Saturday, December 3, 2016

New Stakes Created in Brazil, Iowa, Nigeria, and Thailand; New Districts Created in Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, and Sierra Leone

Brazil
A new stake was created in northern Brazil on November 20th. The Teresina Brazil Planalto Stake was organized from a division of the Teresina Brazil Stake and the Teresina Brazil Horto Stake. The new stake includes the following five wards and one branch: the Angelim, Esplanada, Planalto, Poti, and Timon Wards, and the Caxias Branch. There are now three stakes in Teresina metropolitan area.

There are now 265 stakes and 39 districts in Brazil.

Iowa
A new stake was created in Iowa on November 20th. The Des Moines Iowa Mount Pisgah Stake was organized from a division of the Ames Iowa Stake and the Des Moines Iowa Stake. The new stake includes the following five wards and four branches: the Easter Lake, Osceola, Raccoon River, Walnut Hills, and Waukee Wards, and the Centerville, Indianola, Lenox, and Perry Branches.

There are now eight stakes in Iowa.

Nigeria
Two new stakes were organized in Port Harcourt, Nigeria on November 27th. The Port Harcourt Nigeria South Stake was organized from a division of the Port Harcourt Nigeria Stake and the Port Harcourt Nigeria West Stake, whereas the Port Harcourt Nigeria North Stake was organized from a division of the Port Harcourt Nigeria West Stake and the Port Harcourt Nigeria East Stake. The Port Harcourt Nigeria South Stake includes the following five wards and two branches: the Abo-Ama, Borokiri, Bundu, Diobu 1st, and Township Wards, and the Alase-Ama and LoLo-Ama Branches. The Port Harcourt Nigeria North Stake includes the following seven wards and two branches: the Choba, Emohua, Eneka, Igwuruta, Omoku, Rukpokwu, and Rumuodumaya Wards, and the Isiodu and Rumuji Branches. There are now five stakes and one district in the Port Harcourt metropolitan area.

There are now 41 stakes and 17 districts in Nigeria. Nigeria is now the country with the eleventh most stakes.

Thailand
A new stake was organized in Bangkok, Thailand on November 27th. The Bangkok Thailand West Stake was organized from the Bangkok Thailand West District, the Bangkok Thailand Stake, and the Bangkok Thailand North Stake. The new stake includes the following five wards: the Asoke, Bang Bua Thong, Bang Khae, Bangkok (English), and Thon Buri Wards.

There are now four stakes and two districts in Thailand.

Cote d'Ivoire
A new district was organized in Cote d'Ivoire on November 27th. The Bouafle Cote d'Ivoire District was organized from a division of the Yamoussoukro Cote d'Ivoire Stake and includes three branches: the Agbanou, Bouafle, and Koko Branches. All three branches used to operate as wards in the Yamoussoukro Cote d'Ivoire Stake. It is likely that the district was organized to spur greater growth in Bouafle and organize additional branches in the near future. Furthermore, the Yamoussoukro Cote d'Ivoire Stake likely required the three congregations in Bouafle to qualify as a stake 18 months ago as at the time there were only four wards in Yamoussoukro. Currently there are seven wards in Yamoussoukro. With one stake and six districts in central Cote d'Ivoire, prospects appear extremely likely that a third Ivorian mission will be organized to service this area of the country. Currently the Cote d'Ivoire Abidjan West Mission administers central Cote d'Ivoire and includes five stakes and seven districts within its boundaries.

There are now 11 stakes and 11 districts in Cote d'Ivoire.

Liberia
A new district was organized in Monrovia on November 27th. The Caldwell Liberia District was organized from a division of the Monrovia Liberia Bushrod Island District. The new district includes the following three branches: Caldwell, Caldwell New Georgia, and Upper Caldwell Branches. The six remaining branches in the former Monrovia Liberia Bushrod Island District were upgraded to wards on November 27th when the district became a stake. The new district was likely organized to spur greater growth in this area of Monrovia and to prepare for the organization of additional branches. Local reports indicate that as many as 200 attend some branches in the new district. Area leadership reports plans for "several" additional stakes to be organized in Liberia within the next two years.

There are now three districts and one stake in Liberia.

Sierra Leone
Members in Sierra Leone report that a third district was organized in Bo. The new district's name and the number/names of the branches in the new district are currently unavailable. It appears that this new district was organized on November 27th. With three districts in Bo, one district in Kenema,  and three mission branches in Makeni, Bo may be a likely location for the organization of a second mission in Sierra Leone in the coming years.

There are now six districts and one stake in Sierra Leone.

75 comments:

Bryan Baird said...

It's said Nigeria is the country with the 11th most stakes. What are the top 10. Is this just on the African continent or world wide

L. Chris Jones said...

Nigeria probably has the most stakes on the African continent.

Matt said...

World



Country

Temples

Missions

Stakes Sorted on Stakes

Districts

Wards

Branches

United States 81 124 1,588 7 12,352 1,875
Brazil 9 34 265 39 1,615 435
Mexico 13 34 230 40 1,548 468
Peru 4 13 101 20 616 135
Philippines 3 21 96 77 623 588
Chile 2 10 77 17 433 169
Argentina 2 14 76 28 486 282
Canada 9 7 48 3 344 150
Guatemala 2 6 46 16 272 158
United Kingdom 2 6 45 0 285 48
Nigeria 1 6 41 17 294 201

Mike Johnson said...

I always find it particular exciting when a district divides to form a stake and a new district. Monrovia Liberia Bushrod Island District has just gained that distinction.

Eduardo Clinch said...

I find it refreshing and inspiring when I see cultures and societies that show dynamic growth of the Church, especially in West Africa where I know full well the people need the Lord and His appointed servants and institutions. We need it everywhere, true, but in a US Western construct where riches gained by sometimes ill means and offensive ways (Matt Parker and Tre Stone come to mind, but there are thousands of others) mock the intent of the Lord's restored faith and its emissaries. I find it great that whole regions not affected and poisoned by those types of muck and trash, where real diseases and poverty and human tragedy come around all too often, show a few of us who pay attention that the prophecies of the End Times will indeed be fulfilled and those who mock will inevitably mourn. We wish that more could see the beauty of the growth and promise.

