Thursday, August 21, 2014

New Stakes in Florida and Utah

Last Sunday, two new stakes were created in the United States.

In Florida, the Church organized a new stake in south Florida. The Boynton Beach Florida Stake was organized from a division of the Pompano Beach Florida Stake and includes the following five wards: the Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Palm Beach, and West Palm Beach (Spanish) Wards. The creation of the new stake may signal progress in the Church rectifying past inactivity problems and accelerating "real growth" in the area as the Church discontinued a stake in south Florida back in 2008 (Miami Florida Spanish).

There are now 27 stakes in Florida.

In Utah, the Church organized a new stake from the Alpine Utah North Stake. The Draper Utah Suncrest Stake includes the following six wards: Eagle Crest 1st, Eagle Crest 2nd, Eagle Crest 3rd, Suncrest 1st, Suncrest 2nd, and Suncrest 3rd Wards. There are now 573 stakes in Utah.


Eduardo said...

I love being first to comment! Well, not always, but I do love this blog/website.

I recently have waxed a bit reflective on BYU football, college football, and the Church, so if you feel like reading anything to that degree, please visit:

If you do not like BYU or football, you may still get something out of it. Who knows? You might even start to root for the Cougars!

Great news to see new stakes, a probable better measure of church growth than sheer convert baptisms. That said, it can all be hard to measure. Just think of our individual "metrics". What a mystery.

Trying to continue the discussion about church growth and finances, it is definitely a large factor in how we grow. Those who pay tithing make the individuals, families, and collective units grow more. The church languishes where the faith of the membership will not or cannot pay tithes and offerings.

Fortunately, the greater church has deeper pockets (i.e. funds), and much to the chagrin of some detractors or critics, the Church of Jesus Christ does a lot of economic pushing and purchasing.

Many try to put an estimate at what wealth the Church has, but as President Hinckley once (or more) said: The real value or wealth of the faith is in the commitment of the people in it. (Paraphrase). Of course, our money is where our mouth is. If we are truly invested, then we spend time and money on the kingdom of God.Makes me want to do my home teaching!

I find the small number of units in the new Florida Stake interesting and potentially optimistic; if we had such small stake units in VA we could create at least 5 more stakes really soon.

Last word on finances. We, the US are blessed to be economically prosperous and we are very fortunate to have wealthy tithe payers like Huntsman, Ashton, Marriot, Romney, and hundreds if not thousands of others in the US alone. And that is not to slight all the widows' mites!

But it is usually in the front lines of the full time missionaries and dedicated bishops and auxiliaries that we see the real progress, growth and vitality of the Church of Jesus Christ.I mean that to include primary folk, YM/YW, seminary, home and visiting teachers, etc.

Downtownchrisbrown said...

It may not be that this new Florida Stake is a "small" stake.

It is possible that these wards in South Florida have a large number of less-actives, as well as adequate priesthood for the five wards and a stake. From what I have read about Virginia, the activity rate is higher, so it would require several more wards to make a Stake.

If South Florida has 25% activity with 150 active members per ward that would give the required 3000 for a Stake, but if the activity rate was 50% it would take 10 wards the same size to create a new Stake.

Mike Johnson said...

The Sison Branch, Agoo Philippines District, Philippines Baguio Mission, was created on 27 July. There are now 7 branches in the district:

Agoo 1st Branch
Agoo 2nd Branch
Agoo 3rd Branch
Damortis Branch
Rosario Branch
Sison Branch
Tubao Branch

John Pack Lambert said...

I know that in parts of south Florida they have discontinued the Haitian and maybe other language branches. I am not sure, but they may have continued some of these as groups. So the 5 wards in the stake may include multiple groups, that in other circumstances would function as separate branches.

Also, I have seenwards easily have twice as many active members as neighboring wards, so not all wards have equal levels of activity.

Alex said...

You're correct that the Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and ASL units in South Florida were discontinued, but instead of reorganizing them as groups, they combined them with English wards that became language magnets. For example, the Weston Ward in the Fort Lauderdale Stake is a Portuguese magnet ward, while the Miami Shores Ward in the Miami Lakes Stake is a Creole magnet. This means that members with those language needs come there from neighboring wards' boundaries, there is translation in sacrament meeting, and the other hours have dedicated language classes, but the members still get the advantages of a full ward and fellowship with the English-speaking members. This has worked so well that I don't see any of these language units, with the possible exception of ASL, splitting off anytime soon.

