Sunday, October 17, 2010

Potential New Districts

Since 2007, it has been a tradition of mine to post a list of districts which may be created by the LDS Church in the near of immediate future. Potential districts I have listed are categorized by geographic area and include the number of branches in parenthesis next to the prospective district name. Many of these areas are at the forefront of church growth for Latter-day Saints, as they are in areas which have seen rapid membership growth, modest to high retention, and are located in areas where there has been little or no previous LDS Church presence. Many of these areas have seen consistent congregational growth. Districts are often only created when native church leadership is strong enough in devotion and numbers to fill additional administrative callings. Previous versions of this list may be found for 2007, 2008, and 2009. I also added the names of branches which may be included in potential districts in these cities.

The First Presidency, Area Presidency, and Mission Presidency for a given area are stakeholders in the decision process to create districts. Information used to compile this list does not contain any unauthorized information and I take full responsibility for this work.

  • Antsirabe Madagascar (4) [Ambohimena, Antsirabe, Mahazoarivo, Manandona]
  • Conotou Benin (3) [Akpakpa, Gbedjromede, Mentontin]
  • Eldoret Kenya (4) [Eldoret, Huruma, Langas, Sosiani]
  • Kilunga Hills Kenya (4) [Ilima, Kilili, Kyambeke, Matini]
  • Luanda Angola (3) [Luanda 1st, Luanda 2nd, Cassequel]
  • Mbuji-Mayi DR Congo (4) [Dibindi, Diulu, Muyu 1st, Muyu 2nd]
  • Mombasa Kenya (3) [Bamburi, Changamwe, Mombasa]
  • Yaounde Cameroon (4) [Bastos 1st, Bastos 2nd, Ekounou 1st, Ekounou 2nd]
  • Chignahuapan Mexico (3) [Chignahuapan, Tetela, Zacatlan]
  • Jacmel Haiti (3) [Jacmel, Meyer, Tenier]
  • Porto Seguro Brazil (3) [Coroa Vermelha, Eunapolis, Porto Seguro]
  • Puerto Cabezas Nicaragua (4) [Bilwi, El Caminante, Loma Verde, Puerto Cabezas]
  • Angoram Papua New Guinea (3) [Angoram, Moim, Pinang]
  • Aoba Vanuatu (5) [Apopo, Lobori, Lolotinge, Lovutialao, Navuti]
  • Honiara Solomon Islands (3) [Burns Creek, Honiara, White River]
  • Kukipi Papua New Guinea (5) [Heatoari, Keauta, Kukipi, Malalaua, Savaiviri]
  • Malakula Vanuatu (6) [Litslits, Lowni, Pinalum, Tulewei, Uripiv, Wala]
  • Tanna Vanuatu (4) [Greenhill, Saetsiwi, White Sands, Whitegrass]

In the coming months and years, many districts may be organized in additional locations not listed above. These locations have a high potential for congregational growth and leadership development due to receptivity of the LDS Church and high rates of convert baptisms (generally), but have an inadequate number of congregations, few local leaders capable of staffing district callings, or have branches scattered over a large geographical area. Below is a list of less likely potential new districts. The creation of districts in these areas will depend on the creation of additional congregations and the development of self-sustaining local leadership.

