Great updates, Matt! Thanks! And I again want to let you know that I for one do not fault you in the least for information you have given that has proven not to be correct after all. It is natural that mistakes happen. My estimation of you has only grown because of your willingness to admit to this misinformation. I appreciate your ongoing efforts to keep us all informed on Church growth. Your updates remain one of my top resources for tracking Church growth and developments. Thanks again. Well done!
The growth in Ebonyi State is quite encouraging. Hopefully a stake will be organized soon. This state borders Abia State where the temple is. I noticed that the Ana North stake just got a new branch putting it to 11 wards and 2 branches. A new stake in Aba this year would not surprise me. I am hoping a 2nd temple will be annonced for Nigeria this year. I still think Benin City is most likely but Lagos might win out or I would not be too shocked if both are announced at once.The Bo Sierra Leone North district just got 2 new branches putting it to 7. My hope is that all 3 districts in Bo are stakes by the end of the year.
One of the newly called mission presidents, specifically for the Argentina Buenos Aires West Mission, is Enrique Resek. When I saw that name I said to myself "This name sounds Argentine, a mix of East European last name with Spanish first name." The thing is President Resek currently lives in Kaysville, Utah. He works as the regional translation director for the Corporation of the Presiding Bishopric. His current calling is as a primary teacher. He has been a stake executive secretary, a bishop and on a high council but never in a stake presidency. He was born in Argentina. His wife was born in Santa Monica, California.
The chief justice of Edo State in Nigeria, Esohe Frances Ikponmwen, is a Latter-day Saint. She was just made chief justice in January. I am working to create a Wikipedia article on her. The LDS Church Newsroom site for Nigeria has an article on her. I am fairly certain the article will pass muster, I found an article on her from The Nation, a paper in Lagos, Nigeria that is the 2nd most read in Nigeria. Edo State has Benin City as its capital. It is thus the second state, after Abia, in Nigeria to have gotten a stake. It may be the state in Nigeria with the most stakes at present. It had a population of 3.2 million back in 2006. This is just a little more than Utah's 3.05 as of 2016, but Edo State may have grown significantly in the last decade and so now may be clearly ahead of Utah.
Thanks John for pointing out the two new branches in the Bo Sierra Leone North District. It has been great watching over the last few years the growth in Bo. The branches each cover about a square km, so geographically all three districts cover a relatively small space. In my mind, in this situation, it wouldn't make sense if all 17 branches were tiny. I do wonder how close to stakehood each of the districts are. My guess is that when the north district was created last November and each of the districts had five branches, I couldn't help thinking that the Church must have tried to balance the districts.
On the other hand Edo State has 6,000 square miles to Utah's 48,000. It looks like Akwa Idom State has more stakes than Edo State, but I am not all the way through the list of stakes and districts in Nigeria yet.
If I calculated correctly Akwa Ibom State in Nigeria has the most stakes at 12, and also 2 districts. Uyo the capital is only 45 miles from the Aba Nigeria Temple. I would love to see a temple in Akwa Ibom State, but don't expect it soon.Edo State comes in next with 6 stakes and a district. Abia State has 5 stakes and a district. Rivers State, which has Port Harcourt as its capuital and is just west of Aba while Akwa Ibom is just to the east and south, also has 5 stakes and a district. That puts about 22 stakes and 4 districts within roughly 100 miles or less of Aba. Lagos state has 5 stakes. It is 182 miles from Benin City to the Aba Temple.
Bo is the first large city in West Africa to reach the threshold of an average of one branch per every 10,000 people.
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