Monday, January 13, 2014

Stakes Likely to Split Outside the United States and Canada

Below is an updated list of likely stakes to split within the near future.  The most recent list of likely stakes to split is from December 2012 and can be found here.


  • Aba Nigeria (13 wards, 2 branches)
  • Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire Niangon (12 wards, 1 branch)
  • Abuja Nigeria (10 wards, 3 branches)
  • Benin City Nigeria New Benin (10 wards)
  • Benin City Nigeria Ugbowo (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • Brazzaville Republic of Congo (10 wards, 3 branches)
  • Cape Coast Ghana (11 wards, 2 branches)
  • Cape Town South Africa (9 wards, 4 branches)
  • Cocody Cote d'Ivoire (9 wards, 2 branches)
  • Kananga Democratic Republic of the Congo (12 wards)
  • Nairobi Kenya (9 wards, 2 branches)
  • Owerri Nigeria (5 wards, 10 branches) - likely to split to form a new district
  • Port-Bouet Cote d'Ivoire (9 wards, 3 branches)
  • Takoradi Ghana (10 wards, 2 branches)
  • Tema Ghana (9 wards, 3 branches)
  • Butuan Philippines (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • Pasig Philippines (11 wards)
  • Singapore (10 wards)
  • Taipei Taiwan West (10 wards)
  • La Ceiba Honduras (10 wards)
  • Managua Nicaragua (10 wards)
  • San Salvador El Salvador La Libertad (10 wards, 3 branches)
  • Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Ozama (10 wards)
  • Amecameca Mexico (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • Celaya Mexico (11 wards)
  • Chalco Mexico (10 wards)
  • Chilpancingo Mexico (10 wards, 5 branches)
  • Ciudad Victoria Mexico (10 wards, 4 branches)
  • Coatzacoalcos Mexico Puerto (13 wards)
  • Colonia Juarez Mexico East (11 wards)
  • Culiacan Mexico (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • Jalapa Mexico (10 wards)
  • Juchitan Mexico (10 wards, 3 branches) 
  • Metepec Mexico (10 wards, 2 branches)
  • Mexico City Anahuac (11 wards)
  • Mexico City Chapultepec (10 wards)
  • Mexico City Cuautitlan (11 wards)
  • Mexico City Culturas (11 wards)
  • Mexico City Iztapalapa (10 wards)
  • Mexico City La Perla (10 wards, 2 branches)
  • Mexico City Tecamac (11 wards)
  • Mexico City Tepalcapa (11 wards)
  • Mexico City Valle Dorado (11 wards, 1 branch)
  • Oaxaca Mexico Monte Alban (10 wards, 3 branches)
  • Veracruz Mexico Villa Rica (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • Villahermosa Mexico Gaviotas (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • Ha'apai Tonga (9 wards, 5 branches) 
  • Newcastle Australia (10 wards, 2 branches)
  • Brasilia Brazil Alvorada (10 wards, 2 branches)
  • Buenos Aires Argentina Castelar (10 wards)
  • Cochabamba Bolivia Jaihuayco (10 wards)
  • Guayaquil Ecuador Pascuales (11 wards)
  • Joao Pessoa Brazil Rangel (10 wards)
  • Juiz de Fora Brazil (11 wards)
  • Jujuy Argentina (10 wards, 3 branches)
  • Lima Peru Canto Grande (10 wards)
  • Luque Paraguay (10 wards, 3 branches) 
  • Machala Ecuador (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • Maipu de Cuyo Argentina (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • Santa Maria Brazil (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • Sao Luis Brazil (10 wards)


Eduardo said...

It would be interesting to know how many Filipino ex-patriots or foreign workers contribute to the LDS Church numbers worldwide.

Up north in Afghanistan we had a member from the Phillipines, and he was working as a third country national, as we say.

In the Persian/Arabic Gulf maybe the numbers are even higher.

Eduardo said...

I meant to put that post with the Phillpines district newly created.

