Monday, October 30, 2017

New Stakes Created in Utah (2), Colorado, Cote d'Ivoire, the DR Congo, Ghana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nigeria, and Togo; New Districts Created in Mexico and Mozambique; Stakes Discontineud in Mexico (2) and California

Utah
The Church in Utah recently organized two new stakes.

The Midway Utah West Stake was organized on October 15th. The new stake was created from a division of the Midway Utah Stake. The Midway Utah West Stake includes the following seven wards: the Deer Creek, Fort Midway, Homestead, Swiss Alpine, Wallsburg 1st, Wallsburg 2nd, and Wasatch Mountain Wards

The Saratoga Springs Utah Saratoga Hills Stake was organized on October 8th. The new stake was created from a division of the Saratoga Springs Utah Stake. The new stake includes the following eight wards: the Legacy Farms, Saratoga Hills 1st, Saratoga Hills 2nd, Saratoga Hills 3rd, Saratoga Hills 4th, Saratoga Hills 5th, Saratoga Springs 1st, and Saratoga Springs 2nd Wards.

There are now 591 stakes and one district in Utah.

Colorado
The Craig Colorado Stake was organized on October 15th. The new stake was created from a division of the original Meeker Colorado Stake (renamed the Rifle Colorado Stake) and the Golden Colorado Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards and two branches: the Craig 1st, Craig 2nd, Meeker, Rangely 1st, Rangely 2nd, and Steamboat Springs Wards, and the Baggs and Granby Branches.

There are now 36 stakes in Colorado.

Cote d'Ivoire
The Church organized a new stake in Cote d'Ivoire on October 22nd. The Daloa Cote d'Ivoire Stake was organized from the Daloa Cote d'Ivoire District. Information on which of the eight branches in the former district that became wards remains unavailable. The Church organized its first six branches in Daloa in a single weekend in February 2014 - the most branches ever organized in a single weekend in a city where no official wards or branches previously operated. The Church organized branches in Daloa into their own district in April 2015 when the Yamoussoukro Cote d'Ivoire District became a stake. The period between the organization of the first official branch and the creation of the first stake in Daloa appears to be the shortest ever reported by the Church with the exception of the creation of stakes during the Mormon colonialism period in the Intermountain West during the 1800s.

There are now 13 stakes and 12 districts in Cote d'Ivoire. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the first stake created in Cote d'Ivoire. At least two more stakes in Cote d'Ivoire may be organized before the end of 2017. An article on this milestone can be found here.

DR Congo
The Church organized a new stake in Lubumbashi on October 22nd. The Ruashi Democratic Republic of the Congo Stake appeared to be organized from a division of the Lubumbashi Democratic Republic of the Congo Stake. Information on which wards are assigned to the new stake remain unavailable.

There are now four stakes in Lubumbashi, and 17 stakes and three districts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Ghana
The Church organized a new stake in Ghana on October 22nd. The Abomosu Ghana Stake was organized from the Abomosu Ghana District. Information on which of the seven retained branches in the district became wards remains unavailable. Local missionaries reported that approximately 1,400 attended the special conference to organize the new stake. This is an impressive feat, especially for the Church's first stake in Ghana that entirely services rural communities.

There are now 21 stakes and 10 districts in Ghana.

Louisiana
The Church reinstated a stake in Louisiana. The Slidell Louisiana Stake was reinstated on October 15th. The Church originally organized the Slidell Louisiana Stake in 1985, but discontinued the stake in 2007 after many active members left the area due to destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina. The new stake was organized from a division of the Denham Springs Louisiana Stake, New Orleans Louisiana Stake, Gulfport Mississippi Stake, and Hattiesburg Mississippi Stake. The new stake includes the following five wards and two branches: the Covington, Hammond, Picayune, Slidell, and Waveland Wards, and the Amite and Bogalusa Branches.

There are now seven stakes in Louisiana.

Massachusetts
The Blackstone Valley Massachusetts Stake was organized on October 22nd. The new stake was created from a division of the Hingham Massachusetts Stake and the Boston Massachusetts Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards and three branches: the Foxboro, Framingham 1st, Franklin 1st, Marlborough, Worcester 1st, and Worcester 2nd Wards, and the Framingham 2nd (Spanish), Franklin 2nd, and Worcester 3rd (Spanish) Branches. The new stake is the Church's second new stake created in Massachusetts within the past year.

There are now six stakes in Massachusetts.

Nigeria
A new stake was organized in Akwa Ibom State on October 15th. The Etinan Nigeria North Stake was organized from the Etinan Nigeria North District. Information on which of the seven branches in the district became wards remains unavailable. The Church now reports 11 stakes and one district in Akwa Ibom State - a larger number of stakes than in nearly all other individual African countries except Ghana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa, and Cote d'Ivoire. Furthermore, the Etinan Nigeria North Stake was initially organized as a district from the Etinan Nigeria Stake in March 2016. Thus, the Etinan Nigeria North Stake may hold the record for the shortest period of time in which the Church has organized a stake from when a district was first organized.

