Thursday, January 25, 2018

New Stakes Created in Arizona, Ghana, and Nigeria; New District Created in The Bahamas

The Church organized a new stake in Queen Creek, Arizona on January 14th. The Queen Creek Arizona Ocotillo Stake was organized from a division of the Queen Creek Arizona East Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards: the Castlegate 1st, Castlegate 2nd, Castlegate 3rd, Creekside, Laredo Ranch, and Morningside Wards.

There are now 115 stakes in Arizona

The Church organized a new stake in Ghana on January 21st. The Accra Ghana Masina Stake was organized from a division of the Accra Ghana Adenta Stake and the Accra Ghana Ofankor Stake. Approximately 2,500 people attended the stake conference for the Accra Ghana Adenta Stake when the announcement of the new stake was made. The new stake includes the following six wards and two branches: the Achimota, Agbogba, Ashaley Botwe, Kwabenya, Madina 1st, and Madina 2nd Wards, and the Haatso and Legon Branches. Moreover, the Church reported 78,295 members in Ghana as of January 15th, 2018 - approximately 7.9% more members than at year-end 2016 and a more rapid rate of annual membership growth compared to 2016.

There are now 11 stakes in the Accra metropolitan area, and 23 stakes and nine districts in Ghana.

The Church organized a new stake in Edo State on January 14th. The Ekpoma Nigeria Stake was organized from the Ekpoma Nigeria District. Local members indicate that the new stake includes the following eight wards and one branch: the Avbiosi, Ekpoma, Iruekpen 1st, Iruekpen 2nd, Iruekpen 3rd, Ozalla 1st, Ozalla 2nd, and Ozalla 3rd Wards, and the Uhonmora Branch. The new stake is the Church's first stake to be primarily located in rural communities outside of southeastern Nigeria. Rapid growth has occurred in the villages of Ozalla and Iruekpen as the first branches were organized in these villages in 2004 and 2005, respectively. It is likely that there are no other stakes in Nigeria that have as small of a population within their geographical boundaries as the Ekpoma Nigeria Stake. The growth of the Church in the Ekpoma area provides a good illustration of the impressive growth that can rapidly occur in rural communities which are almost entirely unreached by the Church throughout the world. See below for a map of congregations in the new stake. It is likely that Ozalla and Iruekpen may report the highest percentages of Latter-day Saints of any villages in Nigeria given three wards operate in each village despite the small size of these villages.

There are now 46 stakes and 15 districts in Nigeria.

The Bahamas
The Church has reestablished a district headquartered in The Bahamas. The Nassau Caribbean District includes four branches that previously reported directly to the Jamaica Kingston Mission, namely the Grand Bahama, Grand Cayman, New Providence, and Providenciales Branches. Two of the branches are located in The Bahamas, whereas one branch operates in the Cayman Islands and one branch operates in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Church had previously operated a district in The Bahamas between 2002 and 2009 called the New Providence Bahamas District although this former district only serviced branches in The Bahamas. Prior to the creation of the new district, The Bahamas were the country that had the second most members on church records without a stake or district headquartered within its geographical boundaries.


Eduardo Clinch said...

Not to be too racially fixated, but it is interesting that a large part of LDS Church growth is occurring in places in multiple continents where the people are "of color" or black.
In many parts of the more modern and even "whiter" developed world, there are plenty of people who accuse the faith of being racially oppressive historically, or by its top leadership is "too white" (Too American, too old, etc.)
I think many of us are heartened to see the growth across the whole world period, no matter which ethnicity. All languages, kindreds, and people mean something.
The geographical concentrations in Nigeria is great to see.
Models of suçcess at all levels should be emulated.

John Pack Lambert said...

The Ekompa developments are very encouraging. We really need to step up missionary outreach to the millions of people across the world who live in small villages. I am hoping this also indicates a temple will soon be built in Benin City.

Matt said...

Wow we can really see the work of the Lord progressing!

I am very excited for the saints of Nigeria. I wonder if Expoma will get a temple since the other ones are a 5 hour drive away.

The saints of the Bahamas are so blessed to get a district back. I had a young men’s leader from the Bahamas who went on a mission to Chile. I wonder if he’ll be the first apostle from the Bahamas. I wonder if they’ll get a temple because the closest temple is a 10 hour drive and they have to bring extra clothes for the journey because they get all wet nowadays.

Queen creek AZ has had 5 new stakes in the last few years. I wonder if they’ll get a temple since the closest one is in Gilbert a 0.4 hour drive away. That would be so great for them.
President Nelson has postponed his face-to-face with the youth. This is without precedent as most prophets have never even done those.

David Todd said...

.4 hours, meaning 24 minutes. And that is from some random part of queen creek, implying some of the atakes might be closer? I mean it might be a possibility in the distant future as the phoenix area keeps growing out down that way, but right now I don't see it justified.

James Anderson said...

If the family history research heats up, they say around five percent of all members actually do it, more temples anywhere is a possibility.