About new splitting stakes: how many stakes have been created by the church the last 15-20 years, on average.

Will this be an above average year?

Adam said...

You can just look at this for fun if you want, it is a basic google doc with Church Growth since 1996 and the yearly increases in the information I could readily get.

I put on the side the average growth in stakes and districts on the right side for the past 15, 10, and 5 years. Hope it helps.

Adam said...

I'd be curious to see the yearly totals of new stakes created from existing stakes, total stakes discontinued, total stakes created from districts, new districts, and districts discontinued. I'm sure it could be compiled, but you can't really figure it out from simply eyeballing the yearly changed in stakes and districts.

Michael Worley said...

Do we know if the unit reqts. for a stake is lower outside the US? It seems like there are more in US wards with 12+ wards, and yet most splits/creations come up outside the US

Michael Worley said...


neat Doc. I am not aware of any new Stakes this year--Could CDOL be finishing up last year?

Mike Johnson said...

The only difference in requirement between the US/Canada and the rest of the world is in total numbers of members.

Both require 5 wards (although apparently multiple branches sometimes seem to modify this).

Both require 24 active, full-tithe-paying Melchizedek Priesthood holders in addition to those required by the wards and branches.

In the US/Canada, a stake requires at least 3000 members, while in the rest of the world, a stake requires 1900.

Similarly, wards have a different requirement in terms of members. Wards require at least 15 active, full-tithe-paying Melchizedek Priesthood holders.

Wards in the US/Canada require 300 members while outside require 150.

I don't know why the difference, other than perhaps that in the US and Canada people might be a lot more mobile than in other parts of the world and in short order a large number of members might move from an area. That is the only reason I can think of for the difference.

Adam said...

@Michael Worley,

I think so. The Honduras one and the Philippines district and probably a few others. I just don't know where to draw the line because I don't know what the official year end numbers are, so I'll probably leave it that way until April.

Often we look at stakes as the best unit for growth, I still like looking at increase in total units created. I also enjoy seeing the ratio of stakes to districts slowly get higher. Not crazy to think that by the time I die only stakes will cover the globe, especially considering how many have been upgraded to stakes in the past few years.

Unknown said...

With the surge in missionaries out there will also be a surge in RMs starting this fall. I know BYU-I plans on increasing enrollment by about 2k next fall and SVU increasing theirs by 400 although I'm not sure how quickly they are trying to implement that. Not sure plans in Prove/Hawaii. Just something to think about when predicting stake growth.

James Anderson said...

Got some interesting information while at a recording session today, from a producer who lives in Lehi, near Thanksgiving Point.

This far north area of Lehi, Utah, has a lot of townhomes and other high-density properties, and so a ward is very small, four wards are found in only sixteen buildings near I-15, and the stake has 13 wards.

But here's the rub, most are young families just getting started, so the primary in almost every ward in that stake is monstrous, with usually 200 children in each ward's primary. So although the wards are quite large, they can't split them or the stake for that matter because there are not enough priesthood holders to fill the requisite positions if they were able to otherwise on numbers alone.

TempleRick said...

The boundaries for all of the wards in the Pocatello Idaho Highland Stake will be changing this Sunday, January 19. I presume that at least one new ward will be created as several of the wards are quite large, and it is an area stacked with leadership.

TempleRick said...

There are currently 10 wards in the stake:

Highland 1st Ward
Highland 2nd Ward
Highland 3rd Ward
Highland 4th Ward
Highland 5th Ward
Highland 6th Ward
Highland 7th Ward
Highland 8th Ward
Highland 9th Ward
Highland 11th Ward

There used to be a Highland 10th Branch (YSA), but it became part of the Pocatello Idaho YSA 1st Stake when the Pocatello university stakes were converted to YSA stakes in April 2011.

Adam said...
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Adam said...