There are now 44 stakes and 16 districts in Nigeria.

Togo
The Church organized its second stake in the West African nation of Togo. The Lomé Togo Tokoin Stake was organized on October 22nd from a division of the original Lomé Togo Stake. Information on which of the 14 wards and three branches of the original Lomé Togo Stake are included in the new stake remain unavailable. The Church organized its first district in Togo in December 2009 and created its stake in Togo in December 2013.

Mozambique
The Church organized its first district in northern Mozambique on October 22nd. The Nampula Mozambique District was created from three branches that operate in the city of Nampula. Two of these branches (Murrapaniua and Mutauanha) were organized at the same time that the new district was created. Moreover, a couple new member groups were also recently organized in northern Mozambique in Maratane and Nacala.

There are now three stakes and one district in Mozambique.

Mexico
A new district was created in Oaxaca State. The Matías Romero México District was organized on October 8th. The organization of the new district occurred in conjunction with congregation consolidations in stakes within the Juchitán area. The new district includes the following four branches: Matías Romero 1st, Matías Romero 2nd, Mogoñe, and San Juan Guichicovi.

The Church recently discontinued the Ciudad Obregón México Yaqui Stake. Originally organized in 1984, the stake was discontinued and retained congregations were reassigned to the two remaining stakes in Ciudad Obregón. There were four wards and two branches in the stake before it was discontinued.

The Church recently discontinued the Mazatlán México West Stake. Originally organized in 2002, retained wards were reassigned to the sole remaining stake in Mazatlán. There were five wards in the stake before it was discontinued.

There are now 229 stakes and 42 districts in Mexico.

California
The Church recently discontinued the Garden Grove California Stake. Originally organized in 1961, there were only four wards and two branches in the stake before its discontinuation. Additional congregations closed when the stake was discontinued and retained congregations were reassigned to the Anaheim California Stake, Cypress California Stake, and the Huntington Beach California Stake.

There are now 154 stakes in California.

16 comments:

John Pack Lambert said...

Akwa Ibom's 11 stakes is quite impressive. I hope to some day see a temple there, but the distance from the temple in Aba is less than 100 miles in most if not all the state, in some areas well under that, so I do not expect a temple in the near future.

Some other recent developments are also encouraging. The Bluffdale Utah Stake just got its 13th ward. There are now muliple stakes in Utah with over 12 wards. I am wondering if they are delaying spliting stakes until they have stake centers built or if there are plans for large scale redraws when new stakes are formed.

In another encouraging development a new branch has been formed in the northern part of the DR Congo. Despite 17 stakes in the DR Congo probably at least two thirds of the country is covered by administrative branches. There are cities with over 700,000 people in DR Congo that do not have a branch at all.

John Pack Lambert said...

Another way to look at how DR Congo is under reached by the Church. Ghana has 27 million residents, 4 missions, 21 stakes and 10 districts. DR Congo has 80 million inhabitants, 3 missions, 17 stakes and 3 districts. One of the DR Congo missions takes in areas outside the country, while at present all Ghana missions only cover Ghana.

Christopher Nicholson said...

I believe the DR Congo still has substantial instability and violence in the northern and eastern parts which could account for the limited church presence.

James said...

This is fantastic news all around. What wonderful growth milestones. Thank you, Matt, for posting about all of this. For any who may be interested, I have been very busy blogging about temple-related news and developments, and I am doing something I have not done before: providing a thorough look at each of the Church's geographical areas, focusing on the size of the existing temple districts in such areas, exploring the potential locations for future temples, and requesting feedback on all of that. I am doing all of this with a view to refine my list of potential future temples for next General Conference. There have also been general temple developments about which I have been delighted to report. For any that have not seen these posts and would be interested in doing so, I would appreciate your feedback. As always, the address of my blog is below. Thanks again to you all.

http://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com

OC Surfer said...

Not to be technical, but part of the former Garden Grove CA Stake went to the Huntington Beach NORTH Stake, and not Huntington Beach Stake.

Huntington Beach North Stake now covers northwest part of Huntington Beach and all of Westminster.

Garden Grove Stake for years was a small stake. Back in 1960s and 1970s, Garden Grove was 90%+ white. Now Garden Grove (except for West Garden Grove which still predominantly white), is only 30% white, with large Vietnamese and Korean neighborhoods and a sizeable Latino population.

So the Church hasn't kept up with the demographic shifts in the stake, which is why the stake was dissolved.

OC Surfer said...

Not to be technical, but part of the former Garden Grove CA Stake went to the Huntington Beach NORTH Stake, and not Huntington Beach Stake.

Huntington Beach North Stake now covers northwest part of Huntington Beach and all of Westminster.

