Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Details on New Stakes in Argentina, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Cote d'Ivoire, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, and the Philippines; New Districts in Liberia and Sierra Leone

On June 1st, the Church created a new stake in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Buenos Aires Argentina Chacabuco Stake was organized from a division of the Buenos Aires Argentina Congreso and Buenos Aires Argentina Liniers Stakes and includes the following five wards: the Almagro, Nueva Pompeya, Parque Chacabuco, Parque Patricios, and Villa Soldati Wards. The new stake is the third new stake to be organized in the Buenos Aires area since 2011. There are now 26 stakes in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area.

Currently there are 73 stakes and 33 districts in Argentina.

On May 25th, the Church created its first two stakes in Cambodia. This marks the second time in Church history when a country has had its first two stakes organized on the same day, the other country being Ghana in 1991. The Phnom Penh Cambodia North Stake was organized from the Phnom Penh Cambodia North Distirct and includes the following five wards and one branch: the Pochentong, Teuk Laak, Teuk Thla, Tuol Kok, and Tuol Sang Ke Wards, and the Sen Sok Branch. The Phnom Penh Cambodia South Stake was organized from the Phnom Penh Cambodia South District and includes the following five wards and one branch: the Chaktomuk, Steung Mean Chey 1st, Steung Mean Chey 2nd, Steung Mean Chey 3rd, and Toul Tom Pong Wards, and the Phnom Penh 13th (English) Branch. Two districts continue to operate in Phnom Penh, namely the Phnom Penh Cambodia Central (Vietnamese) and Phnom Penh Cambodia East Districts. As a way of celebrating this historic milestone, my family celebrated by making a cake!

There are now two stakes and four districts in Cambodia.

Cape Verde
On May 25th, the Church organized its third stake in Cape Verde. The Sao Felipe Cape Verde Stake was organized from the Fogo Cape Verde District. Details on which branches became wards are still not available; I will post these as a comment once I obtain this information. The Church continues to experience rapid growth in Cape Verde as evidenced by the Church organizing its first stake in 2012 and its second stake in 2013. The Praia Cape Verde Stake also appears likely to divide at any time as the stake now has 10 wards and five branches.

Cote d'Ivoire
On June 1st, the Church organized a new stake in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire. The Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire Niangon South Stake was organzied from the Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire Niangon Stake (now renamed Niangon North) and includes the following six wards: the Azito, Coprim, Niangon 1st, Niangon 2nd, Sideci 1st, and Sideci 2nd Wards. There are now six stakes in the Abidjan area, with another stake or two likely to be created in the next year. The Church in Cote d'Ivoire is currently experiencing the most rapid LDS growth in the world as membership increased by over 20% in 2013 and the number of congregations in the Abidjan area has nearly doubled within the past three years.

On June 8th, the Church organized its first stake in Jamaica. The Kingston Jamaica Stake was organized from the Spanish Town Jamaica District and includes the following six wards and two branches: the Boulevard, Constant Spring, Linstead, Portmore, Spanish Town 1st, and Spanish Town 2nd Wards, and the Kingston and Old Harbour Branches. There is now one stake and one district in Jamaica.

On June 15th, the Church organized a new stake in Estado de Mexico State. The Lerma Mexico Stake was organized from the Metepec Mexico Stake and includes the following five wards: the La Crespa, Lerma, Tecnologico, Tianguistenco, and Totoltepec Wards. There are now 227 stakes and 36 districts in Mexico.

On June 15th, the Church organized a new stake in western Nigeria. The Ibadan Nigeria District became a stake. Details on which branches became wards remains unavailable, but will be posted as a comment to this post once I obtain this information. The establishment of the Ibadan Nigeria Stake is a major LDS growth development in Nigeria as it is the first stake to be organized in the Yorubaland region outside of Lagos and the district was previously one of the oldest districts in the country.

There are now 24 stakes and 21 districts in Nigeria.

