Monday, November 5, 2018

Second Most Populous City in Liberia Opens to Missionary Work

Yesterday, the Church organized its first member group in the Liberian city of Gbarnga. Gbarnga is the second most populous city in Liberia and is inhabited by at least 57,000 people. The mission reported 64 people in attendance for the first meeting of the Gbarnga Group. A single full-time missionary companionship has also been assigned to serve in the city. Gbarnga is the most distant city from Monrovia to have had full-time missionaries assigned. Click here to read the mission president's report about the creation of the new member group.

Earlier this year, the Church in Liberia organized its first branches in two additional cities: Buchanan and Totota. There are now five cities with an official branch, and nine cities with a ward, branch, or member group. Furthermore, rapid congregational growth has occurred in Monrovia during 2018. There are now 38 wards and branches in Monrovia - up from nine branches a decade earlier.

See below for a map of wards, branches, and member groups in Liberia.

29 comments:

Eduardo Clinch said...

Great stuff.

James said...

I have said this before, but it certainly bears repeating: the Lord seems to be very much aware of His work in all parts of the world, and is allowing it to greatly expand on a definitive global scale. That has been especially true for the entire continents of South America (which, by definition, includes Brazil and the nations falling under the South America Northwest and South America South Areas) and Africa (which, by definition, includes all those nations falling under the Africa Southeast and Africa West Areas). The one exception to that is, of course, the Middle East/Africa North Area, where the Church is either struggling to put down roots independent of the military personnel stationed there, or facing significant political or religious obstacles in terms of the ability to make progress. That said, I am certainly watching Liberia for news of a future temple, and given that that nation now ranks 6th among the list of top ten nations with the strongest Church presence that do not have a temple in any phase.

That said, I wanted to note here that there have been significant Church news and temple developments reported in recent days, and I have picked up word of additional developments about topics I have previously covered before. With my ongoing thanks to Matt for continuing to allow me to share such updates, I wanted to post the address of my blog for any of you that would like to catch up on the latest content there.

http://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com

It is amazing to see the growth of the Church continuing to unfold the way it has, and I am grateful to Matt for his ongoing reports about it, and to all of you whose comments contribute to my understanding about those topics. Thanks again to all of you, and especially to Matt for sharing these reports and allowing the comments on them to cover such a wide range of topics.

Nephi said...

I read President and Sister Clark's report. All I can say is wow! Love to see the work progress around the world.

Eduardo Clinch said...

I had little idea that the second biggest city in this country had under 60,000 people. Compared to states of Nigeria, or closer Ghana and Ivory Coast, Liberia seems like a minor location. But major things are going on with the Church of Jesus Christ. Thanks for the link to President Clark's blog. Great reports.

اوائل المثالي said...

شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالقصيم
شركة عزل خزانات بابها وخميس مشيط
شركة عزل اسطح بالاحساء

James said...

Matt, another housekeeping item, if I may. The comment posted above is spam, and again, I know this because the same comment was left on my own blog at around the same time the one above was posted. You may want to delete both that comment and this one. Just wanted to let you know. Thanks.

Unknown said...

Will you please stop promoting your blog on every post? Lol. Come on now, it gets excessive and petty. Please comment all you want, but your plug ins are getting annoying, Brother.

James Anderson said...

He was saying that the same person that left an Arabic-language spam comment here had left one on his. that is a common problem as the blogging community at large sees a lot of issues with spam. He also mentions this one on his.

As to the spam site, I submitted it to a major web filtering service provider, one that provides that to 100 million plus PCs and devices. So by spamming he lost access to all of that where they might have clicked on that.

James said...

James Anderson has the correct interpretation of my comment above. And the way things usually work is that blogs that get decent or high readership and interaction are more prone to have comments of a spam nature left on multiple outlets by a single user within a short period of time. I apologize if anything I have said offends, bothers, or troubles anyone, but feel the characterization of the comment in question, particularly the implication that I "promote my blog on every post" is blatantly ignorant of the multiple times I comment here with no such references.