Got word from my Grandma that they are looking at splitting the North Little Rock Stake at the end of the month. They have had the # of units for a while, but just looking at the logistics it is hard to see exactly how they'll do it. At 10 wards and 5 branches you know there has to be another branch upgraded or some new wards, because it is a really funky split if you look at the map of it. There isn't even really good spots to grab a few units from other stakes to help with the numbers. Be interesting to see how they do it.

Unknown said...

I don't think that would be a band wagon I would hop aboard.
Harlin |

Mike Johnson said...

Looking at the North Little Rock Stake, one option would be to create a Russellville or a Conway stake to the northwest.

In 2010, ARDA had for the Church:

Faulkner County: 3 congregations 1,457 adherents
Conway 1st and 2nd and Choctaw wards

Conway County: 1 congregation 342 adherents
Morrilton Ward

Pope County: 1 congregation 782 adherents
Russellville 1st Ward
Russellville 2nd Branch (Spanish)

Yell County: 1 congregation 192 adherents
Danville Branch

These add up to 2773 adherents. So, unless 227 more have been added in 3 years, another unit is needed for this to become a stake.

Looking at the rest of the North Little Rock Arkansas Stake:

Cleburne County: 1 congregation 591 adherents
Quitman Ward

White County: 1 congregation 645 adherents
Searcy Ward

Lonoke County: 2 congregations 924 adherents
Cabot Ward
Lonoke Branch

Independence County: 1 congregation 360 adherents
Batesville Branch

Stone County: 1 congregation 206 adherents
Mountain View Branch

Pulaski County: 6 congregations 3,965 adherents
Jacksonville Ward
North Little Rock Ward
(+ others in the Little Rock Arkansas Stake)

2726 adherents plus those in the wards in Pulaski County, which may add another 1000 adherents.

The Quitman Ward could be in the Russellville/Conway stake and that would be enough to push it over 3000 members. But, it would also mean 6 wards in one stake and 4 in the other, which might be why there is a discussion of needing another ward.

Another possibility would be to take the Clarksville Ward from the Fort Smith Arkansas Stake (which currently has 8 wards and 5 branches). The Clarksville Ward (Johnson County--ARDA had 1 congregation, 573 adherents), so this would ensure the Russellville/Conway stake would have enough members without taking away a unit from the eastern half of the stake.

So, enough wards and enough members to form two stakes. The only question is whether there are enough active, full-tithe-paying, Melchizedek Priesthood holders.

John said...

And remember that not only do North American wards need fifteen qualifying MPh holders, but at least five percent of the members need to be as well. Interestingly (not exactly related), language wards in North America only need the international standard of 150 members, but still need the fifteen qualifying MPh.

Derrill Watson said...

While a look at the raw number of units is useful, it might be more useful to include in the analysis how long the unit has existed. The Abuja Nigeria stake was only just created 7 months ago. I would be very surprised if it split again so soon after creation. The two Benin stakes at least have been around for almost 2 years and leadership has had a little more time to mature. I assume you have statistics somewhere on average and range of time between stake splittings, yes?

TempleRick said...

Two new wards were created in the Pocatello Idaho Highland Stake today:

Highland 10th Ward
Highland 12th Ward

There are now 12 wards in the stake.

Unknown said...

Great news in Pocatello. Although Auckland is the metropolitan area with the most stakes without a temple, Pocatello is ahead in wards. Pocatello has 87 wards and 6 branches, Auckland has 80 wards and 3 branches. Since stakes and Wards in the U.S. are larger than ones outside, there is obviously more members in Pocatello.

I think it will be interesting to see which temple gets announced first. Both cities are in similar situations. Both Cities attend a temple that would have a diminished temple district if another temple was built (Idaho falls: 26 Stakes, Hamilton: 14 Stakes) Both cities have are not super far away from the nearest temple (Pocatello: 45 minutes, Auckland: 75 - 90 minutes), but are capable of supporting a moderate sized temple.

TempleRick, Any ideas for a Location if a temple were built in Pocatello in the next 5 to 10 years?