Sparsile said...

New Clifton ward in Centreville Virginia Stake, a split of Centreville 2nd ward and part of Fairfax ward in Annandale VA Stake. Centreville Stake is absorbing two wards from the Oakton VA Stake, Fair Oaks, and Chantilly. On December 11, there is a stake conference where, most likely, stake reorganizations will be announced.

Bryan Baird said...

I can see either one or two stakes organized in Sierra Leone in the near future.
Goderich Sierra Leone Stake organized from the Freetown Sierra Leone Stake
Bo Sierra Leone Stake organized from Bo Sierra Leone West District and Bo Sierra Leone East District

Unknown said...

This is great! I actually served in the Centerville branch and it's nice to hear there is some growth out there. I served from 2004-2006 and would estimate there were about 20-40 baptisms per month.

Mike Johnson said...

Sparsile, thank you. Are you in the new Clifton Ward? or the Centreville Stake?

The Fairfax Ward lost its bishop and a counselor and an estimated 60% of its members to the new Clifton Ward. A member of the Wakefield Ward bishopric was part of the large transfer from the Wakefield Ward to Fairfax Ward and on 27 November became the bishop of the realigned Fairfax Ward.

The Tall Cedars Ward from the Ashburn Stake also went into the Centreville Virginia Stake.

A general authority is going to be at the Centreville Virginia Stake conference next weekend.

Spencer said...

It looks like there is a new Honduras Stake (la Ceiba Miramar). I'm not sure if this Facebook link will work, but here you go:. https://mobile.facebook.com/zulmapadilla2011/posts/pcb.1186637348086780/?photo_id=1186636981420150&mds=%2Fphotos%2Fviewer%2F%3Fphotoset_token%3Dpcb.1186637348086780%26photo%3D1186636981420150%26profileid%3D100001235037386%26source%3D49%26refid%3D17%26_ft_%3Dtop_level_post_id.1186637348086780%253Atl_objid.1186637348086780%253Athid.100002215788796%253A306061129499414%253A2%253A0%253A1483257599%253A1443677197486700734%26cached_data%3Dfalse%26ftid%3Du_f_l&mdf=1

John Pack Lambert said...

Is Bo the only city with 3 districts without at stake. I am a bit surprised they have not made a stake. However stakes do require more maturity of leadership, so they may be trying to grow that before that step.

I hope that a new mission is formed in Sierra Leone next year.

John Pack Lambert said...

The Liberia and Sierre Leone growth is a very good sign that things were not much if any studented by having had to remove the missionaries during the Ebola crisis.

It is nice that the film "Freetown" now recounts the tale of the travel between two cities with stakes. I look forward to the day when that film recounts the tale of the travel between two cities with temples.

Currently the travel distance from Monrovia to Accra Temple is 959 miles. This involves going inland and through Youmousoukro. I can not gaurantee the road is easily drivable all the way. Abijan is only 629 miles. Still a long way. It would only be 326 miles to Freetown, so I can see a strong argument for a temple in Freetown. I don't think a temple will be announced for Freetown before there are at least 4 stakes in Liberia and Sierra Leone combined.

In Freetown there is the Kissy Town Distirct, that at 9 branches might be close to being made a stake. Also Freetown Stake has 10 wards, and there is Kossoh Town District just to the west of Freetown. I could see Liberia and Sierra Leone at 4 or more stakes even by this April.

Jim Coles said...

I was just noticing how many new countries will be getting their first temple in the next few years. With all the temples under construction or announced currently there are 8 new countries that will have operating temples this is amazing to me. If I calculated correctly, there will be 50 countries throughout the world with temples. For the US, 36 of 50 states have temples. I'm curious what the ratio is for other countries like Canada, Brazil, and Mexico.

Ryan Searcy said...

The Facebook link works, but here's a shorter URL (just trying to help).

https://www.facebook.com/zulmapadilla2011/posts/1186637348086780

Mike Johnson said...

Bo is the capital of the Southern Province of Sierra Leone and is the nation's 2nd city in population and economy. I am excited to see the growth there. The west district used to have 8 branches and the east district 7. I was hoping to see both become stakes in the near future. The new north district probably comes mostly if not entirely from the west district. I wonder if it was simply a split of the west district and the west and north districts each have four branches or if the east district was involved.

Mike Johnson said...

Canada: 7 of 10 provinces have temples (including the Manitoba Temple just starting construction) (9 temples total with 3 in Alberta)

Brazil: 8 of 26 states have temples (5 with 6 operating temples and 3 others with temples that are announced or under construction) (9 temples total with two in Sao Paolo State)

Mexico: 11 of 32 states and the Distrito Federal have a total of 13 operating temples (2 in Chihuahua).

Australia: 5 of 6 states have an operating temple

L. Chris Jones said...

Of some of the US states without temples, how many have temples close to their borders? I looked at the following: The Kansas city MO temple is just across the border from the state of Kansas. Nauvoo is just across the river from Iowa. St. Paul Minnesota is just across the border from Wisconsin. Manhattan is close to New Jersey. Any others?

L. Chris Jones said...

I hope Virginia gets a temple soon. I think that Richmond is the most likely location to centrally stakes. Taking stakes from Pembroke,Roanoke, Buena Vista, Waynesboro, Fredericksburg, Stafford, Richmond, Newport News, Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach.

L. Chris Jones said...

For more US states without temples that have then close to their borders: The Philadelphia temple is also near the New Jersey border.

Ryan Searcy said...

Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Delaware, West Virginia and South Dakota aren't near neighboring temples. The Memphis Temple is near Arkansas.

twinnumerouno said...

Actually, Delaware is pretty close to Philadelphia (my brother and I stayed in a motel in Elkton MD and drove through northern Delaware to attend the open house, and if it took us more than an hour to get there it wasn't much more). NH and RI may not be right next to Boston but NH especially is not that far, at least for the units near the border.

twinnumerouno said...

