Wednesday, December 21, 2016

New Stakes in Arizona and India; New District in Cameroon

Arizona
The Church organized a new stake in the Phoenix metropolitan area on December 11th. The Surprise Arizona West Stake was organized from a division of the Goodyear Arizona Stake and the Surprise Arizona Stake. The new stake includes the following seven wards: the Cactus Lane, Canyon Trails, Cortessa, Savannah, Verrado, Waddell, and White Tank Mountain Wards.

There are now 112 stakes in Arizona. The Church has organized 12 new stakes in Arizona during 2016 - more than any other state or nation for the year.

India
The Church created a new stake in India on December 18th. The Rajahmundry India Stake was organized from the Rajahmundry India District. All five branches in the former district appear to have become wards, namely the Dowleswaram, Kakinada, Rajahmundry 1st, Rajahmundry 2nd, and Rajahmundry 3rd Wards. Rajahmundry has experienced the most rapid LDS growth in India within recent years as the district was organized in 2011. Local members report plans to organize two additional stakes in India within the next two years, likely in New Delhi and Coimbatore.

With three stakes in operation in India, prospects appear increasingly more favorable for the announcement of a temple in India within the foreseeable future. However, a temple will be more likely to be announced once there are multiple stakes that operate within a single metropolitan area - a milestone that appears many years or perhaps a decade or two from fruition given recent LDS growth rates in most cities. Nevertheless, the Church has announced temples in nations with fewer stakes and active members, such as the Kyiv Ukraine Temple. However, LDS growth in Pakistan may favor the announcement of a temple in the coming years. The three LDS districts in Pakistan number among the most self-sufficient in Asia and appear likely to become stakes in the next decade.

There are now three stakes and four districts in India.

Cameroon
The Church organized its second district in the African nation of Cameroon on December 18th. The long-awaited Douala Cameroon District was organized with five branches - four of which previously reported directly to the Republic of Congo Brazzaville Mission. Branches assigned to the new district include the Bonaberi 1st, Bonaberi 2nd, Douala, New Bell, and Village Branches.

The organization of a new mission headquartered in Cameroon appears highly likely given distance from mission headquarters in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo; a sizable population in Cameroon of 24.4 million people; and rapid congregational growth in Douala and Yaounde within recent years. Furthermore, a mission in Cameroon could also assist in the expansion of the Church in neighboring countries with a minimal LDS presence, such as Central African Republic (only one branch) and Gabon (only two branches). A future mission in Cameroon may also be instrumental in the establishment of the Church in nearby nations without an LDS presence - such as Chad and Equatorial Guinea.

There are now two districts and 13 branches in Cameroon.

13 comments:

L. Chris Jones said...

Of Pakistan gets a Temple, would it serve India? Or if India gets the temple would it serve Pakistan? I understand that there may be a strained relationship between the two countries.

David Todd said...

Is there a possibility of forming some sort of forum for discussion? Using the blog post comments area to have our discussion seems chaotic to me a bit. A forum would allow us to have topical discussions that can be accessed much easier. It would also be interesting to see how our views on church growth change over time by reading through threads that span over months or even years. Any thoughts?

James said...

The idea of a forum is a very good thought, to be sure. As a blogger myself, I am not sure how that would work. But it is an intriguing idea. Chris, as far as India and Pakistan, if one gets a temple, it would likely serve the other nation as well. But at this point, there is not sufficient evidence, at least from what I've observed, to support the idea of a temple in either location, and it probably won't be likely to happen unless and until the political climate calms down in both nations.

Jason Barnes said...

@David Perhaps we can use the LDS Reddit to discuss things? I found this post from there anyway.

https://www.reddit.com/r/latterdaysaints/comments/5jo38c/new_stakes_in_arizona_and_india/

David Todd said...

Proboards is a free site where you can create a full forum. I've never created one, but I have used one a bit and it works well.

Johnathan Whiting said...

I like that idea.

Eduardo Clinch said...

India makes more sense than Pakistan from a security standpoint.
There are American interests in Pakistan that have been targeted in the past, and I think a building like that would be viewed as such.

John Pack Lambert said...

I am thinking India may be nearing a tipping point for better growth. With tight limits on missionary visas, local missionary power will be key to growth. Stakes mean more member maturity, which hopefully is translating into more members there going on missions.

James said...

Excellent observations, as always. I have enjoyed reading the continuing comments. I agree that India is a better prospect for a temple than Pakistan. But even with that concession, I am still of the opinion that a temple in India is not possible within the conceivably near future. I would love nothing better than to be proven wrong on that point, and I will always be the first to admit that, in this era of massive temple progress worldwide, no city can be entirely ruled out as a future temple site, and nothing would surprise me or please me more than having such unexpected and unprecedented announcements continue. I am certain that this will always be the case. I absolutely love the direction this discussion has taken. And I look forward to continuing to follow it in the future. I hope that my blog, such as it is, will continue to be a good resource for all major Church and temple news and developments. Thanks again to you all.

John Pack Lambert said...

Doesn't Ukraine still only have the one stake in Kyiv? On the other hand I know after having had to shut down the Aba Temple for a time when American couple missionary temple workers were withdrawn the Church is probably more hesitant about opening a temple without good prospects for local temple workers. India has made it very difficult for LDS missionaries to get visas so operating the temple with senior missionary couple temple workers is probably not an option.

James said...

John Pack Lambert, your question intrigued me, so I did the research. There is just the one stake in Ukraine, which is based in Kyiv. There are 4 other districts, but they are not likely to become full-fledged stakes at any point in the near future. At least, that's the impression I get from my cursory research. This makes India a difficult prospect for a temple. However, as I have observed many times, the Lord's ways and timing are vastly different from ours, and we sometimes cannot comprehend why things happen the way they do. In this age of miraculous temple announcements, I don't think any city anywhere can be ruled out as a possible host city for a future temple. There are more problems in India than elsewhere, to be sure, but that doesn't mean a temple couldn't happen there if the Lord needed one in that nation. However, for my part, I am convinced that, even with a proposed temple for New Delhi, we may not see a temple in the nation of India during our lifetimes. I can't rule it out absolutely, and nothing would surprise or please me more than to be proven wrong about this, but I know enough in my limited understanding of the Church's situation in India to say that it would likely take a miracle before that ever happens. If things change down the road, it could happen. I also know enough to say that nothing can be ruled out if the Lord wants it to happen. But it is not nearly as likely as any of the other more favorable options that exist elsewhere. And if it does happen, that will be years down the road, barring a miracle.

John Pack Lambert said...

Doesn't Ukraine still only have the one stake in Kyiv? On the other hand I know after having had to shut down the Aba Temple for a time when American couple missionary temple workers were withdrawn the Church is probably more hesitant about opening a temple without good prospects for local temple workers. India has made it very difficult for LDS missionaries to get visas so operating the temple with senior missionary couple temple workers is probably not an option.

James said...

Much to my surprise, I have done several more blog posts just within the last 24-48 hours. I invite you to catch up on the latest by reading my posts there. The latest one I did is to explain some problems being faced by my wife, myself, and L. Chris Jones, who regularly comments here and on my blog. Continued prayers for all of us during this special season would be most appreciated. Thanks.

http://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com