The Philippines
On June 15th, the Church created two new stakes in the Philippines. The Dumaguete Philippines District became a stake, although details on which branches became wards remains unavailable. I will post this information as a comment once it becomes available. The Taguig Philippines Stake was also organized from a division of the Makati Philippines East, Parañaque Philippines, and Pasig Philippines Stakes and includes the following six wards: the Bicutan, Bonifacio 5th, Signal Village 1st, Signal Village 2nd, Taguig 1st, and Taguig 2nd Wards.

There are now 90 stakes and 81 districts in the Philippines

On June 8th, the Church created its third district in the Monrovia area. The Paynesville Liberia District was organized from the Monrovia Liberia District and includes the following five branches: the Gardnersville, New Georgia, Paynesville 1st, Paynesville 2nd, and Tinker Village Branches. Boundaries for the Monrovia Liberia and Monrovia Liberia Bushrod Island Districts were also realigned. There are now three districts in Liberia. The mission president reports that new branches will be organized in the Monrovia area within the near future.

Sierra Leone
On June 1st, the Church organized a new district in Bo, Sierra Leone. The Bo Sierra Leone East District was organized from the Bo Sierra Leone District (now renamed Bo West) and includes the following four branches: the Lewabu, Messima, New Barracks, and Sewa Road Branches. The decision to create the new district has come on the heals of the creation of a second district in the Freetown area (Kossoh Town) and likely indicates plans to organize additional branches. There is now one stake and five districts in Sierra Leone.


Brandon Plewe said...

So does the branch division in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Mozambique (where the Beira District created 4 new branches last Sunday for a total of 12) indicate preparation for stakes, or that the numerous-small-branch model is working as-is in some places?

Ryan Searcy said...

I am curious as to why, in recent news about Cambodia, it is reported that Cambodia has 3 districts remaining when it has 4. There are the 2 in Phnom Penh (East and the Vietnamese districts) as well as the Battambang and Kampong Cham districts.

Unknown said...

I find those district divisions interesting. Do you think that it is a reversal of the center of strength policy, or at least a different strategy. This blog indicated that it seemed like the other district in Freetown appeared to be close to becoming a stake like the the other one. But instead the district split.

Do you know if the new branches came from branch splitting or by church planting? I like the idea of creating new branches rather than creating wards and trying to split them. I think that the church will grow faster if more branches and districts are created because it fosters leadership and spreads the church faster to more areas in a city.

I can see why they created the third district in Monrovia, since they must be hesitant to create a stake after the stake was discontinued. It's likely in a few years we could see anther event where two stakes are formed close to each other.

Matt said...

Thanks for the correction; there are four districts in Cambodia.

As for all the new branches and districts in Liberia and Sierra Leone, this indicates a less conservative interpretation of the "centers of strength" policy from a congregation-splitting approach to a congregation planting approach. Historically, the Church has created new units once the number of active members necessitated it. This reformed approach to growth in West Africa has concentrated on opening branches and member groups closer to target populations, even if increasing active membership has not necessitated it. Consequently the Church is experiencing its most rapid membership and congregational growth in the region since the initial establishment of the church 20 or 39 years ago in most these nations.

Matt said...

I mean 20 or 30 years.

Mike Johnson said...

The Asiole Ward, Amatitlán Guatemala Stake, was created on 15 June. There are now 8 wards in the stake:

Alamedas Ward
Amatitlán Ward
Asiole Ward
El Lago Ward
La Mariposa Ward
Linda Vista Ward
Palin Ward
Sonora Ward

The Ikot Nkebre Ward, Calabar Nigeria Stake, was created on 15 June. There are now 9 wards and 1 branch in the stake:

Atimbo Ward
Calabar 1st Ward
Calabar 2nd Ward
Calabar 3rd Ward
Calabar 5th Ward
Calabar 7th Ward
Calabar 8th Ward
Ikot Eneobong Ward
Ikot Nkebre Ward
Odukpani Branch

The Naranjal Branch, Ecuador Guayaquil South Mission, was created on 1 June. There are now 3 independent branches in the mission:

Loja Ecuador District
Santa Rosa Ecuador District
Ecuador Guayaquil South Mission Branch
Galapagos Islands Branch
Naranjal Branch

The Obeama Branch, Port Harcourt Nigeria East Stake, was created on 1 June. There are now 7 wards and 4 branches in the stake:

Eneka Ward
Mini-Okoro Ward
Oyigbo Ward
Rukpokwu Ward
Rumuogba Ward
Umuebule Ward
Woji Ward
Elelenwo Branch
Eliohani Branch
Igbo-Etche Branch
Obeama Branch

The Tlahuelilpan Branch, Tezontepec México Stake, was created on 15 June. There are now 7 wards and 1 branch in the stake:

Ixmiquilpan Ward
Mixquiahuala Ward
Panuaya Ward
Presas Ward
Santiago Tezontlale 1st Ward
Santiago Tezontlale 2nd Ward
Tezontepec Ward
Tlahuelilpan Branch

Bryan Dorman said...

Elder Holland created a second branch in Cuba. It's on his facebook page. El Cotorro branch is the name of it.

Mike Johnson said...

The Beira District in Mozambique is a tiny islanded surrounded by the Mozambique Maputo Mission Branch, including a stretch of urban area running along the ocean shore to the north of Beira. While, I haven't been able to find place names for any of four new branches, my guess is these were groups in the administrative branch that matured enough to be branches and were added to the district.

Ryan Searcy said...

This article states that the Paris France Temple has begun being built.

Eduardo said...

!Viva Cuba! Vivre le France!

Grant Emery said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Grant Emery said...

Speaking of France ...

I know someone posted about the new ward created last April in the Lyon France Stake (but I couldn't find it, as it was not tagged as a "France" post). I just came across an article that states that the creation of that fourth ward in the Lyon area involved the realignment (duh) and renaming of some of the existing wards. Here are the four wards in the Lyon area (stake extends beyond this):

Écully Ward -> Écully Ward
Gerland Ward -> Confluence Ward
Villeurbanne Ward -> Porte des Alpes Ward
[new ward]: Val de Saône Ward

Side note: you may notice that Écully doesn't always have the accent above the E. That is because, in French, capital letters' accents are optional.

Yay, France!


Mike Johnson said...

The Harare Zimbabwe South Stake was created on 15 June. There are 5 wards and 2 branches in the stake:

Chitungwiza Ward
Highfield 1st Ward
Highfield 2nd Ward
Mbare Ward
Queensdale Ward
Epworth Branch
Zengeza Branch

The Hooper Utah Pioneer Trail Stake was created on 15 June. There are 6 wards in the stake:

Freedom Ward
Fremont Ward
Hooper Landings Ward
Muskrat Springs Ward
Pioneer Trail Ward
Wildwood Ward

Adam said...

I'm sure Ray will give some stats near the end of the month, but 24 Sundays into this year we are on a good pace and really seeing the fruits (in my opinion) of the surge. Many expected the fruits to be an increase in baptisms, though I doubted that. The fruits are quality and retention.

So far we have had a net of 174 new wards/branches created (+174 wards and +0 branches), putting us on pace for 377 by the end of the year. That would be the most since 2006. Also if this pace of stakes keeps up (which this might be skewed due to the 7 stakes created just last week, and this is based off the difference between CDOL and the published 2013 statistical report, also rarely any get created in July) we on pace to end up with +71.5 stakes and -8.7 districts, leaving a net 62.8 stake/district increase, highest since 1998.

Many haven't been able to find a lot of "good news" when it has come to church growth due to stagnation and non-exponential increase, but this is certainly promising.

Adam said...

One other statistic that I like is the ratio between stakes and districts. While an increase of districts does often show that the church is expanding into lesser reached areas, it can also shows areas which are struggling in growth and retention, seeing as we are over the days of downgrading stakes.

