate well equal last years creation numbers by early November. (See post https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=2786908254617003646&postID=7799831829178181937)

The number of stakes in the US and Canada is only 19 more than the number out side

May 22
Sawmill Branch (Correctional Facility), Flagstaff Arizona Stake (B:2, W:12)

june 5 (+4)
Provo Utah Freedom Stake (W:7)
Freedom 1st Ward
Freedom 2nd Ward
Freedom 3rd Ward (Spanish)
Provo 1st Ward
Provo 6th Ward
Provo Peak 3rd Ward
Provo Peak 11th Ward

Asokore Mampong Branch, Kumasi Ghana Dichemso Stake (B:9, W:10)
Highland Branch (Care Center), Salt Lake Holladay North Stake (B:2, W:6)
La Trinidad Branch, Esteli Nicaragua District (B:7)


June 12 (+17)
Grand-Bassam Cote d'Ivoire Stake (W:6)
Adjouffou Ward
Bonoua Ward
Gonzagueville Ward
Grand-Bassam 1st Ward
Grand-Bassam 2nd Ward
Jean-Folly Ward

Mapleton Utah West Stake (W:8)
Legacy Farms Ward
Maple Highlands Ward
Mapleton 10th Ward
Mapleton 12th Ward
Mapleton 17th Ward
Mapleton 19th Ward
Mapleton 22nd Ward
Spanish Highlands 2nd Ward

Mesa Arizona Clearview Stake (W:6)
Baywood Ward
Brimhall Ward
Century Gardens Ward
Desert Vista Ward
Ellsworth Ward
Hampton Ward

New London Connecticut Stake (B:2, W:6)
Quaker Hill Branch (Spanish)
Westerly Branch
Ashford Ward
Cromwell Ward
Groton Ward
Madison Ward
Norwich Ward
Waterford Ward

Sparks Nevada West Stake (B:1,W:5)
Vista Branch (Spanish)
Eagle Canyon Ward
El Rancho Ward
Marina Ward
Royal Heights Ward (Tongan)
Sun Valley Ward

Ado-Ekiti Branch, Nigeria Benin City Mission (B:7, D:5, S:7)
Basilone Marine Military Branch, San Clemente California Stake (B:1, W:9)
Elgin Branch, Austin Texas Stake (B:1, W:8)
Fondation Ward, Yamoussoukro Cote d'Ivoire Stake (W:9)
Frederick YSA Branch, Frederick Maryland Stake (B:2, W:8)
Hattiesburg YSA Branch, Hattiesburg Mississippi Stake (B:6, W:6)
Ipswich 2nd Ward, Ipswich England Stake (B:1, W:8)
Le Mars Branch, Sioux City Iowa Stake (B:6, W:4)
Legacy Ward, Calgary Alberta Fish Creek Stake (W:10)
Lithia Ward, Brandon Florida Stake (W:10)
Mountain View Branch (Spanish) Bellingham Washington Stake (B:1, W:10)
Paradise Hills Ward, San Diego California Stake (B:1, W:8)
Providence Ward, Brandon Florida Stake (W:10)
Sunshine Branch, Calgary Alberta Foothills Stake (B:2, W:9)


YTD 349(14.54/week*24) = +29 Total 34,414(+16) (Net 205 59%)
=====YTD == % of YTD Chng Total
Africa =106 ====30.4% (+8) 1875 (+8)
Asia ===7 ==== 2.0% (0)== 939 (0)
Am C =25 ==== 7.2% (+1)= 3939 (+1)
Am N =113 ==== 32.4% (+15)= 9386 (+8)
Am S =21 ==== 6.6% (0)= 6333 (-1)
Europe 8 ===== 2.3% (+1)== 1712 (+1)
Pacific 23 ==== 6.6% (0)= 2748 (0)
U&I 46(34) 13.2(9.7)% (+4)= 6940(5723)(-1)

Totals no-sensitive (Net +16)
====Areas -Temples ===Miss Stakes Dist =Wards Branch Totals
Global-- 25 ==== 150 ===419 =3,219 =544 22,727 =7,352 34,436
Us/Can 10 ===== 82 ===131 =1,619 ==10 12,642 =2,052 16,546
US ----- n/a ===== 74 ===124 =1,571 ===7 12,303 =1,902 15,981
Utah---- n/a ===== 16 ====10 ==581 ===1 =4,719 ===330 =5,656
Canada n/a ====== 8 =====7 ===48 ===3 ===339 ===150 ==555
Out------- 15 ===== 68 ===288 =1,600 =534 10,082 =5,301 17,890

John Pack Lambert said...

The creation of a new ward in the San Diego stake is a good sign.

