Wednesday, November 30, 2016

LDS Stake Reestablished in Liberia

I have confirmed from several full-time missionaries and local members that the Church reestablished a stake in Liberia on November 27th. The new stake appears to have been organized from the Monrovia Liberia Bushrod Island District. The district had nine branches prior to the organization of the new stake. Most of the branches have appeared to become wards in the new stake.

Prior to the organization of the new stake last Sunday, Liberia was the only country in Africa where the sole LDS stake was discontinued. The Church operated a stake in Monrovia between 2000 and 2007 that administered eight wards and one branch. The stake was discontinued in 2007 and two member districts were organized. Leadership challenges, members fleeing the country due to the Second Liberian Civil War, distance from mission leadership in Ghana, and inactivity problems appear primarily responsible for the discontinuation of the original Monrovia Liberia Stake in 2007.

Significant LDS growth developments have occurred in Liberia during the past five years. The number of official congregations has increased from 13 at year-end 2010 to 28 at present. A separate mission headquartered in Liberia was created in 2013. A third member district was organized in 2014 to accommodate growing numbers of branches in Monrovia. Membership growth has significantly accelerated in the past few years to generally more than 10% a year. The Church organized a second branch in the city of Kakata earlier this year, making Kakata the only Liberian city outside of Monrovia with more than one LDS congregation. Missionaries have reported scores of investigators attending some branches since the reintroduction of full-time missionaries in mid-2016. Full-time missionaries were withdrawn from the country in August 2014.

Additional stake creations appear likely in the immediate future. The remaining two member districts in Monrovia have a sufficient number of congregations and nominal members to become stakes. Furthermore, three new branches were recently organized in these two districts within the past few months.

Liberia was previously the country with the second most members without a stake according to year-end 2015 membership statistics. Only Malaysia has more members than Liberia and no stakes. 

16 comments:

TempleRick said...

Wonderful news!

James said...

Rick, you took the words right out of my mouth. What a wonderful Church history and growth milestone! I was greatly saddened when I learned of the disbanding of that stake whenever it was that was made known. My heart swells with joy to have learned of this. And to have learned in this same post that Church growth was such that another stake or two in Liberia is more than a distinct, long-shot chance that one or possibly a few more stakes may soon be organized there as well. I honestly feel it is more than I can take in. Matt, thanks for sharing this wonderful news. It completely made my day. You can bet I will be doing a blog post about this post before the end of the night. I am overwhelmed with joy and elation. But since I will be doing such a post, along with one or two others tonight that I have in mind, I am again including the web address of my blog. I welcome any and all visits. Once again, Matt, I have to thank you not only for your labor of love, but for allowing me to advertise my blog posts here in the comments of your blog. Matt, I happen to know, because I've done the research to verify this, that activity on my blog has spiked directly as a result of your allowing me to post about my blog here. Again, thanks for everything!

http://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com

miro said...

I also need to say, that i realy enjoy reading this blog. Somtimes i wish I would comment more. I often delay m< responses, till i forget.
Just some info i wanted to share.

Last weekend I had dinner with the mission president of the Adriatic South mission, who is a fellow swiss and friend of mine. He told me, that they had member groups operating in the newly opend cities of Korce and Pogradec in Albania. They just recently baptised a family in Pogradec.

Some intresting statistic that i wantet to share since Mai.
An area seventy told at a midsingles conference in Heidelberg, that attendance in the europe are is 110000.
He also said, that a stake in east germany had attendance higher than 60% and was the only stake in the europe area with over 50%.

I also realy like the attendance numbers that recenlty have started to show up on the maps of cumorah.com. My ward is already reported, but i could share attendance information of all the other congregations in my stake. Don't now how i should. Did not want to will out a member surveille of a congregation i don't belong to.
The "Dielsdorf branch" in the Zurich Switzerland stake is also reported. It reports a attendence between 20-40 on cumorah. The branch never reported (officially) an attendance lower than 40 in the past 5 years. Most of the time it is between 50-60. In the last two quarterly reports it was above 60.

Johnathan Whiting said...

Interesting. I recently met two people from the countries listed in the article above (Liberia and Malaysia) for the first time. I became friends with a guy named Alex, from Liberia, last year in my singles ward in Salt Lake. A week or two ago, I went to Temple Square and met a Malaysian Sister. We had a nice conversation. She's excited for the building of the Bangkok Thailand Temple as the other closest temple is in Hong Kong. She said they can only go to the temple in Hong Kong about once every three years, due to the distance and travel cost. I hope Malaysia gets a stake soon. Any ideas as to what's holding them back from getting a stake? (I confess that I know very little about Malaysia, much less the status of the LDS Church in Malaysia.)

The Opinion said...

Matt already has it on the list for Dec 18th but it appears next year another stake will for in India. This is from a Facebook post by a friend in Bangalore, India.

Brothers and Sisters, This weekend was the 1st anniversary of the Bangalore, India Stake formation. We were very blessed to see the second stake formed while in India. We learned yesterday that a new stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be created in Rajahmundry India on Dec 18, in a newly completed building. This is a wonderful sign of the strength of the members of the Church in the incredible country of India. The fourth stake, in Delhi, is already projected to be formed within the next year. The Bangkok Temple will be a great blessing to the entire area. Our family is so grateful to be able to witness firsthand such amazing growth of the Church in Asia and wanted to share this exciting news with you.

