Sunday, July 15, 2018

New Stakes Created in the DR Congo (2), Nigeria (2), Oklahoma, and Peru; Stake Discontinued in Venezuela

DR Congo
Two new stakes were organized in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo). Both new stakes were organized in Kinshasa on June 24th.

The Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Mpasa Stake was organized from a division of the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of Congo Kimbanseke Stake. The new stake includes the following seven wards: the Bibwa, Makanza, Mikonga 1st, Mikonga 2nd, Mpasa 1st, Mpasa 2nd, and Mpasa 3rd Wards. The Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo N'Djili Stake was organized from a division of the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of Congo Masina Stake and the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of Congo Mokali Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards and two branches: the Debonhomme, Fer Bois, Kingasani 1st, Kingasani 4th, N'Djili 1st, and N'Djili 2nd Wards, and the Mokali and Nsanga Branches.

The first stake in Kinshasa was organized in 1996 - 10 years after the first branch was organized in the city. There are now 10 stakes in the Kinshasa metropolitan area as stakes have been organized in 1996, 1999, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2012 (2), 2016, and 2018 (2). Currently, Kinshasa ranks as the metropolitan area on the Afro-Eurasian landmass with the third most stakes after Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire (12 stakes) and Accra, Ghana (11 stakes). At least one more new stake in Kinshasa appears like to be organized this year as the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of Congo Ngaliema Stake currently has 11 wards and 1 branch. Furthermore, the Church's construction on the new temple in Kinshasa - Central Africa's first LDS temple - is nearing completion. The new temple president was also recently announced in the LDS Church News.

There are now 19 stakes and three districts in the DR Congo. 

Two new stakes have been organized in Nigeria.

The Lagos Nigeria Ojodu Stake was organized on June 24th from a division of the Lagos Nigeria Agege Stake and the Lagos Nigeria Ikeja Stake. The new stake includes the following eight wards and one branch wards: the Akute, Ibafo, Igbogbo, Ikorodu, Itamaga, Ketu, Ojodu, and Omole Wards, and the Imota Branch. There are now six stakes in the Lagos metropolitan area.

The Port Harcourt Nigeria Choba Stake was organized on July 8th. The new stake was organized from a division of the Port Harcourt Nigeria North Stake and the Port Harcourt Nigeria West Stake. The new stake includes the following five wards and one branch: Choba 1st, Choba 2nd, Emohua, Omoku, and Ogbogoro Wards, and the Rumuji Branch. There are now six stakes in Port Harcourt.

There are now 52 stakes and 15 districts in Nigeria. As many as 15 new stakes may be organized in Nigeria within the next 2-3 years. There are many stakes with a large number of wards and branches (e.g. Aba North, Abeokuta, Abuja, Benin City, Ibadan, Ikot Ekpene, Owerri, Ukat Aran, Umuahia, Warri) as well as several districts (e.g. Akampka, Ijebu-Ode, Mbaise, Ogwashi-Uku) that appear close to becoming stakes. Stake growth in Nigeria has been among the most rapid in the world during the past decade. For example, the number of stakes in Nigeria has increased from 22 to 52 in the last five years.

The Church organized a new stake in the Oklahoma City area on June 17th. The Edmond Oklahoma Stake was organized from the Oklahoma City Oklahoma Stake and the Stillwater Oklahoma Stake. The new stake includes the following nine wards and one branch: the Cushing, Edmond 1st, Edmond 2nd, Edmond 3rd, Edmond 4th, Edmond 5th, Oklahoma City YSA, Shawnee, and Village Wards, and the McLoud Branch (Correctional Facility). The new stake is the Church's first new stake to be organized in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area since 1982.

There are now nine stakes in Oklahoma.

The Church created its 43rd stake in the Lima metropolitan area on July 1st. The Lima Perú Torre Blanca was organized in northern Lima from a division of Lima Perú Santa Isabel Stake. The following five wards are assigned to the new stake: the El Progreso, Industrial, Los Angeles, Nueva America, and Torre Blanca Wards. Several new wards have recently been organized in Lima, reversing a trend of stagnant congregational growth in the city that has persisted for several years. Local members report that many wards have as many as 250-300 people attending church before they are divided to organize additional congregations. There are now 43 stakes in Lima.

There are now 103 stakes and 19 districts in Peru.

The Church recently discontinued the San Cristóbal Venezuela. Retained congregations in the former stake were reassigned to the San Cristóbal Venezuela Pirineos Stake or the Venezuela Maracaibo Mission. This marks the first time in the Church's history in Venezuela when a stake has been discontinued. Political and economic crisis has been the primary cause for this decline in growth as many Venezuelan Latter-day Saints have sought to leave Venezuela in search of a better standard of living. Twelve wards or branches have been discontinued in 2018 thus far and 49 wards or branches have been discontinued since the Church reached its all-time high for the number of congregations in Venezuela back in 2011. Additional stakes appear like to be discontinued in the near future, especially in the Caracas area.

There are now 33 stakes and 5 districts in Venezuela.


L. Chris Jones said...

It alwasy nice to see the growth around the world. I am worried about Venezuela and Mexico though. Growth throughout WestAfrica seems amazing.

Unknown said...

We need to stop confusing having or not having congregations with the true goals of the gospel, inviting all to come unto Christ through the ordinances of the Church especially those of the temple. There are lots of situations where better growth in the long term comes through having fewer not more Church units.

I was called as Sunday school president in my branch today. If there is one failure I see in Sunday school in my branch, it is that visitors are never introduced.