To answer another question in this thread, the wards in South Florida often do have a lot of inactive members on the rolls (the largest I saw was around 900 members on one ward list, but I only remember one ward as of 2009 that had even close to 50% activity). This comes from long periods when there was 5-10% retention of new converts. In the past 5+ years, with implementation of many of the principles of Preach My Gospel, retention shot up (last I checked) above 70%, so that may be changing.

Mike Johnson said...

The Boynton Beach Ward shows as 80% English and 20% French/Haitian. The other wards in the new Boynton Beach Florida Stake are listed as 100% English (or in 1 case Spanish).

MLewis said...

Is there an official difference between a "group" and a "magnet ward"? In Los Angeles we have a Farsi "group" in the Westwood 1st Ward, and an Armenian "group" in the Glendale 2nd Ward, but from what I can tell they function tha same as the way the magnate wards were described above. Translation during Sacrament and Priesthood/Relief Society, but a separate languge Sunday School class.

Eduardo said...

I just read about the sad loss of 3 young missionaries, a companionship in Taiwan (Kaoshung, I think) and the sister in Oklahoma. With the rise of numbers of elders and sisters, this number of deaths is to be expected. But comparatively the numbers still remain low, maybe even lower than before.

A couple comments: that stretch of highway where the sister was killed in an illegal turn around is a toll road that once trapped me crossing the country back in 2006. It made me so mad how I could not get off it soon enough (after mistakenly taking it in the first place) and then having to pay for it to boot. But the other part is, she was not wearing a seat belt? What??!! So sad.
In Taiwan, the two elders, aged 24 and 19, died from a faulty gas leak. I left a gas heater running during a cold winter night in Concepcion once (contrary to proper directions), and gratefully it did not have dire consequences as it did with two sisters in Argentina in 1988. But leaks can be harder to avoid/detect.

I pray all our missionaries take the best safety precautions and make it home safely.

My patriarchal blessing remarked that my health would be good going and returning from the mission, and that was true. I got sick in my 9th month pretty bad, but I made it home okay.

Last notes: missionaries have been removed from parts of Ukraine, Sierra Leone, and Liberia this year. Any other predictions about missionary movement in 2014? I wonder if that LDS Charities couple is still in Kurdistan? And where are the most stakes going to be created the rest of this year (September to December)?

Mike Johnson said...

The Cajamar Ward, Alphaville Brazil Stake, was created on 24 August. There are now 6 wards in the stake:

Alphaville Ward
Ariston Ward
Cajamar Ward
Carapicuiba Ward
Engenho Novo Ward
Santana do Parnaíba Ward

Mike Johnson said...

There are distinctions between groups and magnet wards. The group is an informal congregation created by stake or mission presidents. They are part of a ward or branch. They may meet completely separately from the parent congregation or be partially integrated into the parent congregation. A group has a set apart group leader.

A magnet ward is the parent congregation. It may be a magnet ward for a language or for singles. There may or may not be an organized group inside the magnet ward.

A couple of years ago, my ward hosted a deaf group with people coming from other congregations in the stake and from a neighboring stake. We were never considered a magnet ward, but I suppose that that designation applies.

Matt said...

If interested, here's a write up how Midsingles Magnet Wards work

Adam said...

If I have my numbers right, right now are at +240 wards and branches for the year. If we didn't create a new ward or branch the rest of the year it would still be the highest total of the last 5 years. We are on pace to get +320 at the rate we are going, and if that happens it will be the best since 2007.

Also, just wondering if anyone has this statistic, what is the average number of branches per stake as well as number of average branches per district? I keep an average wards per stake because I like to see if more stakes are being created in relationship to the average number of wards and vice versa. The average right now is 7.12, but so far this year we have only created 6.05 wards per new stake, meaning the average has decreased a tad as more stakes have been created as a ratio than wards.

Michael Worley said...


What was 2007's net wards and branches?


Adam said...

Two wards just showed up as being discontinued so we have dipped back below last year's mark, but here are the total number of congregations since 2000. I only know wards and branches since last year because that is when I started keeping track of it and the church doesn't release it in annual reports. If any of yall have that info I'd love to add it.