“And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood” (Moses 7:59–62)

Matt said...

Missionaries report that applications to organize a stake were recently submitted for New Delhi, India and Puerto Princesa, Philippines.

Pascal Friedmann said...

Hi Miro:

I believe I was the one who reported the numbers for the Dielsdorf Branch a while ago. I served there as a missionary in spring and summer of 2014. For this reason, my view may have been a bit lower than it is usually, because of vacation time, etc.

When I served there, the branch was unable to meet its priesthood leadership needs without help from the Schwamendingen and Wettingen wards. There were a couple of large families, two small young families, and a few single members who were fully active. I think we got 65 people for sacrament meeting once, but that was for branch conference with a few stake leaders and their families. My memory may be failing me, but no matter how I turn the numbers, I simply can't come up with 50 people who would attend Church during in average week. Maybe it's grown. That'd be amazing. But I think 30 to 40 is accurate, at least for a couple of years ago.

miro said...

@Pascal

Hi it has been a while since i have been at church in Dielsdorf. But I hava access to the reported sacrament meeting attendance. Maybe the officially reported sacrament meeting attendace is not correct. Mabe they are 30 when the meeting starts and 50 late on. I know al lot of members from there, but not all. If i list the ones I know: Ryser 14 (One married a year ago, a cousin married and moved to Dielsdorf recently), Walder (around 10), Koch 6, Osele 6 (one nonemember), Mauerers 2, Prohaska 2, Walter 2, Beavers 4 i think, Baders 2, Müllers 2, Rieben 2, Aeberli 2 (brach president from Schwamendingen) makes 54 people. They alwais complain that they have to little Priesthood. But then they have 3 Pristhoodleaders with a stake calling. In my opinion they would not need a branch president form outside. But the only whay to give them a addional priesthood leader. Who do they have from Wettingen?

Pascal Friedmann said...

Miro:

That's really good to hear! I know most of the people you are talking about. It seems like some have moved in who weren't there before I think (like more Rysers and the Beavers and Walters), plus, I think some have been reactivated, including at least part of the Rieben family. Me and my companions tried to reactivate them for a long time, and the parents started coming back to Church right around the time I was transferred. Since you singled out Brother Osele as a non-member, it sounds like Brother Müller got baptized - that'd be amazing!

There are a couple more single members, including at least two I worked on reactivating, but for the large active families you've got them all, I think. I guess when all of them are at Church, plus Missionaries and maybe a couple investigators...you're right, they make a fine crowd. Although the fluctuations are huge. If one of the large families was traveling, it always felt really empty at Church. One time we had only six people for Sacrament, that was a rough fast and testimony meeting.

The branch mission leader at the time lived just a mile or so outside the Dielsdorf branch boundaries, but much closer to Dielsdorf/Steinmaur than to Wettingen. He had been the mission leader for a while when I was there, so he may have been released since, I don't know.

But this is so interesting and good to hear that this branch is doing well. Honestly, I was worried because it seemed really fragile with a lot of exhausted/overused leaders in Priesthood and auxiliaries. I've been meaning to visit, and I probably should...

Thanks for all the info!

John Pack Lambert said...

The Monrovia District, with 7 branches, is hopefully close to being made a stake as well. Caldwell, which was seperated off as a district when Monrovia Bushrod Island became a stake, is 17 miles drive from Monrovia.

Deivisas said...

Has anyone ever built a chart for the # of Temples announced, and # under construction at the end of the year year over year? Just curious if there are any trends as to a target load for Temples announced/under construction/under renovation.

Johnathan Whiting said...

You should make one! ;)

miro said...

@Pascal
Yes brother Müller got baptised. I think about a year ago.
The last i heard was that the Rieben parents where coming, but the information might be a year old.
Yes they have a lot of exhausted/overused Priesthood leaders. In my opinion a fault of the stake. 3 Of them are in the stake. One in the stake presidency, one Hight Councillor and the stake executive secretary. Some of them also have branch callings.

James said...

While I don't have data on the number of temples under construction and announced during any given year, I have drawn up a report which highlights the latest temple construction progress. I have also taken the liberty of analyzing current temple-building trends, and have done a post on my personal blog regarding what I believe will be the approximate months during which announcements of such events will be made and also of the months in which such events might take place. It is my hope that such an analysis, based on thorough research of past trends, will be helpful to all who may read it. If, while visiting that post, for which I include a link, any of you want to give feedback on that post or any other post on my blog that appeals to you, such feedback is always welcome and appreciated. Thanks.

http://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com/2016/11/temple-progress-continuesmy-nearest.html

Eduardo Clinch said...

Is Dielsdorf in the Alpine Mission? All German speaking? Does it cover Liechtenstein?

miro said...

@Eduardo
Yes Dielsdorf is in the Alpine German speaking Mission. It is close to Zurich Switzrland. It is german speaking. There are some members with different first language. Lichtenstein is covered by the Chur branch (Switzerland). A few years ago it was part of the Dornbirn Ward in Austria.