Iowa also has Winter Quarters just across the border.

James said...

It is very interesting to me to see temples being constructed in places I never thought would get a temple during my lifetime. Paris France, Payson Utah, and Rome Italy are among those that may have, at one time or another, been strong contenders for such temples, but I was sure that these places would never get temples. The three announced in 2015 for the Ivory Coast, Haiti, and Thailand blindsided me. I have assembled a list of temples that I believe are most imminent possibilities to be announced. I may or may not have posted a link to that post on this blog. To ensure that everyone sees what I think are the most likely possibilities, I am posting a link to that blog post. Let me know your thoughts on my work. Thanks.

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

James said...

Just by way of general announcement on the subject of my blog, I have done several posts about Church news in general, temple news in particular, and even a couple about developments with my health. It would be my greatest honor if those of you who are interested in doing so would be so kind as to read and (if you feel so inspired) comment on any and all of my latest posts. Thank you so much for your interest and support.

Christopher said...

Five new stakes in Honduras this year is pretty impressive, especially compared to the stagnant congregations I saw ten years ago as a missionary. I have commented already about Honduras and the impressive reversal of stagnation happening there. Activity rates and leadership has been improving a lot since the temple. I just talked to a cousin who is serving in the temple presidency there. He says the temple is incredibly busy, and there is a great need for more couple missionaries there to keep up with the busyness. There are also rumors of a new stake formation by combining the Monjaras and San Lorenzo districts. The branches in Monjaras and Marcovia, as well as the branches in San Lorenzo proper, could function already as wards, with great leadership and good attendance rates. I don't know if there is enough activity in the outlying branches to justify a stake yet, but I think it is a possibility.

Mike Johnson said...

I have been hearing rumors about a possible temple in the Waynesboro Virginia area. The Waynesboro stake straddles the mountains from the Piedmont in the Charlottesville area into the Shenandoah Valley. This would be relatively close for the 3 Richmond stakes, the Fredericksburg stake, and the Waynesboro stake. The four stakse in the Shenandoah south of the Waynesboro stake and the 3 stakes from eastern Virginia would find it a lot more convenient than the Washington DC Temple. And most in the Stafford stake would probably go there because it would be a lot easier to get to than the Washington DC temple.

It potentially could be on the mountain overlooking a lot of territory with an interstate near by.

Mike Johnson said...

Just because the Washington DC temple is 10 miles from the Virginia border, doesn't mean that the majority of members and stakes in Virginia don't live 2-4 hours away. Virginia--by far the state with the largest LDS population (by nominal members, by stakes, and by congregations without a temple. Virginia has the 10th largest LDS population in the US and you have to get down to about 30th largest for the next temple-less state.

Ryan Searcy said...

I getting very curious - how come no other stakes have been organized in Sierra Leone? Is there some country policy that prevents their creation? I've seen over the past several years where the districts get very large, almost large enough to become a stake, but they end up splitting instead. Aren't there certain benefits a stake has that a district can't, like a Patriarch?

Eduardo Clinch said...

I remember trying hard that the Angol Chile District become a stake back in '91, and it did by the mid 1990s as many other districts and stakes became such till the earky 2000s. Unfortunately many of those stakes were artificially big with less active people on the rolls, and the priesthood authority did not maintain its strength to keep dozens of those stakes alive.
Leadership in Sierra Leone is probably dealing with similar issues. Although I would hope their overall activity is better than what Chile's has been.

James said...

@Mike Johnson: What an interesting tidbit about a possible temple in Waynesboro Virginia. As I have before mentioned, in one of my recent blog posts, I discussed possible future announcements and scheduled events for our under construction temples. As part of that post, I listed 15 or 16 cities that I feel are most imminent for a temple announcement. I will have to double-check to see what, if anything, I was predicting for Virginia. Even if it's not there now, one of my earliest versions of the list (that at one point was 60+ temples long) included the possibility of a temple for Virginia, but I was predicting Richmond as the city for that temple. With what you've said here, it sounds like Waynesboro is a more likely and perhaps even more imminent announcement. As soon as you get more details, please let me know, either through the comments here, or by commenting on my personal blog, for which I include the address below. Thanks for sharing what may become a most interesting development in potential temple announcements.

http://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com

James said...

For those interested, on my blog today, I redid my post about the possible future timetable in which future temple-related events may be announced and might take place. I would welcome your feedback on this revision. The reason I did so was because of a detailed e-mail I received from Rick Satterfield in response to my request for feedback on several questions I had about such milestones. He provided me some significant advice and feedback, and, based on what he has told me, the revision became necessary. According to what he was able to tell me, it looks like we will have at least 3 temples dedicated next year, with twice that number possible during 2018. It was also brought to my attention from this comment thread that a Waynesboro Virginia temple may be more likely and imminent than the one I had predicted for Richmond. I also learned that potential future groundbreakings may be more complex than I originally believed. I would welcome any and all feedback about my revisions. I look forward to continuing discussion on this intriguing subject, both here and on my blog. Thanks.

http://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com/2016/12/altered-predictions-for-when-most.html

Adam l said...

I was able to serve in Honduras until a little over a year ago. It is very exciting to see the "real growth" that is coming to the area after the work of so many. Of the 5 stakes created this year 4 were at least partially in the San Pedro Sula East mission with 3 being in it completely. This is quiet a change considering that in my time there, there were only 4 stakes and 1 district in the entire mission.

Fredrick said...

That's a pretty good list of temples to be announced.

I would add Salem, Oregon and Tacoma, Washington that that list.

As far as Texas is concerned I think a Fort Worth Texas temple is most likely given the very fast growth of the Church in the DFW area, the size and location (residential area) of the Dallas Temple, and the general size of the DFW area. By the time a Fort Worth Temple opened, it would likely serve 11 or 12 stakes with the Dallas Temple losing only about 5 stakes that it *currently* serves. Meaning, I expect at least 5 more stakes to be created by the earliest time a Fort Worth Temple could be completed.

