Showing posts with label Administrative Branch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Administrative Branch. Show all posts

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Church Growth News

Stake discontinued in Australia

For the first time in LDS Church history in Australia, a stake was discontinued. The Sydney Australia Parramatta Stake was consolidated into several neighboring stakes in the Sydney area.  The number of congregations in many Australian stakes is much lower than other nations, which jeopardizes the continued operation of some stakes if large numbers of members move away and few new converts are baptized and retained.  Overall Australia has experienced moderate membership growth rates among industrialized nations but has experienced stagnant congregational growth.  For more information about the Church in Australia, please refer to an article written by me and David Stewart at

Approximately a dozen new branches to be organized in Sierra Leone and Liberia in 2011

Full-time missionaries serving in the Sierra Leone Freetown Mission that plans are being finalized to organize approximately a dozen new branches in Sierra Leone and Liberia.  The Church has experienced little congregational growth in both nations between the mid-1990s and 2009 notwithstanding LDS membership grew rapidly.  Missionaries also report that a future stake may soon be organized from one of the Monrovia districts.  

New wards in Nairobi, Kenya

For the first time since the organization of the Nairobi Kenya Stake in 2001, the Church has organized new wards in Nairobi, Kenya.  The Mountain View Ward (formerly the Westlands Branch) and the Kayole Ward were organized.  There are now seven wards and two branches in the stake.  LDS mission outreach remains severely limited in Nairobi as nine congregations provide outreach to a population of over three million.  Prospects appear favorable for the opening of additional congregations in Nairobi and the formation of districts for the dozens of mission branches in the coming years.

New branch established in remote area of Mozambique

One of the most remote LDS congregations in Africa, the Luaha Branch was officially organized from the Luaha Group and becomes the 19th LDS branch in Mozambique.  Latter-day Saints have lived in Luaha for several years and have demonstrated a strong degree of responsibility and desire regarding the gospel.  For more information about the Church in Luaha, please refer to an article posted on the Church's South Africa website at

Administrative branches discontinued for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo

Following the organization of the Pristina and Sarajevo Branches, the Church has discontinued the administrative branches for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo.  Administrative branches continue to operate in Macedonia, Montenegro, and the Falkland Islands. 

District discontinued in Spain

Comprising three branches stretched over a large geographical area, the Valladolid Spain District was discontinued.  The Valladolid Branch now pertains to the Leon Spain District whereas the Salamanca and Segovia Branches are now mission branches under the Spain Madrid Mission.

Mormon Channel interview with former Nicaragua Managua Mission president

The Mormon Channel's Into All the World program conducted a phone interview with President Fraatz, the former mission president of the Nicaragua Managua Mission who served from 2007-2010.  Former President Fraatz reported that church attendance among many LDS wards in the Managua area had increased dramatically in recent months, with several wards now reporting over 200 active members.  Fraatz predicted that three to five new stakes would be organized in the new future due to strong growth and higher convert retention.  The interview can be found on the right-hand side of this blog and is interview number 51.

Friday, January 14, 2011

First Branches Created in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo

Last spring the Church created administrative branches in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Montenegro to manage membership records and coordinate small LDS gatherings in the Balkans from the Europe Area headquarters in Germany. However no official branches were organized in any of these countries at the time. Progress has been made less than a year later as the first LDS branches were organized in Pristina, Kosovo and Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Both branches appear to have native branch presidents and jurisdiction for both countries remains under the Europe Area. Administrative branches continue to function for both Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo despite the creation of the two new branches. LDS meetings also appear to occur regularly in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Church dedicated both Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo for missionary work last fall. No proselyting missionaries have been assigned, but senior missionary couples regular serve in the area.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Administrative Branches Created in the Balkans

Under the supervision of the Europe Area, the Church has created four branches in nations without an official Church presence in the Balkan nations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Montenegro. Each nation has its own administrative branch. There is no official missionary work conducted in these nations and the small numbers of members meet privately. The decision to create these administrative branches - the first of their kind in the Church - may indicate an increased effort to establish the Church in these nations or better coordinate church administration where there are few LDS members. Similar efforts were conducted by the Church in the 1980s in Eastern Europe prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union with small districts of members in Poland and Czechoslovakia.

The Church appears to have increased the flexibility of congregations over the past few years. Typically groups of members in remote locations belong to mission branches. However last year, the Church created nearly two dozen "district branches" in Africa, South America, Europe, and Asia for members meeting in groups within the boundaries of a member district. These locations tend to have many members spread over a large geographic area which are not concentrated in large enough numbers to justify the creation of additional independent branches. Many of these district branches have high potential for growth as groups of members within the district branch increase in numbers and self-sufficiency to merit additional independent congregations.

These four newly created administrative branches in the Balkans appear a stepping stone toward a greater Church presence in the region and an exciting development in the growth of the Church.