TempleRick said...
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Mike Johnson said...

John, I don't read the ward creation requirements that way.

Sentence 1: All wards in the United States and Canada (300 members)

Sentence 2: All wards outside the United States and Canada (150 members)

Sentence 3: All wards "must" have 15 active, full-tithe-paying MP holders who are capable of filling callings.

Sentence 4: "Normally all new wards must" have 1 active, full-tithe-paying MP holder for every 20 members.

There is nothing in sentences 3 or 4 that limits either requirement to the United States and Canada.

Nor do I see anything that suggests that the requirement of 300 members for wards in the United States and Canada is relaxed because of the language.

The requirement for YSA wards is specified differently--125 active members.

I understand you are a stake clerk and may have seen these requirements flexibly interpreted, but the requirements as stated in the policy manual don't provide a different standards in terms of MP holders inside or outside the United States and Canada, nor to differences in language wards inside the United States and Canada.

Mike Johnson said...

I have wondered about the "normally must" requirement of 1 AFTPMPH for every 20 members. If a ward has 900 members than 45 would be required. To split the ward, the two together would need to add to 45. But, what if there aren't 45. What if there are 35? Would they keep a very large ward or would they split it into 2 wards waiving the "normally must" requirement. I imagine that there are areas with large numbers of inactives that this requirement would make impossible to split wards if rigorously applied.

In my example, if 45 AFTPMPHs were in the ward it would be split into 3 wards, but if 44 were in the ward, the requirement would seem to preclude even splitting into 2 wards. "Normally" probably gives the flexibility needed.

Bryan Dorman said...

Yesterday in Tlaxcala, the temple president of Mexico City said that in the last year there was an increase of 24 percent of ordinance work done inside the temple in relation to 2012 and in increase of 38 percent of first time ordinances done in the temple.

Now the temple is under renovation. Don't want to keep my hopes up but I wouldn't be surprised to see a temple announcement for the peripherial zones around Mexico City sometime in the near future (My guesses are Puebla, Queretaro, and Cuernavaca/south DF) in that order.

Unknown said...

Rick, I counted 87 because I didn't count the Marsh Valley, American Falls, and the 3 Blackfoot YSA Ward even though there are in the Pocatello YSA stakes.

The Idaho Falls Temple Baptistery is also very busy in the morning before and in the afternoon after school. In recent years there has been a movement around Idaho Falls among high school students to go to the temple once a month or even once a week with or without church leaders. This has resulted in limiting youth to 5 temple names for baptism. I'm sure that this could be replicated if a temple were built in Pocatello, especially with the YSA Wards.

Thanks for all the work you do on your temples website, I really enjoy looking at it.

Mike Johnson said...

Technically, the Marsh Valley YSA in Arimo is part of the Pocatello Metropolitan area. So are the Arimo and McCammon stakes, which are at least headquartered in Bannock County. ARDA has 116 congregations with 43,023 adherents in 2010 in Bannock County, which by definition is also the Pocatello Metropolitan Area.

Blackfoot and American Falls are about 25 miles to the north and west, respectively, of Pocatello. There are 11 Stakes in the Pocatello-Chubbuck area, 5 in the Blackfoot area, and 1 in the American Falls area, for 17 stakes in the Pocatello Area Coordinating Council.

There are 9 stakes in the Idaho Soda Springs Area Coordinating Council including the Arimo and McCammon stakes, most of which, will likely end up in the Star Valley Wyoming Temple District. But, McCammon and Arimo likely will be in the Pocatello Temple District if a temple is announced soon.

John said...
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John said...

From Handbook 1, 9.1.5: "[A nonnative language] ward generally should have at least 150 members. The standard requirement for the number of Melchizedek Priesthood holders also applies . . ."

John said...

True, sentences 3 and 4 aren't limited to North America. Any ward that has 300 or more members has to have 15 qualifying priesthood holders, because 300/20=15 (and 400/20=20, etc.) A ward that has less than 300 (outside North America, language units) still has to have the 15. There is a Spanish branch in our stake with 200+ members that's still a branch because it doesn't have enough priesthood.