Of the remaining likely Texas temples - Austin, El Paso, McAllen, and Katy in that order. But not for awhile. I think Fort Worth could happen sooner than we think.

I also thought that Missoula, Montana and Edinburgh, Scotland could be likely announcements.

James said...

Thank you, Frederick, for your comment on my work. I would have preferred it if it had been posted on my blog itself. But I was able to find it because I felt prompted to double check my comments here and any response to them. Since you addressed my post here, I will respond you your comment here. Salem Oregon and Tacoma Washington were on my list at one time. I removed them from my whittled down version because I didn't think they were as imminent or likely as the other sites I mentioned. But, based on your feedback, I think I will add them back. What's two more? Thanks for alerting me to that. I favor Fort Worth above any or all other Texas picks primarily because a good friend of mine served her mission there. I think, given your analysis, I will narrow to one my pick for the next Texas temple. Missoula Montana is a tricky case. I have heard it was proposed by Elder Bednar a while ago, but the nature of the report of the proposal makes me wonder just how imminent it is. I have heard mixed stories about a Missoula temple. Some say a site for that temple has already been identified and is another that is just a matter of time. Others say the proposal was just that, a proposal, and should thus be taken with a grain of salt. However, I am confident enough in what I've heard to say it is likely to happen sooner rather than later. For a while, I was torn between predicting a temple for either Scotland or Ireland. Then TempleRick provided feedback indicating to me that, from his research, a temple in Scotland was more likely. But I have taken your most excellent feedback under advisement and have revised my predictions accordingly. Thanks.

Mike Johnson said...

James, there has been a lot of discussions for years both online and in person about the prospects of a temple in Virginia. Richmond is in many respects a natural place because it is the capital and is somewhat centrally located. Williamsburg is sometimes mentioned because it is between Richmond and the Norfolk area and is one of the three colonial hearths of the US (with Boston and Philadelphia which have temples).

The Shenandoah Valley gets mentioned as well, such as in Roanoke or Buena Vista. There are four stakes out there south of the Waynesboro Stake in the Washington DC temple district. They are further away from the DC Temple than the Richmond stakes. It could be a smaller temple and have less impact on the Washington DC Temple now and perhaps later a larger temple could be built in Richmond.

My own preference would be in the Richmond area because it would likely be quite a bit easier to get there than to than the Washington DC Temple. But, that is me being selffish.

The idea of Waynesboro was first mentioned to me by somebody in the Richmond Stake. It could serve the entire southern tier of the state and would be ideally located off the interstate going over the mountains. The Waynesboro Stake borders on two of the Richmond stakes.

Speculation about a temple in Virginia has been extensive for years. And it may be years before one is announced because of concerns over reduced patronage of the Washington DC Temple. On the other, that was said about a lot of temples that have sliced off distant portions of the temple district. Richmond and Philadelphia are both about 2.5 miles away on relatively good traffic days. Waynesboro is more than 3 hours from the DC Temple. Buena Vista at least 3.5 hours. Roanoke 4.5 hours. Blacksburg (center of Pembroke Stake) is about 5 hours away. Virginia Beach or Chesapeake are about 4 hours from the DC Temple.

It is pretty easy to see the most visible numbers--stakes and congregations and nominal members--and Virginia has 3 times the LDS population of the next largest temple-less state by any of those metrics. So, why not Virginia? Well there is the impact on the Washington DC Temple--comparable to that of the Philadelphia Temple. And we don't see all of the numbers or other indicators about faithfulness and temple attendance and family history.

James said...

@Mike Johnson: Thanks for your thoughtful perspective. I appreciate knowing information about the prospect of a Virginia temple that, for whatever the reason, I was not aware of before. Based on the comments made about Virginia, I definitely have grounds to believe that a temple may be an imminent possibility, even if, for whatever the reason, it only happens later. As to the specific city it might be in, the reports there are mixed and varied. I will have to double-check my blog post about future temple locations to be sure, but I believe I have identified the three or four top cities that may be likely. Due to not feeling well today, I have not been able to check it before now. But hold on a moment. I believe I may have saved my changes, whatever they were, to my list of predictions for next general conference. Let me just give them a quick look-over. Having done so, it looks like I am predicting a temple for either Waynesboro or Richmond at this point. I will consider these other locations and try to come to some decision about including some of these very distinct possibilities with those I have already come up with. Thanks for the thoughts. Again, I would have preferred to continue this discussion on my blog posts themselves, but if Matt doesn't mind that they spread to here, it is nice to see that my work is being discussed in other forums. Again, I appreciate your feedback and insight, and I will give your thoughts every due consideration. In my mind, a temple somewhere in Virginia is just a matter of time, and there are apparently more candidates for a city for such a temple than I originally believed. Thanks again.

Mike Johnson said...

Ryan, stakes have patriarchs but they can also serve those in districts and mission branches.

We look at a district with say 8 to 10 branches and wonder if it is getting close to becoming a stake. What we often don't know is how large the branches are. Branches in stakes have higher criteria than branches in missions, thus branches in a district may be smaller than are possible in a stake. Branches can also be large. In a stake, they become wards when they grow large enough, but in districts they may and sometimes do grow larger. There have been times when a district becomes a stake and one or more branches divide into two wards each. Thus, that branch in a district can have a wider range in size than it would have in a stake. Those 8 to 10 branches in a district may have 15-20 members or less each or they may have 100-200 members or more. That district may not be close to having the needed five branches that could become wards.

Sierra Leone now has 6 districts with 5 to 9 branches each.

James said...

@Mike Johnson, though your previous comment was not directed to me personally, I thank you for the insight you shared. The mammoth creation of Church units this year has been absolutely intriguing to me, and I will rely heavily on the information from this blog and from TempleRick's excellent site to help me fine-tune my predictions for year-end Church statistics. I am considering posting what I have already assembled on my blog, and may do so, depending on the demand and request for such information. I hope that my predictions, which are educated guesses rather than randomly assembled, may be helpful to all those who may take an interest in them. Thanks again, Mike, for your comment.