2014 29491 Total, 21996 wards, 7495 branches
+238 units, +246 wards, -8 branches
2013 29253 Total, 21750 wards, 7503 branches (total is correct, could be slightly off on specific wards and branches)
2012 29014
2011 28784
2010 28660
2009 28424
2008 28109
2007 27827
2006 27475
2005 27087
2004 26670
2003 26237
2002 26143
2001 26084
2000 25915

Just eyeballing the numbers you'd think that they changed the policy for splitting wards and such in the late 90's because they had over a 1000 in some years. Some of you may have more info on that. I would guess that there is better spiritual and financial wisdom in having fewer yet stronger congregations as compared to a greater number yet weaker congregations.

Unknown said...

Thanks Adam, those are some impressive numbers! Almost the biggest increase for a year since 2009, and it`s not even September. I felt like it was speeding up a bit in the congregation category but actually seeing the comparison is stunning. At this level of acceleration I wouldn`t be surprised if we came really, really close to the 30,000 milestone by the end of next year.

Mike Johnson said...

9 branches directly reporting to Areas
2875 branches in Districts
610 branches directly reporting to Missions
3898 branches in Stakes

7392 total branches

Mike Johnson said...

There are

1768 stakes with at least one branch
748 stakes with exactly one branch
462 stakes with exactly two branches
265 stakes with exactly three branches
149 stakes with exactly four branches
79 stakes with exactly five branches
34 stakes with exactly six branches
18 stakes with exactly seven branches
9 stakes with exactly eight branches
2 stakes with exactly nine branches
2 stakes with exactly ten branches

There are
554 districts with at least one branch
1 district has only one branch
10 districts have two branches
78 districts have three branches
127 districts have four branches
134 districts have five branches
95 districts have six branches
53 districts have seven branches
29 districts have eight branches
16 districts have nine branches
4 districts have ten branches
1 district has eleven branches
4 districts have twelve branches
2 districts have thirteen branches

There are 181 missions with direct report branches

61 missions have exactly one direct report branch
27 missions have exactly two direct report branches
41 missions have exactly three direct report brances
9 missions have exactly four direct report branches
11 missions have exactly five direct report branches
10 missions have exactly six direct report branches
4 missions have exactly seven direct report branches
5 missions have exactly 8 direct report branches
2 missions have 9 direct report branches
2 missions have 10 direct report branches
1 mission has 11 direct report branches
4 missions have 12 direct report branches
3 missions have 13 direct report branches
1 mission has 17 direct report branches

Eduardo said...

Interesting break down of all the stakes and districts world wide. This got me curious of units I served in, linked to, or attended in and around Concepcion, Chile. I lived there 3 times; early 90s, '94 and 2005.

Los Angeles South Stake: 4 wards, 3 branches.

Los Angeles North Stake: 5 wards, 2 branches.

Concepcion Stake: 5 wards.

Concepcion Chiguayante Stake: 5 wards.

Concepcion Andalien Stake: 6 wards.

San Pedro Stake: 6 wards, 1 branch.

Coronel District: 4 branches.

Angol Stake: 4 wards, 5 branches.

Chillan Stake: 4 wards, 3 branches.

Chillan Nuble Stake: 5 wards, 1 branch.

Chile has been a place of many baptisms, much expansion, and much contraction and consolidation. Elder Holland was there personally for two years to do a lot of that. There were streets in Concepcion where the whole block had baptized members in every house. This in 1990! Of course, things have not progressed as much as hoped when it came to effective growth, but it is still a fascinating place for the LDS Church to see its influence.

Mike Johnson said...

The Dap-Dap Branch, Tarlac Philippines Stake, was created on 24 August. There are now 8 wards and 3 branches in the stake:

Capas Ward
Concepcion Ward
Tarlac 1st Ward
Tarlac 3rd Ward
Tarlac 4th Ward
Tarlac 5th Ward
Tarlac 2nd Ward
Victoria Ward
Burgos Branch
Dap-Dap Branch
Lapaz Branch

Mike Johnson said...