The Doctrine and Covenants declares that in addition to the true “center place” in the last days, the stakes of Zion would also be “for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth.” Another quote is that "The time is soon coming when no man will have any peace but in Zion and her stakes." I believe this is a loose interpretation that near the time of the coming of Christ there will won'y be many districts left on the face of the earth, if any.

Here is the ratio of stakes to districts over the past two decades or so, shown by a percentage of stakes/(stakes + districts).

1996 77.38%

1997 78.88% (+1.50%)

1998 79.88% (+1.00%)

1999 79.99% (+0.11%)

2000 80.61% (+0.62%)

2001 80.84% (+0.23)

2002 80.23% (-0.60%)

2003 80.29% (+0.06%)

2004 80.49% (+0.20%)

2005 80.77% (+0.28%)

2006 81.33% (+0.56%)

2007 81.87% (+0.53%)

2008 81.92% (+0.05%)

2009 82.30% (+0.39%)

2010 82.51% (+0.20%)

2011 82.89% (+0.39%)

2012 83.57% (+0.67%)

2013 84.23% (+0.67%)

2014* 84.47 (+0.23%) *As of last Sunday

Looking at the more recent increases we have, it wouldn't shock me if we were into the mid-90%'s by the 200th anniversary of the church in 16 years.

If anyone has similar numbers for wards and branches each year do share, that's a stat I don't have on me, (I only have the cumulative of the two for each year, but not separate.) That would also be fun to analyze.

Michael Worley said...

To build off Ray's comment, one extraordinary thing is that other than a stake closed to build an MTC, only 1 stake has been consolidated since the surge began. This shows an increase in retention/reactivation is happening. Real growth is occurring.

John Pack Lambert said...

These developments make me hope a temple will be announced for Coite D'Ivoire this fall. I am also hoping for a temple in Lagos, but that is probably a crazy idea at this point.

John Pack Lambert said...

For what it is worth, the Church has now been in Ghana and Nigeria for over 35 years.

John Pack Lambert said...

I have to point out the reasons for stake discontinuation are often complex.

From what I have been told by a Liberian member, one reason the stake was discontinued was a tendency of some leaders to appoint only family members to positions in the Church and a failure to distribute callings in a way that was not intended to give position to their own relatives.

On the other hand, the end of the Slidell Louisiana Stake was clearly a result of population shifts after Hurricane Katrina. Some stake dissolution in California at times has also largely been driven by population movement. A leaving population ending stakes is not always a sign of less church growth, just it happening elsewhere.

John Pack Lambert said...

With the new stake in Zimbabwe, I am thinking Zimbabwe might have a new temple announced this coming general conference.

Michael said...

The Church in Germany is reporting a new stake created today, in Friedrichsdorf. The new stake contains the following 7 wards:


The article states that these wards previously belonged to the Frankfurt stake. There were 11 units in the Frankfurt stake prior to the change; no mention is made of additional wards or branches created, so there are probably additional changes that aren't mentioned.

This is fantastic news for the Church in Germany. It appears from CDOL that the last stake created in Germany was in Nuremberg in 1987. This, and recent news out of France, may indicate the beginning of some growth in Europe after years of stagnant progress.

Michael Worley said...

"The Liberty Missouri Stake created a new Ward today, the Doniphan Ward, named after Alexander Doniphan. A great honor and tribute to a nonmember of the church. "

The Opinion said...

Just received an email from bishop about changes to missionary work and teaching. The FT missionaries will teach lesson 5 before and after baptism. They will take the lead on the new member discussions and they will also work closely with the new member for three to four months after baptism as well as maintaining contact with the investigator for at least a year. Mission presidents are to teach and reteach to the missionaries the Lord's standard for baptism in D&C 20:37.

Grant Emery said...

Sounds excellent. I can definitely get behind that! Are you sure this is a worldwide shift and not just one mission or area?
What will they do to ensure missionaries don't drop the ball on this? I mean, the key indicators drive action, for better or for worse. Will the new focus be that the missionaries share in the responsibility to get converts to the temple? How will that play out for minor converts?