Mike Johnson said...

James, thanks.

I wonder if my comment about Sierra Leone makes sense to people. I should point out that in many cases Matt has information about the size of congregations that most of us don't have because of his survey and other sources that provide a lot of feedback.

The Bo District was formed in 1991 and then split in 2014. Now the capital of the Southern Province has three districts with 5 branches each. There is growth and perhaps they are setting things up to balance the districts which all might become stakes about the same time. Or they may simply want more time to build leadership before turning authority over to stakes.

James said...

@Mike Johnson: Both of your comments certainly made sense to me. I thank you for the clarification. I also appreciate what you've said about Matt's accuracy in reporting the latest unit statistics. I appreciate that, and between Matt and Rick's sites, I am pretty confident in the end-of-year statistics I am predicting. My main source for this has been the LDS Church Temples site, as that has always been updated almost within the very moment such developments take place. But I also very much appreciate Matt's work as being indicative of growth trends and future growth prospects. In regards to Sierra Leone, Matt's list of countries with the most Church activity and growth without a temple has helped solidify my top picks for imminent temple announcements. Sierra Leone is right at the top of my personal list. I will rely on all available outlet for worldwide church growth in general and for growth and expansion of the work in Sierra Leone in particular. Any and all facets and developments of Church growth are absolutely intriguing to me and most inspiring to read about. Any and all information I have been able to gather and report on my blog comes from these two excellent resources. In my own small labor of love, I will likely never enjoy the degree of success to the level of that of Matt and Rick, but I have often felt and more and more frequently have been finding myself being most grateful to them for the degree of success I am seeing with my blog in general and the most recent posts there in particular. The comments on such growth as found on this blog have also been extremely instrumental in any success I may have had, am currently having, or may yet enjoy. Thanks again.

Mike Johnson said...

TempleRick is indeed very fast and accurate. But he still has the Chantilly and Fair Oaks wards in the Oakton Virginia Stake, but they have definitely been in the Centreville Virginia Stake for a couple of weeks now. I know people personally in each ward, including a member of one of the bishoprics.

Similarly it has been announced for a few weeks now that the Algonkian and Sterling Park wards have been moved from the Ashburn Virginia Stake to the Oakton Stake and the Tall Cedars Ward from Ashburn to Centreville. Maybe he is waiting for the results of the anticipated division of the now enlarged Centreville Stake this weekend.

That said, he correctly has the Lincolnia Ward in Annandale and has deleted the Alexandra 2nd Ward in the Mount Vernon Virginia Stake. And he has the Clifton Ward in the Centreville Stake.

And he has the Washington DC YSA Stake (but so does LDS Maps)

I am still very amazed at how quickly and accurately he has maintained his excellent site.

James said...

You and me both, my friend. You and me both. It is obvious that some details may have escaped his notice. He is only human, after all. I have sometimes noticed things he has overlooked or failed to update. And because I have done so frequently in the past, I never fail to alert him to such updates, and he has been sure to update these details as soon as he can. I have also known some cases where he has not included or updated specific informational points simply because he does not feel secure enough in doing so. As I have observed on my own blog many times, even as recently as just a few hours ago, there have been rumors floating around in the last little while that just this year, while in town for a stake conference, Elder Bednar mentioned the possibility of a temple to serve the area of Missoula Montana. But the details of this temple are sparse and not widely available, and even the story of that proposal is ambiguous enough that, when I asked Rick about why he had not included that, he said that he would be happy to do so, but only if and when he had sufficient information about it to include it. Since then, I have talked much of the possibility of that temple as an imminent near-future event, and I feel confident enough to put it high on my list of such temples that are soon-to-be announced, but I fully understand and accept Rick's reasons for not doing so on his site. He did tell me, though, that he was happy I was confident enough to put it on my list, even if he didn't share my confidence in its imminence or even the sparse details of the announcement. I'm sure that Rick will read this and add the information when he can. If you would prefer to, I'm sure he would welcome you submitting the information to him via the readily-available feedback form on his site. This and personal messages to and from him sent via my e-mail and my blog are the reasons I have any degree of success reporting on temple developments. He always graciously accepts, appreciates, and, as he is able to verify it, add such information to his site. In this, he is equal to Matt, with whom I have also exchanged e-mails and who I periodically contact with questions/feedback on his work. So my best advice to you is to submit this information yourself. Rick and Matt both seem to update things as fast as they receive information about needed updates. They are equally so gracious, kind, and appreciative of people who do share such information. In this, I hope I am also quick to follow in their footsteps. Hope this comment helps you. If this information has not been properly updated to your satisfaction after Sunday, let me know. I would be more than happy to add my request to yours about getting this information updated. If those updates have yet to be made, it is likely because he is waiting for more information or doesn't feel confident in doing so until the sources or feedback from others can verify the facts. Thanks.

James said...

@Mike Johnson: Upon reflection of what you shared with me here regarding unit changes not reflected on Rick's website, and in the interests of being as helpful as I could to you both, I have gone ahead and sent him an e-mail complete with links to this post and a couple of others I wanted him to see on my own blog. I fully anticipate that he will get this information updated soon or will let me know however he chooses what his thoughts, feelings, and actions are and will be in regards to what I shared with him. I hope in so doing I have not offended either one of you, nor overstepped my bounds in any way. I hope you and he will let me know ASAP if what I have done about the situation is a problem. Thanks again.

Bryan Dorman said...

I see Virginia as having a very similar problem to Puebla in Mexico.

Relative closeness to an existing temple that is humonguous. (DC, MX City)

Temple going from the area appears positive from the periphery but virtually nonexistent in the center (Don't know about Washington but that is definitely the case in Mexico City--the running joke here in Puebla is if they built a temple in Puebla they would have to close the temple in Mexico City for lack of participants).