The only thing that was relaxed in my area with the stake division a couple of years ago was the 3000 minimum for each stake. Each stake has six wards with enough members and priesthood, and well over 24 additional priesthood in each stake.

Mike Johnson said...

Thanks, John. I stand corrected on 9.1.5. I was reading the requirements in 9.1.2 on wards and branches in stakes and 9.1.3 on branches in missions. And 9.1.4 is on groups in missions, stakes, and areas. I had read 9.1.6 on YSA wards and branches and completely spaced 9.1.5.

Now, 9.1.5, would also mean that English units in Quebec would also only need 150 members. Or, I wonder if French units have a 150 requirement and English 300.

I am still trying to figure out why 300 in the US and Canada in English, and 150 everywhere else. Of course, the same AFTPMPH requirement, which does some normalizing. I imagine it is hard to have 15 AFTPMPHs in a congregation of 150.

Our Spanish branch is undoubtedly in the same situation. There are 135 adults in the directory. The branch could easily have 200 or more and in fact has roughly the same number of adults on record as my own ward, which averages about 175 in Sacrament Meeting. It hadn't occurred to me that they likely have the membership to be a ward, but not the MP holders, which would be a reverse on the rest of stake.

I agree with the assessment of 15 AFTPMPHs minimum, even for wards of 150.

We have 13 wards and 2 branches in our stake and have been told that we need another 600 members to divide. Based on my observations, at least 10 of the wards appear to be strong.

I think in Delaware, although a small state, the units are pretty spread out as well. We have seven buildings in our stake, but they are mostly pretty close to each other (or 5 of them are).

When we lived in California, the stake had recently split. I remember the stake president saying that Salt Lake had originally denied the split because of insufficient number of members. So, the previous stake president took a Seventy on trip from one end of the stake to the other and it wasn't long after that, that it was decided to split it, despite insufficient members because it was so spread out.

Mike Johnson said...

There is a ward in Maryland with about 90 members. It has 100% activity and all serve full time in the Temple. They are all full time temple missionaries. I was surprised to learn how small the ward is in numbers, but in this case it has plenty of active, full tithe paying MP holders.

John said...

All but one of the meetinghouses in Dover stake are just off US 13. Each of them below Dover covers a relatively large area, usually from bay to bay/ocean. The one exception on that is Salisbury 1st Ward - Salisbury 2nd got the bulk of the territory from that division. (And the one unit not on US 13 - Cambridge Branch - has a larger land area than any other unit in the stake.)

My understanding on why Dover stake was divided off with about 2700 members is because of its geographic position in the middle of a peninsula. Wilmington stake had about 2400 members then, and 2600 now. We currently have three meetinghouses, each about fifteen miles apart, but we're looking for land for a fourth.

As for Quebec, I would imagine that both English and French are considered native languages as far as creating Church units is concerned.

Mike Johnson said...

Good point about Quebec. There would probably be too many problems if either were treated differently from the other.

So, John, why do you think there is a difference between ward and stake membership requirements in the US and Canada compared to the rest of the world?

Branches have different requirements, but not by North America and elsewhere. Branches in stakes require 20 members and 4-6 active, full-tithe-paying MP holders. Branches in mission require 4-6 active priesthood holders (can be Aaronic), with at least one active, full-tithe-paying MP holder. Administrative branches require at least one group (at least 2 members and at least 1 worthy priest or MP holder), plus the president who is also a district, mission, or area president. A group in a ward or branch in a stake or a branch in a mission has the same requirement (2, 1).

John said...

I think it's a matter of drawing a line somewhere. I do know the minimum membership numbers for wards and stakes predate the priesthood requirements. (I have been a clerk way too long.)