The Parque da Fonte Ward, São José dos Pinhais Brazil Stake, was created on 24 August. There are now 8 wards and 1 branch in the stake:

Afonso Pena Ward
Bom Pastor Ward
Colônia Rio Grande Ward
Jardim Ipê Ward
Parque Iguaçu Ward
Parque da Fonte Ward
São José dos Pinhais Ward
São Marcos Ward
Borda do Campo Branch

James said...

Matt, my name is James Stokes. I came across your blog a while ago and have been faithfully following it ever since. I used one of your other very helpful websites to help me update the Area (LDS Church) page on Wikipedia, of which I have been an editor for seven years now. While we don't have all the facts we need, we have most of them, and your helpful statistics are mostly to thank for that. I love reading about Church growth. I have been particularly intrigued by your conference-time projections about potential temple sites. One of my hobbies (strange as it sounds) is to analyze the patterns of General Conference speakers and project who will speak when. I have never been completely accurate, but I manage around between 60-80% accuracy each conference, which is not bad. I have shared my conference predictions with only a few people. One with whom I have shared them who has knowledge of your site and temple predictions has suggested we might consider doing a trade-off. I could share your temple predictions on my recently started blog, and you could share my conference predictions with your readers. While your blog has greater traffic than mine and I'm a little nervous about a bunch of people knowing about my predictions, there is also something exciting about the idea of sharing my predictions with others. I'm sure you know how that feels, as you have shared your temple site predictions with readers many times now. If you are interested in doing a trade-off, you can reply to this comment. My blog address is It is still in its infancy, but something like sharing your temple predictions and my conference predictions would greatly increase traffic on my blog, I think. Just let me know if you would be interested in a trade-off. You don't have to keep this comment up on your blog if you don't want to. It was the only way I could find to get in touch with you. Thanks for even considering this.

John Pack Lambert said...

I think if a group is part of a ward, there is usually an additional counselor called in the branch presidency to serve as the group leader. On the other hand, if a ward is a magnet ward, you would not have to have a specific group leader. I am encouraged to learn of a Farsi and Armenian group. For all our Arabic and Chaldean speakers in Metro Detroit, we have not formed a group for them. I do know in the ward just west of mine one of the Chaldean speaking ward members was translating missionary discussion for the missionaries to a speaker of Chaldean who spoke little English. They have at least two native Chaldean speaking, Melchizedek Priesthood holders in that ward. The two are brothers, and it was their mother who did the translation, their father died about 15 years ago. There are at least two 3 other active Chaldean members in the stake. So there is probably enough to form a branch, but they are spread over a fairly large area, and considering the only one of these I can think of who is currently married has a wife who is a native of Swaziland (her mother has two Swazi grandmother and two British grandfathers, I think her father may have been Afrikaans from South Africa), I am not sure creating a separate branch would be worth it. Even the Spanish branch in Metro Detroit is bilingual.

John Pack Lambert said...

Is there any hope of missionaries being sent to the Central African Republic soon? I know in January 2013 the mission president almost sent missionaries there, but held off, and just after transfers war broke out. The CAR still is an active war zone. Still, with the Kinshasa DR Republic of the Congo mission being one of only two split this year, I was hoping. Still that mission covers Congo, Gabon and Cameron where the church has a presence. The Church has one stake in the Republic of the Congo, a district in Cameroon, and maybe 6 other branches in the mission, with the one in Central African Republic being coterminous with that nation, while Cameroon, Gabon and Congo have large parts of their area assigned to the Mission Branch, which hopefully indicates there are other groups in those areas. Equatorial Guinea is also in that mission, but currently has no branch.

Unknown said...

The Moses Lake 11th Ward of the Moses Lake Washington Stake was created this evening. There are now 10 wards and one branch in the stake.

Moses Lake Washington Stake
Moses Lake 1st Ward
Moses Lake 2nd Ward
Moses Lake 3rd Ward
Moses Lake 4th Ward
Moses Lake 5th Ward
Moses Lake 6th Ward
Moses Lake 7th Ward
Moses Lake 8th Ward
Moses Lake 9th Branch
Moses Lake 10th Ward
Moses Lake 11th Ward
Moses Lake YSA Ward

Ray said...

Levi, great news abouth the Moses Lake 11th Ward!
Adam, on Aug 26 you said there wew 7495 branches, but I only see 7392 for that date, so I guess the others are in non-reporting countries.