Gigantic traffic problems (Mexico City traffic is probably the worst in the world--it takes up to three hours to cross 18 miles of city). From Puebla getting to Iztapaluca (outermost suburb of Mexico City on the east) takes 45 minutes but you take an hour and a half getting to the exit to the airport from Iztapaluca (the way you need to travel if you are going to the Temple).

And did I mention the temples in question are huge? The Mexico City Temple was based off of the Jordan River temple design on the inside.

Bryan Dorman said...

Virginia is the state with most stakes and members without a temple.

Technically Mexico State holds that distinction in Mexico but Mexico State surrounds Mexico City on three sides and the bulk of the stakes in Mexico State are in the outer suburbs of Mexico City.

The next state is Puebla. There are 14 stakes (11 in the Puebla metro area including the two Tlaxcala stakes in Tlaxcala state which is almost completely surrounded by Puebla State).

James said...

What an interesting and intriguing, not to mention most informative, discussion. I was not aware of some of the details shared in the last couple of posts. That being the case, it appears that future temples for Virginia and Puebla may be needed for distance reasons, but may not be practical enough in terms of such temple districts taking away activity from temples that are presently not busy enough. Because of the unit considerations in Virginia and Puebla, temples for those areas might be practical, but now I understand why other people may not share that view. I will keep an eye on unit growth in both of those areas between now and April General Conference and then either alter or eliminate those possibilities from my list. Thanks for bringing this information to my attention.

Mike Johnson said...

That, of course, is why Virginia doesn't have a temple. For me, I will leave at 4 AM tomorrow so I can officiate the 7:30 session and then be veil director until 1:00 PM and then drive straight home getting home between 3:30 and 4:00. Relatively close. Yeah. Like living in Orem and having to go to Brigham City or Logan to go to the temple. The majority of saints in Virginia live further away.

But, then again Puebla (the city) is about 2.5 hours away from the Temple. And other places are a lot further.

TempleRick has now updated the ward movements between Ashburn, Oakton, and Centreville. The reason I mentioned it here was the hope he would see it (he is on this site frequently).

James said...

@Mike Johnson: I didn't know you were a temple worker. That is so awesome! I came to greatly treasure the wonderful associations I made with people I worked with at the temple, and even now, years after my service has concluded, if I ever run into any of my former colleagues (which happens far more often than not), they are always so happy to see me and hear the latest about us. I hope the same is true for any similar associations. I don't know all the ins and outs of what qualifies one city over another for a temple, which is always why, despite my best efforts, I can never perfectly predict whether any site is more desirable or likely than any other. I certainly wouldn't be surprised to see a temple built in Virginia someday, but it may not be for a while, and, if it does happen, the city of that temple may be hard to pin down with any degree of accuracy or precision. I can see where a temple in Puebla is possible, but I can also see the case for not building one there in the near future. I am glad the unit issues were resolved. I will always look forward to hearing of any and all future developments either on TempleRick's site or here. And I will always be appropriately appreciative of and humbled by their labors of love.

L. Chris Jones said...

A temple in Virginia may be awhile off. The Washington DC temple recently lost some stakes to Philadelphia. In order to keep the temple busy enough it may take a while to justify another temple in the region. But other areas have had multiple temples added at the same time in an a current temple district. How busy is the Washington DC temple anyway?

James said...

That I don't know, Chris. I wish I did. But if I ever find out, I will be happy to share the information with all who want to know. I only included Virginia in my list and am considering it as a serious contender because of the number of Church units in Virginia and because it is one of the top ten states in the United States with the most members without a temple. I have before stated that I honestly don't know how preferable or accurate my current choices might be above and beyond the other possibilities. Because we have seen so many temples announced lately in so many places that might never have been under logical consideration, I don't feel we can rule out any city anywhere as a contender for a temple. What I have tried to do with the list I have assembled is to determine the most likely and most imminent possibilities based on the information I have been able to gather. On those grounds alone, Virginia would be a good candidate for a temple. How imminently it is likely to happen is another subject entirely. I have still felt confident enough to put it on my personal list, but can understand why others may say we can rule it out as a possibility. For me, it's six one way and half a dozen the other. Does that help?

John Pack Lambert said...

L. Chris Jones,
Arkansas and Mississippi go to very close to the Memphis Temple. Delaware is not far from the Philadelphia Temple. Northern Virginia is close to the Washington DC Temple. West Virginia, South Dakota, Vermont and Maine are still remote from any temple. Maine is the only state that does not border a state with a temple.

John Pack Lambert said...

Another possibility is that in Bo they want to form stakes where people can easily come to stake conference, etc. Also, there may be a feeling that there is not enough leadership ready to take on the leading of a stake. In a district the mission president interviews for temple reccomends and provides other leadership that a stake president does in a stake. So forming a stake shows a level of spiritual maturity that the leadership in Bo may not be at. Plus, a stake requires lots of additional preisthood leadership. They might not have it. On the other hand, several branches may be about to split, and we may well see all 3 districts as stakes very soon.

Eduardo Clinch said...

The creation of the 3 new stakes in northern Virginia this last half year should help the chances of another temple going somewhere down south. It would be fantastic for West Virginia to get its own.
Hopefully lower US unemployment rates are helping Church growth in all parts of the country, but I would think it would generally pull more rural LDS to more suburban and more urban areas, which should lead to more missionary exposure and growth. Not that elders and sisters and Mormon families don't evangelize out in the sticks, but I think it is more effective in more concentrated populations. And more work and jobs encourage that.

James said...

Thanks to you all for this most enlightening conversation. Every time I have checked this blog in general and this post in particular recently for new comments, I have been blown away by the information and knowledge shared by all of you. It certainly has helped me to see some things more clearly. I am still no closer than I ever have been to making any kind of determination regarding how imminent I feel a temple in Virginia might be, but while I inwardly debate that, I am leaving it on my list. John Pack Lambert brings up an intriguing point. Based on what he said about West Virginia, South Dakota, Vermont and Maine, it sounds like one or two of those states may be ripe for a temple announcement. As far as that goes, I have before explained that my current list of most likely and most imminent temples has only been drawn up after eliminating many others that I feel are not as likely. Two of the possibilities I had mentioned on the last such massive list were for South Dakota Rapid City and for somewhere in Vermont. I have a remote connection to the Rapid City area. That is where my dad served his mission. With what was said above, I am thinking about the prospect of now adding a possible future temple for South Dakota and for Vermont. But before I do so, I would like some feedback on the likelihood of that. Please let me know your thoughts. As always, I would much prefer that any comments about posts I am doing on my blog be made in the comments of those posts, but, as long as Matt has no objection to having that discussion here, it's no skin off my nose to have it going on in two places. Thanks.