On thing that will keep church expansion from exploding in Nigeria is very heavy reliance on west African or at least African missionaries. This is the case for the continent outside of South Africa and may be why South Africa experiences relatively low rates of growth.

However the Church does have some American you g missionaries in Ghana although I have the impression that the balance of the missions there is more to African over American than in most Latin American missions balance of North American to Latin American missionaries. In Africa outside of South Africa they have never has situations like my Dad's mission in Brazil from 1972-1974 where there were no Brazilian missionaries in the mission.

However due to violence and especially kidnappings in the southest part of Nigeria which is the cradle of the Church in the country I am guessing that the Church sends fewer senior missionaries to Nigeria than to Ghana or Ivory Coast. Also I have the impression the Church sends no young North American mossionaries to Nigeria. This creates a situation where the Church may be missing out on some leveraged growth potential. However the system in Nigeria seems to be producing more lasting and deeper conversion than was seen with many converts in say Chile. I am still hopeful that Nigeria will have a second temple announed this year. My hopes will go up even more if Benin City Mission sees any of its 5 districts made a stake by the end of September.

John Pack Lambert said...

The creation of a new ward in the San Diego stake is a good sign.

On thing that will keep church expansion from exploding in Nigeria is very heavy reliance on west African or at least African missionaries. This is the case for the continent outside of South Africa and may be why South Africa experiences relatively low rates of growth.

However the Church does have some American you g missionaries in Ghana although I have the impression that the balance of the missions there is more to African over American than in most Latin American missions balance of North American to Latin American missionaries. In Africa outside of South Africa they have never has situations like my Dad's mission in Brazil from 1972-1974 where there were no Brazilian missionaries in the mission.

However due to violence and especially kidnappings in the southest part of Nigeria which is the cradle of the Church in the country I am guessing that the Church sends fewer senior missionaries to Nigeria than to Ghana or Ivory Coast. Also I have the impression the Church sends no young North American mossionaries to Nigeria. This creates a situation where the Church may be missing out on some leveraged growth potential. However the system in Nigeria seems to be producing more lasting and deeper conversion than was seen with many converts in say Chile. I am still hopeful that Nigeria will have a second temple announed this year. My hopes will go up even more if Benin City Mission sees any of its 5 districts made a stake by the end of September.

Jerimiah Bullfrog said...

Lagos, Nigeria or Bennin City, Nigeria have to be at the top of the list to get new temples announced.

Michael Worley said...

How busy is the Aba temple? Anyone know?

Joseph said...



Interesting Article on the refugee community in Boise.

http://www.wired.com/2016/06/angie-smith-stronger-shines-the-light-inside/

James Anderson said...

According to a current schedule on lds.org, the Aba Nigeria Temple is one of the very small ones, so it really has only one ordinance room, so they can only run one about every two hours.

As a result, and on account of other factors, they only run sessions during the day with a 6:30pm session possible if scheduled in advance.

That means that for endowments, they only run 29 to 35 sessions a week. It is not known, and I haven't heard anything, even anecdotal, as to how full those are.

https://www.lds.org/church/temples/aba-nigeria?lang=eng

Eduardo Clinch said...

Wanted to provide a little food for thought on Chile, as it was mentioned and I have thought about it in relationship to stake growth.

In the years 1994-1996 (maybe through 1998) I believe there was a dynamic creation of stakes there, based on the belief that the incredible numbers of those baptized from the 1960s until then added up to those kinds of units and leaderships. Unfortunately, the numbers of those baptized, and even those set apart as higher priesthood leaders never added up to long term growth, for a few reasons.

Case number 1: Some returned missionaries from Chile never panned out to be good priesthood leaders, some going less active, marrying outside of the faith, or even being anti. Some of these reasons, I believe, were of the socio-economic and political variety. Some could be blamed on "laziness", but I think motivations and attitudes of local Chileans can lead to good activity or just shutting off their participation.

Case number 2: Many former branch presidents and bishops (not sure about as many stake leaders) went less active after being released. Some do not know how to transition very well.

Case number 3: Whole units had to be revamped with leadership after local priesthood crumbled. Examples that come to mind: Renaico, Coronel (9th and 8th Regions), one towards the coast from Chillan that actually ceased to function.

Case number 4: Some "converts" barely ever attended, never became friends with fellow Saints, or worse yet, had previous or newly developed enmities with fellow Saints.

All this said, our church, especially Elder Holland, have learned from past failures and errors, and hopefully some of the past problems can be better avoided.

And on a good note, Chile is getting its second temple soon! The country does have 10 missions, so thousands are still engaged in real growth. The Santiago South mission is one of the smallest in the world.

Mike Johnson said...