Garden Grove Stake for years was a small stake. Back in 1960s and 1970s, Garden Grove was 90%+ white. Now Garden Grove (except for West Garden Grove which still predominantly white), is only 30% white, with large Vietnamese and Korean neighborhoods and a sizeable Latino population.

So the Church hasn't kept up with the demographic shifts in the stake, which is why the stake was dissolved.

Eduardo Clinch said...

That's good breaking down of those parts of LA. It is interesting to see parts of the US becoming more diverse and therefore less Christian and less LDS. Domestic missions and areas become more like an internatiinal experience and the gospel has a chance to reach out to multitudinous cultures inside our own borders. Similar patterns occur in Salt Lake and Utah.
Less LDS populations move into urban areas but the LDS populations continue to expand and grow.
I wonder when California will reach 800,000 members, and if proseltying efforts will produce positive growth.
Also, I wonder if another faith will supplant the Church as the second biggest in the state.
Nice news about Congo. Huge potential there.

John Pack Lambert said...

I have known peoplw who served missions in areas of Guatemala in the 1980s that were the main regions of the countries ongoing Civil War. Beinfmg in the midst of war does not always stop the growth of the gospel.

The nature of population changes in California make me not expect The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to be displaced as the second largest denomination there any time soon. Utah is the only state in the US where a majority of the population is part of a single Church.

It should be remembered that Evangelical Christianity generally consists of lots of small or moderate sized denominations.

One thing I lack a goid sense of in California is what the new population is like. In part it is the young techy Culture of Silicon Valley with a higher owrcentage having no identified faith than in most oast generations. I have known people from this type of background who joined the LDS Church, so there is growth potential there.

I know that California continues to have m any people move to it from outside the US. What I have little sense of is where they are coming from these days. At least historically many have been Catholics and today the Catholic Church in the US has many immigrants in its ranks, a return to a percentage of immigrants among Catholics not seen since at least the 1920s if not some time in the 19th century.

California also has growing populations from Asia. In some areas there are language specific outreach programs, but many people of Asian descent are fluent in Enflish. Depending on where you are this can span ecerything from Iraqis, to Indians, to Chinese to Filipinos. The institute teacher in my stake is a native of Korea who was raised in California, joined the Church in her late teens, served a mission in Chicago and is married to a white man she met at Ricks College who is young men's president in our ward.

I know some areas of California have large numbers of Filipinos. There are I,believe two Tagalog speaking units in the state. However many Filupinos are fairly oroficient in English. Considering the rates of Church activity in the Ohilipines, I suspect there is a lot of potential for outreach to Filipino populatuons in California.

On the other hand many of the immigrants come from non-Christian backgrounds. More thought on teaching non-Christians the gospel could not hurt.

John Pack Lambert said...

LDS Church membership was 765,000 in California in 2002. In 2009 it was 755,000. By I guess the start of 2017 it was to 771,000. However from 2008-2014 or so the outmigration from California to other states was fairly low. More recently it has picked up pace, so I would not be surprised to see membership in California head back down toward 750,000.

John Pack Lambert said...

During the time membership in California went from 765,000 to 771,000 membership in Utah went from 1.6 million to 2.0 million. So it went from less than twice that in California to well on its way to being 3 times the Church membership in California.

David Tilton said...

Thanks for the update, Matt.

We understand that a new stake will be organized before the end of 2017 in Nuku‘alofa, Tonga. It is to be created from the Nuku‘alofa Tonga Harbour Stake and the Nuku‘alofa Tonga North Stake.

The new stake center has already been built near the national stadium, called Teufaiva. The future stake center is known locally as the Teufaiva Chapel. It's possible that the new stake will be called the Nuku‘alofa Tonga Teufaiva Stake. This will be the 15th stake on the main island of Tongatapu and the 20th stake in the Kingdom of Tonga. There are also two districts in Tonga.

Here's a map of the future stake center located on Vaha‘akolo Road, using Tonga Post's Three-Word-Address plan: https://map.what3words.com/chats.hiking.retailing

My wife and I are Church service missionaries in Tonga.

James said...

David, it is wonderful to hear about the new stake that will be created in Tonga. I recently shared my opinion that Tonga could get a second temple at some point, and based on how many Church units have been created in Tonga since the dedication of the only temple there, it makes a lot of sense. Thanks for sharing that information with us.

David Tilton said...

Creation of the Nuku'alofa Tonga "Teufaiva" Stake is scheduled for 19 November 2017.

James said...

That is awesome, David! I look forward to hearing more about that.

Ryan Mayer said...

I served part of my mission in Craig, so it was exciting to me to see that new stake created. Meeker stake was huge! What happened to the Craig 3rd ward?

twinnumerouno said...

Craig 3rd was discontinued at a stake conference about a year ago in the interest of strengthening the other 2 wards. (I wonder now if it was done with some sort of knowledge that the new stake would be created and would require more people to serve in stake callings.)
Did you ever serve in Rangely? I am in the Rangely 1st ward.