Mike Johnson said...

There are a lot of temples that would not be in operation if the Church had actually followed the idea that the Washington DC could not survive without distant stakes in the temple district. The Church built new temples anyway, despite the constant concerns that the temple wasn't going to survive the loss of these members.

I also don't like the idea that faithful members living several hours from a temple should not have access to a closer temple because members living much closer to the temple won't go as much as they should.

I know temple workers in two PA stakes that were transferred to Philadelphia where it is harder to get to for them than to the DC temple. If the Church was so concerned about the loss of members from DC, they probably would have had a different temple district boundary.

James said...

Mike, you make an excellent point. That line of reasoning is part of why I have not removed Virginia as a possible future host state for a temple. Right now, based on the comments here, I am considering the merits of adding potential temples for South Dakota Rapid City and somewhere in Vermont, if not indeed in other locations. Whether people discuss those possibilities on my blog post itself or here, if Matt will indulge the continuing discussion, I will always welcome and appreciate what others have to say about my work because I am only one man and admittedly don't know everything or even most things there are to know about the history of the Church in various areas that might be well served by having a temple. So I welcome any and all thoughts about this. Matt, I hope you will put a stop to this line of conversation if it becomes a problem. If that ever happens, I would be perfectly content to let such a discussion continue and expand at the location of my original post. I will leave the address again just in case any of you have missed it. Thanks.

http://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com/2016/12/updated-list-of-locations-that-may-soon.html

Eduardo Clinch said...

Confirmed: Gainesville Stake created! Woot, woot!
Hosanna.

Eduardo Clinch said...

It is interesting to think about the numbers of the members in the newly adjusted or created northern Virginia stakes: I know that the former Ashburn Stake Stake had some where around 5300 members before the change. But now it has lost 4 units and it is probably closer to 3200. But it will grow because Ashburn, Aldie, South Riding, Leesburg, Purcellville and the rest of more rural Loudoun County continues to expand population-wise.

Oakton Stake has 3,900 members, I have heard, and is not getting as much population growth but that is still happening.

Further south in the re-adjusted Centreville and newly created Gainesville Stakes there is still dynamic growth, new developments and high schools, and if those have smaller units and numbers now they will continue to grow pretty fast.

The DC South Mission, which covers all these stakes from McLean on down to Fredericksburg Stake, had a goal of 300 convert baptisms this year 2016, which I am reasonably confident that they reached by now. It is pretty cool that they created a whole new YSA stake while shrinking the sizes of the old stakes from Mount Vernon west and then created another new one today.

Good stuff.

James said...

Great news! Thanks, Eduardo! For those who might want to know, I have done two blog posts today. The first is on the monumental news of which most of you are aware, that the location and groundbreaking for the Harare Zimbabwe Temple are expected to be made known within the early months of 2017. In light of that news and of the Christmas season, the two new posts were necessary. I invite anyone interested to check them out, and hope that all who read those posts will be positively impacted thereby. My blog can be found at the address below. Thanks.

http://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com

Mike Johnson said...

Eduardo, the Fredericksburg and Stafford stakes are in the Virginia Richmond Mission and not Washington DC South. That said 8 stakes and 5/7 of another are in the Washington DC South Mission (I am assuming that the DC North Mission will still cover the 2 Maryland YSA wards in the YSA stake)

Mike Johnson said...

I don't want to begrudge anybody the possibility of a relatively close temple. It is a long way for the saints in Rapid City to get to the Bismarck Temple and it is a long way for the saints in Burlington to get to the Boston Temple. The saints in the Pembroke and Roanoke stakes in Virginia are roughly in between the 5 and 3.5 hours respectively to get to the Washington DC Temple. The Burlington Vermont Stake covers most of the state with some wards and branches a lot closer to the Boston Temple and a few further away. I wonder how many saints around and north of Burlington go to the Montreal Temple, which even with the border crossing is less than 2 hours away from Burlington.

I am curious how the Winnipeg Temple is going to work essentially serving just one stake. Rapid City might be like that.

I had a friend when we lived in Nevada who said when he was growing up in South Dakota, he was his father's companion and they did home teaching by aircraft. The saints in South Dakota have had to deal with large distances and it would be great if they could have a closer temple.

James said...

Mike Johnson, are you saying you feel there might be the possibility of a temple in South Dakota? I have been asking for feedback on that very point on my blog. If there is indeed such a temple announced for that state in the near future, from what little I know about that area (primarily from my dad's mission field stories), it is likely that a temple there would serve more than just one stake. According to TempleRick's website, there are two stakes and one district in South Dakota, and it may be anyone's guess as to if and when any future stakes or districts might be announced. As to Winnipeg serving only one stake, that's not uncommon anymore with the unprecedented locations that have had a temple announcement. As I've said before numerous times, at this point, while there are certainly locations for which a temple announcement may be more imminent than others, given the most recent announcements, whether such have been anticipated or not, we cannot rule out any location anywhere as a potential candidate for a future temple. If talk about a possible temple site in South Dakota continues, I would be overjoyed to add that possibility to my list of temples that may soon be officially announced. As always, feedback either on this blog or my own will help me determine what should be done in that regard. And I will be sure to keep an eye on any possibilities I might add to my ever longer growing list. Thanks.

James said...

In light of the vigorous discussion on this subject, I decided to go ahead, be bold and add a temple for Rapid City South Dakota to my list of temples that I believe are most imminent. I hope any or all of you will let me know if you disagree with my decision to do so. Thanks.