If anyone has a problem with anything I post, I have frequently provided an open invitation for such people to skip over those comments. But I am used to having my intentions and words misconstrued, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that it has happened again. Unfortunately, however, I don't see why I should be held responsible for how others interpret my comments. Just some additional thoughts, for what they are worth.

James said...

Getting back to the topic of Church growth, Elder Hartman Rector Jr. (who was the first General Authority called who had converted to the Church in his adult years) passed away yesterday at the age of 94. The Church News published the following article in his honor:

https://www.thechurchnews.com/leaders-and-ministry/2018-11-07/elder-hartman-rector-jr-emeritus-general-authority-seventy-dies-at-age-94-48386

It certainly seems as though within the last several years, there has been somewhat of a significant increase in the number of current or former General Authorities of the Church being called home. 94 is a very good life-span run. He was born 20 days before President Nelson was, and served in a wide variety of capacities at Church headquarters. While it is saddening to see all of these men who are significant to Church history pass away (He was serving in the First Council of the Seventy and in the Presidency of the Seventy at the time the First Quorum was reconstituted in 1976), I am sure he merited the Savior's greeting as found in the scriptures: "Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Thou hast been faithful over a few things. I will make thee ruler over many things. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."

Unknown said...

Elder Rector was not the first adult convert general authority, just the first one in several decades.

Eric S. said...

Groundbreaking for the Abidjan temple was held today.

https://www.mormonnewsroom.com.gh/article/elder-andersen-presides-at-the-groundbreaking-of-abidjan-cote-d-ivoire-temple

James said...

Unknown, thank you for catching that. You are correct. Eric, I was glad to see the Newsroom coverage for the Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple groundbreaking. It will be interesting to see how soon full-scale construction can begin for that temple. A couple of additional news items were reported as well.

The First Presidency announced an alteration to the dedication schedule for the Rome Italy Temple. Instead of being held over an 8-day period (from March 10-17), it will now be held from March 10-12 (a 3-day period). The temple will still be opening for ordinances on March 17 as originally announced, and nothing has changed in terms of either the open house dates or the youth devotional plans. More information can be found at the web address below:

https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/multimedia/file/First-Presidency-Letter-Rome-Italy-Temple.pdf

And President Eyring, who has painted several water colors over the years, will have his artwork featured in a display for the Church History Museum. More details at the web addresses below:

https://www.thechurchnews.com/leaders-and-ministry/2018-11-08/new-art-exhibit-a-visual-journal-features-watercolors-by-president-eyring-48389

https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/president-eyring-watercolor-paintings-display-church-history-museum

Hope this information is helpful to you all.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Guinea to the north is not growing as fast as its neighbors to the south. It has started later, but hopefully will catch up in some ways. It is interesting to see the faith creep up inland slowly but surely. This also happened in similar fashion in Brazil over decades.

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

18/11/2018 will be another stake in Feira de Santana - Bahia-Brazil
It will be a fair in Santana Norte, will be presided by the president of the area of ​​Brazil (Elder Aidukitis).
It will be a third stake in the city and will have 6 wings.

November 9, 2018 at 9:43 pm

Jim Coles said...

Sergio, I think you meant wards instead of wings. I couldn’t figure out what the word fair was supposed to be.

Chris said...

Jim Coles, I think that Sergio´s portuguese to English translator, tried to translate the city name fro "Feira de" Santana, to "Fair in" Santana Norte.

Chris said...

On another note, the "México City Vergel" Stake was renamed "México City Madero" Stake, and the "México City Centenario" Stake was discontinued. At least according to the Classic LDS Maps site. That Matt had previously mentioned here.

John Pack Lambert said...

I just came across this 11 year old article https://www.deseretnews.com/article/660208411/An-LDS-conference-outside-the-US.html where Elder John K. Carmack suggests that in the future LDS general conference may be held outside the US. I have no clue if this is likely to happen.

John Pack Lambert said...