I heard a report from a baptistry worker at Provo City Center Temple that they had 1k baptisms on his shift last Tucsday (not this week), and the high priests gtoup leader says they are short workers, so much so that the initiatory people have to go upstairs to work there when a session for endowments finishes at times.

The reason for Ivory Coast being announced is because the family history work is well over double the Church average even today. And they have less resources for finding names than most of us do.

Family Tree has on average 2.5 million names added to it, 800k from nonmembers, every month. Indexing helps there as 1 million+ names on average are added every month through the hinting feature and other researching of the indexed records.

James Anderson said...

Found these two items in regards to FamilySearch and the website, etc. Shows

What happened in 2017 with the site and other things.

Goals of FamilySearch this year (2018).

James said...

Interesting developments, to be sure. How wonderful it is to see the work of the Lord progressing. It has been particularly fascinating to see how widely the Church is spreading and increasing its' outreach in South America and Africa. That is best reflected not just by the ongoing developments reported by Matt on this blog (whom I thank for that), but perhaps even more so by the fact that, of the last 12 temples announced, 8 of them (66.67%) are for locations within those two continents. And if that is extended to those currently under construction, 7 of those 10 (which should be 11 soon) are being built in the two continents as well. It is interesting to see how the Lord has promoted growth in those two continents and, once that growth occurs, how these temples being announced and constructed in such areas are received and kept busy.

What a remarkable time to be alive and to observe such progress. And if other statements Matt has made on this blog prove correct, and also if the Church winds up announcing most or all of the 80 sites Elder Wilson referenced, it seems logical to assume that perhaps at least a minimum of 20 of those locations could be located in either continent.

In regards to ongoing temple developments, there have been a number of significant developments within the last couple of weeks or so, and I have done my level best to stay on top of tracking and reporting those on my blog. With my continued thanks to Matt for allowing me the opportunity to do so, I would like to invite any of you that may be interested in reading about and/or commenting on those developments to do so at the address below.

Particularly, new information received within the last 18 hours points to the idea that the Church could (and perhaps likely will) be able to announce and schedule the dedications of the Rome Italy and Kinshasa DR Congo Temples before the end of this year, which looked for a while like that wouldn't be possible. If that occurs, those events would join the already-announced dedication for the Jordan River Utah Temple, the anticipated private rededication of the Houston Texas Temple this spring, and the probable dedication of the temples in Concepcion Chile and Barranquilla Colombia, along with the rededication for the Frankfurt Germany Temple.

It has truly been amazing to see (and report on) the day-to-day developments occurring for temples around the world. And if what I have heard is any indication, not only are the next few years anticipated to be filled with quite a large number of temple-related events, but it seems more likely than not that several new temples could also be announced, and that those announcements, as previously noted, could occur during either or both General Conferences each year, and perhaps with a few being announced in between as well. Hope these thoughts are helpful to some of you. Thanks again to you all.

John Pack Lambert said...

In my ward today we had a visitor from France who knew one of the ward members when he was on his mission.

James Anderson said...

New way to submit referrals, work with missionaries, evenparticipate in the discusions with that referral and missionaries!

L. Chris Jones said...

I have seen a lot of correctional facility branches transfer stakes recently. Is there a reason why for this trend?

David Todd said...

James, I think that is a fantastic update to the referral system! It fixes most of the issues that I found with the way referrals worked on my mission. I'm excited about this and hope to find some uses for it, soon!

JSA said...

Beer Sheva Branch (2115689) Israel - created Jan 27 2018

Nephi said...

L. Chris Jones. Just a thought but maybe the correctional facility branches are transferred from time to time to share the burden. Similar to the Transient Bishop being rotated so no one Bishop is burdened.

L. Chris Jones said...

I understand the occasional rotating of those Correctional branches. But there seems to be so many done all at once and just a short Of time.

John Pack Lambert said...

I believe Utah is in the process of relocating its major penitenturary, so that may have influenced some of the branch reassignments. I think some units are physically moving to a new location.

The Temecula California Stake has 13 wards now. This may mean that despite continued decline in the number of wards and branches in California, it may see a new stake formed this year.

Other reports for today see a loss of one ward in California (although a Spanish branch was upgraded to a ward, so the number of wards remained constant), 2 new wards in Utah, a new YSA branch in the Florida panhandle, 1 new ward in the Phillipines, 2 new branches in Brazil and 1 new branch in Kenya.

John Pack Lambert said...

Here is an article about the Church participating in a religious freedom conference sponsored by the Ahmaddiya Muslims in Guatemala

The Amadiyya reject violent Jihad, and in some ways have a similar connection to the rest of Islam that Mormons have to the rest of Christianity. The government of Pakistan I believe has degreed Amadiyya to be non-Muslims. Considering the actual political penalties this involves this is much worse than any person calling Mormons non-Christians.

coachodeeps said...

Utah is going to be moving the state penitentiary, but the actual move is years away, as the new facility had yet to be built. The branches wouldn't move anytime soon. The facility is still located in Bluffdale, about 25 miles south of the new facility's location (opposite ends of Salt Lake County).

Sinverguenza said...

Missionaries in Sydney, Australia are saying the North and South missions there will be combined into one mission later this year.