David Todd said...

What other temples have just one stake in their district? Halifax comes to mind, but it has 2. Colonial Juarez has 2, I guess Regina Saskatchewan will have 2 with Winnipeg being done, but I can't think of any with one.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Right, good catch. The Woodbridge Stake was recently moved to the DC South Mission, while the August '16 Stafford Stake is part of the Richmond Mission, and Fredericksburg south of that.
Good question about those YSA wards in Maryland, maybe they will stay with their geographic mission, or maybe they go to DC South.
Hopefully it means more LDS singles meet each other, get married, while others are more inspired to serve missions.
I find most YSA wards are good at fellowshipping converts, too.
The growth in the D/M/V should continue strong.

Mike Johnson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Johnson said...

Eduardo, my wife and I met in the Colonial Singles Ward almost 25 years ago. It was a good source of married couples and what was one ward then is now the Colonial YSA 1st and 2nd wards and the Potomac Mid-singles Ward.

Mike Johnson said...

James, I am not advocating temples in either Rapid City, SD or Burlington, VT. While I recognize the distance the saints travel to the temple, I would question the ability of a temple to be supported by a single stake.

Yes, there are two stakes and a district in South Dakota. The Sioux Falls South Dakota Stake would undoubtedly remain in the Winter Quarters Temple District as otherwise it would be a huge increase in distance to go to a temple in Rapid City. The Pierre District probably would be part of the district although it wouldn't be much closer. Rapid City gets suggested a lot for a temple because it is the stake furthest from the temple. Only slightly farther than the Pembroke Virginia Stake is from any temple.

The Halifax temple has the smallest district with two stakes. The Regina temple will drop to two stakes when the Winnipeg stake leaves. Colonia Juárez has 2 stakes and 2 districts. None of the temples under construction or announced (other than Winnipeg) will have a district with just two stakes. Winnipeg will be unique with a single stake. That is why I was surprised at the announcement of the Winnipeg temple. I wonder if that temple will have just a few sessions each week or open only on appointment.

James said...

Good to know. Thanks for that clarification, Mike Johnson. But For a variety of reasons (primarily additional research and study I have done and the many, many wonderful comments on my work), I have felt a need to revise, revisit, and post anew my updated list of locations that I feel are most imminent to have a temple soon announced. My previous post on the subject generated by far the most views and the most comments from any other posts I have done during the entirety of the time I have been blogging. I would very much appreciate any feedback on this updated and revised list. I would prefer, as I have always said, if that feedback was given directly at the location of that new blog posts, but, as I've also repeatedly said, I have no objection whatsoever, as long as Matt doesn't have a problem with it, if that feedback comes on any or all of Matt's most recent posts. Thanks to all who will so comment. Your feedback is the reason why I can do what I have been able to do, to whatever degree of success I have achieved. However that feedback comes, I hope that no one will hesitate at all to let me know their thoughts on my work. Such feedback helps me in my efforts to continue to fine-tune my predictions to be the very best they can be. Thanks for visiting!

http://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com/2016/12/revised-list-of-cities-for-which-i-feel.html

Mike Johnson said...

I have gone into several conferences thinking I knew roughly what to expect with respect to temple announcements. I have been wrong far more than I have been right. The Lord apparently does not think the way I do.

James said...

If there's one thing that I can be certain of, it is that the Lord's way of doing things is not mine. Even with my best-guess estimates and predictions, I have never been absolutely perfect about predicting future temple sites. But as with my many other general conference predictions, the unpredictability of what actually happens versus what I had predicted is part of what makes it so fun, and even exhilarating at times. I am humble enough to rejoice in whatever happens in regards to my predictions. I am always gratified when I'm right and always appreciate when it is proven that I was misguided or incorrect in what I thought would happen. That being said, the fact that I have, with few exceptions, averaged 60-80% accuracy whenever I have made such predictions is remarkable to me. And that is a credit not to anything I've done, but to the fact that I know there have been and will continue to be patterns in such things. Do I enjoy doing all this? Without a doubt. But am I devastated or distraught when I more often than not have been proven to be wrong? Never. And so, I will continue. And if I have any degree of success in doing so, it is only due to the excellent feedback and the honest opinions on my work expressed so willingly by those who read and comment on my work. That is why I have always tried to be quick to acknowledge the gratitude which I constantly and consistently feel for such feedback. For what it's worth, I believe I correctly identified two of the four temple sites that were last announced, and had the right country but the wrong city for the third of the four. Again, that's what makes doing it so fun. Could my time be better served in pursuing other things? Perhaps. But the interest in what I do has taken off. In fact, I have recently been told by someone who would know that my blog has become one of the top results of a Google search for temple news and developments. And that, in and of itself, is more humbling than I can ever express, convey, or demonstrate. Thanks.

L. Chris Jones said...

The Lord knows what's going on in and neat Winepeg. I think some great work and growth will happen there. Maybe many members originally from there will return.

L. Chris Jones said...

The Lord knows what's going on in and neat Winepeg. I think some great work and growth will happen there. Maybe many members originally from there will return.

James said...

After further consideration and comments, I have done another new blog post highlighting what i feel will be a probable timetable in which future groundbreaking announcements will be made and scheduled. Also, I have, upon recommendation from a comment on my blog, added three possible future temple sites in Chile (in either Antofagasta, Valparaiso, or Santiago (which would be a a 2nd temple for that city, and which I feel cannot be ruled out or overlooked, given the recent precedent set by the announcement of another temple fro Lima Peru)) I would welcome continued feedback on any or all of these points. Thanks.

James said...

I have done many more rapid-fire blog posts within just the last 24 hours alone. While temple developments, current and future, have been my primary focus, I have done many personal posts. One of them was my annual Christmas post. A couple of others have been updates and requests for prayers because of the difficulties my wife and I are having with our health and finances. I reiterate that request for prayers here. Additionally, I would welcome any of you who would like to read or comment on these posts to do so at the address below. Thanks!

http://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com