That is 24 endowment sessions per week for the Aba Nigeria Temple with the option of 5 more if scheduled in advance and the group brings their own ordnance workers.

That temple is a two stage progressive temple so they could schedule endowment sessions every hour.

Alex said...

I don't think a temple with only two ordinance rooms, even if they are two-stage progressive, is capable of doing an endowment every hour. If so, then there are exactly zero temples with that setup that are at capacity. The shortest turnaround I can find on the lds.org/temples site is an hour and a half, which is done at the Vernal and Newport Beach California Temples. Newport Beach has the record for most endowment sessions it will hold in a day, with 9 sessions (starting at 5 am and ending with a session at 8 pm on second Tuesdays). The Vernal Utah and San Salvador El Salvador temples do 8 sessions a day. 8-9 seems to be the cap for that design, with most "busy" temples with the two-stage endowment design and 2 endowment rooms only holding 6-7 sessions each day (about every 2 hours).

Looking at the numbers for the other temples that are similar, I'd say that Aba isn't so busy that it's an outlier, but if the 5-6 sessions a day it holds are reasonably busy, Nigeria is so big that there is a distance argument for another Nigeria temple very soon.

James Anderson said...

Provo City Center is two-stage and has two rooms feeding to an upper room, which is unique, although when Ogden was rebuilt each side now has that setup.

Provo City Center gets a session in an hour, alternating between the two lower rooms, we often have to wait up to ten minutes for the session that went before us to clear the upper room before the side we are in goes up. This works even when the sessions are full. You can get up to around 90 in each room per session.

James said...

Based on better research I have done on temple announcements and current temple progress, I have recently revisited my lists for both. You can find them on my blog at the address below. As always, I would appreciate any comments posted to the blog rather than this comments section. But I will say (on a topic relevant to this discussion) that I have Nigeria listed as one nation that might receive its second temple soon. I hope you enjoy reading my posts (and commenting on them if you like).
http://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com

John Pack Lambert said...

From Benin City to Aba is 182 miles, with an estimated travel time of 4 hours and 45 minutes. From Lagos (home of 5 stakes, with another not too far away) it is 374 miles and takes 8 and a half hours. I am not sure how much these travel time estimates consider actual road conditions. For example of the distance from Yaounde, Cameroon to Aba it is given by the sight as 13 hours, but I read a blog post about the first temple trip to go that distance, and it took them over 60 hours because of cars getting bogged down in the mud and having to push them. I do not know if similar problems or others might exist within Nigeria, but that is something to consider.

It is 195 miles from Benin City to Lagos. So a Lagos Temple would be further for Benin City than the Aba Temple is. The distances, especially from Lagos, are prohibatively far for regular temple attendance. So I would guess that attendance rate, as long as loosing these stakes will not end the Aba Temples ability to function, will not stop a new temple. Plus with temples currently taking several years, if an area is experiencing significant real growth, announcing a new temple is best before the current temples are over crowded, especially when distance issues are heavily in favor of it.

Christopher Nicholson said...

On that note, the Ile-Ife Nigeria District in the southwest will become a stake on the 26th. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=997747563655342&set=a.148009431962497.31726.100002603222566&type=3&theater

John Pack Lambert said...

Ile-Ife getting a stake would make a temple in Lagos seem more likely.

On another note it is interesting that in Utah this year Salt Lake County has seen 3 stakes discontinued while Utah County has had 3 new stakes.

John Pack Lambert said...

Well evidently church buildings are going up at a fairly fast pace in San Antonio. In the next two months 3 will be dedicated according to this article. http://www.expressnews.com/news/religion/article/Building-to-last-8308399.php I have to say I think it is fairly good. However it under explains the temple. Bringing up polygamy and the priesthood restriction is also out of place. It has been 38 years since the priesthood restriction was removed, and there were baptist congregations in the US that refused to allow those of African descent to be members, but no one feels a need to bring that up in every article on baptists. Bringing the priesthood restriction up today in articles like this is giving undue weight. The use of the term "anti-abortion" is a show of a clear bias on the part of the reporter.

An interesting fact is one person they interviewed mentions a baptism in their ward every week. My ward here in Michigan doesn't even have one every month. At least all 5 of the people baptisex back in November were at church today.

Alex said...

The Spokane Washington Mount Spokane Stake was created today from the Spokane, Spokane North, and Spokane Valley Stakes. It consists of the Beacon Hill, West Valley, Shiloh Hills, Greenbluff, and Foothills Wards and the Friendship Park Branch.

Michael Worley said...

Lujan Argentina got its first stake yesterday as well.

https://www.facebook.com/rogers.smith.121/posts/1002878189828399