As you move north in west Africa you generally go from areas that are moreChristian to more Muslim. There are exceptions. The Yoruba who dominant in Lagos are majority Muslim but not overwhelmingly so. Also since Lagos is the business center of the nation, it has lots of people who are not Yoruba. Still 6 stakes and now a temple shows the Church moving into less Christian parts of Nigeria. Abuja with two stakes even more so, but Abuja as the capital is partly fueled by movement from elsewhere.

Ivory Coast was only one eight Christian in the early 1980s. Most of the people in the south were still followers of indigenous religions then and most of the people in the north were Muslims. Today the north is still heavily Muslim, but overall Ivory Coast is over 50% Christian.

John Pack Lambert said...

In his remarks at the ground-breaking for the Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple, given in French, Elder Andersen quoted from the testimonies of three generations of the Assard family. Philippe Assard was in his early 20s when he went to study in Germany in either the late 1970s or early 1980s.

He married a women named Annalies, who is a native of Germany. Shortly later they joined the Church and were sealed in the Swiss Temple. The Assards felt impressed to return to Ivory Coast. There they met another family, the Affoue family. That family were both from Ivory Coast and had joined the Church while studying in France. When they first met in the mid to late 1980s both families where unemployed or at best marginally employed. Both husbands had had established jobs in Germany and France respectively, but felt that the Lord had a work for the to do in Ivory Coast. It was from the foundation they laid that the over 43,000 members of the Church in Ivory Coast today have grown, although there are many more stories of faith and miracles and the guiding hand of the Lord involved in the work.

Elder Andersen quoted from Annalies Assard, one of the Assard's daughters and a granddaughter of the Assards who is 13-years-old testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

John Pack Lambert said...

Sister Kathy Andersen, Elder Andersen's wife, also spoke in French. Also there were area president Marcus Nash and his wife and first counselor in the area presidency Edward Dube and his wife. Elder Dube is a black man from Zimbabwe. He was the first stake president in Zimbabwe, and essentially the founding father of seminaries and institutes in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi. He was also president of the Zimbabwe Harare Mission, I think when it also still covered Zambia and Malawi. He served as a missionary first in the Johannesburg Mission and then in the Zimbabwe Harare Mission, serving at the time Zimbabwe was split off to be a seperate mission.

John Pack Lambert said...

Daniel Kablan Duncan the vice president and former prime minister of Ivory Coast was also present and spoke at the temple ground breaking. The two terms were 1993-1999 and 2012-2017. This seems a show of the Church coming out of obscurity in Ivory Coast that the Vice President shows up at the tmeple groundbreaking. On the other hand Church membership in Ivory Coast is still only about 0.2% of the total population.

Sérgio said...

A cidade: Feira de Santana.
A estaca: Feira de Santana Norte
Alas: 6

Ray said...

Obrigado, Sergio!

Kevin Wanderlan said...

Nothing to do with the topic, but i've been following this blog for over a year, and i'd like to thank Matt, David Stewart and everyone also responsible for this work along with the Cumorah Foundation and The Law of the Harvest book. They have really shaped my vision of the missionary work and have turned the study of foreign missions a very exciting thing. I'm really grateful to have found that. I just got my call for the Brazil Piracicaba Mission and I just wanted to express my gratitude towards you guys. Also thanks to everyone commenting insightful and pertinent questions here in this blog. Hope this comment here wasn't innapropriate to make.

Eric S. said...

Congrats, Kevin! Best of luck to you. Thanks for sharing!

James said...

Nothing inappropriate at all about that comment, Kevin. Big congratulations. You will, I am positive, be a credit to your field of labor, and will serve the Brazilian Saints well. Brazil, as discussed here previously, is a stronghold of the Church in South America where people certainly seem to be very receptive to the gospel message. That is no more evident than in the fact that the first apostle called from the southern hemisphere is our native Brazilian, Elder Ulisses Soares. And unless I am mistaken, you were probably a beneficiary of the call being sent electronically. I am equally as sure that the Lord has well prepared you to reach the people in that part of Brazil who are looking for the gospel. Godspeed, good brother, and thank you for letting us all know here.