  • Douala Cameroon (2) [Douala Branch, Bonaberi Group - soon to become a branch]
  • Francistown Botswana (1) [congregation has experienced rapid growth, may divide into smaller units in the coming year]
  • Ho Ghana (1) [missionaries report branch is preparing to divide, active membership continues to grow]
  • Kisumu Kenya (1) [congregation has grown large, may divide, small groups of members in several nearby locations such as Sondu]
  • Kitale Kenya (1) [LDS Church-built chapel just dedicated, congregation may divide but no announced plans]
  • Marromeu Mozambique (2) [Marromeu 1st and 2nd Branches - missionaries currently working to improve member activity rates, church-built chapel in town]
  • Maseru Lesotho (3) [Maseru and Masianokeng Branches, Leribe Group - missionaries report plans to create a third branch in the Maseru area]
  • Pointe-Noire Republic of Congo (2) [Pointe-Noire and Aeropuerto Branches - third branch to be created soon, followed by a fourth hopefully in spring 2011]
  • Sikhendu Kenya (4) [Misikhu, Naitiri, and Sikhendu Branches and Matuma Group]
  • Windhoek Namibia (2) [Katutura and Windhoek Branches - over 120 active members, potential for additional groups to be created in the north]
  • Bluefields Nicaragua (2) [Bluefields and Bluefields Centro Branches - additional branches may be organized, no official reports however]
  • Chalatenango El Salvador (3) [Chalatenango, Nueva Concepcion, and Reubicacion Branches - missionaries report challenges with developing local leadership in these mission branches]
  • Gurupi Brazil (2) [Gurupi 1st and 2nd Branches - the creation of a third branch in the city may lead to the organization of a district]
  • Motupe Peru (2) [Motupe and Olmos Branches - missionaries report may positive developments in these branches, additional congregations needed to create a district]
  • San Borja Bolivia (3) [Rurrenabaque, San Borja, and Yucumo Branches - distance between the three mission branches has likely delayed the creation of a district]
  • Quibdo Colombia (2) [Istmina and Quibdo Branches - mission branches created in the past decade, may experience greater growth in the coming years]
  • Todos Santos Guatemala (5) [San Antonio Huista, Santa Ana Huista, Santa Cruz Barillas, and Todos Santos Branches, and Yalijux Group - unclear why this remote region has not become a district yet; possibly due to distance between branches and few local leaders]
  • Viacha Bolivia (3) [Ingavi, Patacamaya, and Viacha Branches - likely has not become a district yet due to distance between the three mission branches]
  • Yopal Colombia (2) [Aguazul and Yopal - the Aguazul Branch was created last year, a district may be organized once additional branches are organized and headed by local members]
  • Madang Papua New Guinea [Madang and Sisiak Branches - additional congregations needed to create a district]

There are yet more areas which may have districts created in the near future around the world, but have not experienced noticeable church growth in terms of congregational increases such as areas of the South Pacific, portions of Nigeria, and Russia. If you have information regarding the possible creation of a district or the establishment of new congregations in one of the areas listed above or elsewhere, feel free to comment.


Gnesileah said...

I was hoping to eventually see a district created in Newfoundland, Canada, but I see the five branches in the province have been consolidated into three. A district there is probably several years away.

Ray said...

To Matt,

Just curious which of the 2007, 2008, or 2009 predicted new districts actually were created. There certainly seem to be many ready to go. Thanks for your thorough analysis!

Ricardo Prins said...

A stake will be created in Chapecó, Santa Catarina, Brazil, according to information from local missionaries. I still have to get more information from the elders there to give you something more accurate.

Matt said...

That is great news about a potential new stake in Chapecó. Southern Brazil has performed quite well recently regarding congregational growth despite lower numbers of convert baptisms than other areas of the country. Convert retention rates appear highest in the southern states.

Matt said...


When I get the time, I'll let you know which districts were and were not created on previous lists of potential new districts.

Matt said...

7 of the 32 potential districts on the 2007 list have become districts (Miri East Malaysia [listed as Bintulu], Coimbatore India, Visakhapatnam India [listed Rajahmundry], Arad Romania, Addis Ababa Ethiopia, Yamoussoukro Cote d'Ivoire, and Miskolc Hungary (listed as Nyiregyhaza]).

9 of the 36 potential districts on the 2008 list have become districts (Yamoussoukro Cote d'Ivoire, Lome Togo, Ikot Ekpene Nigeria, Addis Ababa Ethiopia, Bloemfontein South Africa, Toamasina Madagascar, Chennai India, Coimbatore India, and Visakhapatnam India [listed Rajahmundry].

5 of the 48 potential districts on the 2009 list have become districts (Lome Togo, Ekpoma Nigeria [listed as Ozalla], Toamasina Madagascar, Battambang Cambodia, and Sorriso Brazil.

For the 2007 and 2008 lists, around 25% of the potential districts listed have become districts. The 2009 list has had only about 10% of the potential districts listed become districts, which will likely increase in the coming months and years.