Nigeria keeps coming up as the country most in need of more temples. However, with over 100 stakes in Peru, I wonder if a 5th temple might be announced soon. I have not analyzed the stake palcement in Peru enough to figure out where the next temple in Peru might be.

Christopher Nicholson said...

I assume the Congo is getting a temple president from Arizona because most of the local members have little or no experience with temples. Chile has had an extensive church presence and a temple for decades, though, so it's disappointing to me that it needs a temple president from Utah. Nothing against him or Utah, of course, but I just would have hoped Chile could staff its own temples by now.

L. Chris Jones said...

I'm waiting for the day where a president called from South America, Africa, Asia, or Europe preside over a temple in Utah, Idaho, or Arizona and elsewhere in the world. Has the Santiago ever had a native temple president?

John Pack Lambert said...

From 1995-1998 Eduardo Ayala, who was the first Chilean General Authority, was president of the Santiago Chile Temple.

We just barely reached the point where mission presidents from other than the US, Canada and a few Mexican ones assigned to the south-west US were serving in the US. A few general authority seventies from outside the US are currently or have recently been mission presidents in the US while general authrity seventies. I believe Elder Yamashita was president in the Seattle Mission, and Elder Godoy from Peru (not Elder Godoy from Brazil) is currently I believe president of the Nevada Reno Mission.

Elder Wakolo was president of the Arkansas Little Rock Mission before his call as a general authority. The current president of the Maryland Baltimore Mission is from the DR Congo.

The new president of the Rome Temple is named Craig Neil Pacini, a name that indicates he probably has some Italian ancestry. However he was born in San Francisco and his mother's maiden name is Davis. His wife was born in New Zealand. He worked as a human resources director for the Church in his career and is a member of the Salt Lake Ensign Stake, which has some units that meet in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building on Temple Square. He was at one point president of the Italy Rome Mission.

Cesar Davilla, the new president of the Barranquilla Colombia Temple, is currently resident in Baranquilla. However he and his wife are natives of Bogota.

Then there are some truly complex cases. Like Darwin R. Jensen, the current president of the Ciudad Juarez Mexico Temple, is from El Paso, Texas, which means he is an American who lives in the temple district. He was born in Rupert, Idaho. His predecessor was Lorenzo Macías Peréz. However the temple matron is Angelica Zúniga Jensen. She was born in Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico.

The president of the Copenhagen Temple is from Stockholm Sweden.

The current president of the Aba Nigeria Temple, John Edafe Kosin, is from Benin City Nigeria. I often wonder if one of the things holding back Nigeria from getting a second temple is the violence factors that make its temple the only one in Africa regularly staffed by natives as temple president. President Kosin's predecssor was from Abuja, although he had been born in Aba.

John Pack Lambert said...

The newly called president of the temple in Fiji last month, Alipate Tagidugu, is Fijian. He most recently before this call was a counselor in the temple presidency. The current president of the Fiji Temple, Jackson C. Yee, is also a native of Fiji. President Yee's father was an immigrants from China, but his mother was Fijian.

James said...

I don't know if any of you picked up on this, but the first presidents of the Concepcion, Barranquilla, Rome, and Kinshasa Temples all previously served as mission presidents in those cities. So they are no strangers to the Saints in those areas. A wise choice indeed. We have seen the Church do this before. The purpose behind such calls goes beyond having seasoned leaders serve as the first temple presidents: They are able to train the new workers in those temples so that, by the end of their tenures, there are more native individuals who are sufficiently trained to succeed them in those assignments.

And we have also seen times when current or former general authorities have been called as temple presidents. It's not all that uncommon for the Church to rely on such individuals. I served among a few former general authorities, one of whom was the president of the Mount Timpanogos Temple during my service.

We have also seen times when former General Authorities, particularly those born outside the US, are called to be temple presidents in their native land, to which they have returned following their general Church service.

Since the first president of the Kinshasa DR Congo Temple has now been called, I would anticipate that the Church could announce its' open house and dedication within the next month or two, and that that dedication could take place in April or May of next year. It will be interesting to see.

For any who are interested, I have continued to provide ongoing analysis of several Church news items and reported temple developments. With my thanks to Matt for allowing me to do so, I am again posting the address of my blog for any who are interested in the latest content.

It was great to read this post about the stake creations. Thanks for the ongoing updates, Matt, and thank you all for contributing to another great thread of conversation. I appreciate all the thoughts shared here.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Not too bad that this is the first Venezuelan discontinuation based on all the hardships there. Back in the 1970s thousands of Chileans migrated there. I wonder if a higher proportion of their families are fleeing the country now.

Alison said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alison said...

The mission president for the Zambia Lusaka Mission is Inoke Fotu Kupu from Tonga. And the mission president for the Texas McAllen Mission is Jose Santos Torres Caballero from Honduras.

John Pack Lambert said...

The Church has just announced a major initiative with the NAACP to be launched initially in Atlanta, Camden, NJ and Baltimore. Baltimore because that is where NAACP headquarters are. I suspect that the fact that Atlanta has a black stake president makes it key to making this not just white Mormons working with blacks. The current president of the stake over Camden is Tongan. His predecessor who just returned from being mission president in the Dominican Republic is black.

I also learned more of Debra Bonner whose choir was one of the main contributors to the Be One Choir. Her hasband and 8 children and grandchildren and cgildren-in-law also sang in the celebration. Her choir, which sang at th he NAACP conference used to be the Genesis Choir, the choir of the Genesis Group the group for African-American members geadquartered in the Salt Lake Valley.

Another fact, Sister Bonner has been a,member for 35 years. Her and her husband were baptist missionaries in Liberia before joining the Church. I am still sensing there is a lot more to her story.