The exceptions to five wards and 3000 members that I'm aware of all involve long distances. (Before we divided, it was about 100 miles from one end of the stake to the other and we were up to twelve wards and four branches.) I will not venture a guess as to what exactly qualifies as an exception.

Grant Emery said...

My aunt and uncle are serving in a branch in Germany that's trying to become a ward. My uncle said they've met all of the requirements to become a ward except they're a few members shy. So, they have all of the active members, the MPHs, the full-tithe payers, etc. They just need to baptize a dozen people who will immediately go less-active and they'll become a ward. They've had to reel themselves in to make sure they don't reach the goal with unprepared converts. Does anyone know what advantage (other than a confidence-booster) there is to being a ward? Extra funding? What really makes the difference if you're already in a stake?

As far as why the requirement exists, I imagine it has to do with geographical proximity. Sure, it's not the case everywhere, but generally wards will be closer in USA/Canada than elsewhere, after you adjust for population density. So, if two wards could be formed where it would make it geographically easier for members to be active and investigators to attend (because they would be in different buildings), then it might be worth splitting the wards at smaller numbers. Wow, it's too early, I hope that convoluted sentence made sense!

Will said...

Wards have bishops as opposed to branch presidents. That's probably the biggest advantage as there are a number of administrative and role differences between the two. Someone with a manual could probably provide more specifics.

Downtownchrisbrown said...

One difference is that counsellors in Bishoprics can do Temple recommend interviews (renewals) but counsellors in branch presidencies cannot.

Mike Johnson said...

I remember when a branch in our stake became a ward, I was excited for them, but then I wondered. I asked a member of the stake presidency and the first thing he said was the ability of counselors to do temple recommend interviews.

I had mentioned that I could see the reason for a mission to want a district to become a stake--it would reduce administrative burden off the mission. But, a bishop needed to be approved by the First Presidency and a branch president by the High Council.

Wards do produce high priests. Branches don't as no calling in branch requires one to be a high priest.

Mike Johnson said...

John, I wasn't trying to get your take on why exceptions are granted. Rather, why the standard would be different in the US and Canada compared to the rest of the world.

The only reason I can come up with, is that people generally move around a lot more in the US and Canada, and a stake could quickly get drained. For example, there is a boom going on in western North Dakota because of shale oil. A stake theoretically could be formed that might just as quickly have to be discontinued if member flow in became member flow out. The church has probably experienced this enough to be leery of trying to grow too fast.

That said, there doesn't seem to be any reason why the six wards south of the Rappanhannock River in my stake couldn't be a stake; we have 7 wards north of the river that could easily be a stake. Plus two branches that cover all or most of the stake--there is a Spanish group in Culpeper that is part of one of the two wards there and not part of the Spanish branch, so that branch doesn't cover the whole stake. It is easy to see us become two stakes. I am mostly looking for that to happen, not just to see more growth, but because 15 units is a lot for a stake.

John Pack Lambert said...

I am pretty sure the main BYU is still under an enrollment cap. However I also am under the impression that this is largely brought about by the number of students they allow in each year, so we may see a spike in enrollment due to changes in when people served missions, but I doubt there will be a permanent rise in the number of students.

John Pack Lambert said...

On Abuja Stake their former stake patriarch is now the president of the Aba Nigeria Temple. Of course that technically means they lost one of their leaders in the last few months. However it also seems to speak to a depth of leadership.

Abuja being the capital has many people from southern Nigeria. A very different situation than other places that far north in the country.

John Pack Lambert said...

I would guess Auckland would get a temple before Pocatello. Mainly because the travel time is twice that of Pocatello.

John Pack Lambert said...

On the issue of wards being smaller by area in the US, I am not convinced this is actually true. If you look at a state like Michigan, the percentage of Church members is lower than in many Latin American countries.

More likely there is a perception that in the US more people have cars, and so distances are easier to travel. While this may in some ways be true, having known many church members in Detroit who did not have cars and lived in a city was a non-functional transportation system, even that does not always work.