Tuesday, June 7, 2016

New Stakes Created in Guatemala, Hong Kong, Nigeria, and Texas; District Created in Nigeria

The Church organized a new stake in Guatemala City on June 5th. The Guatemala City San Cristóbal Stake was organized from a division of the Guatemala City Mariscal Stake. The new stake includes at least four wards and one branch: the Balcones, Panorama, Peronia, and San Cristóbal Wards, and the Jerusalén Branch. It is likely that the Jerusalén Branch became a ward when the stake was organized, or that another ward or two will be assigned to the newly organized stake. The new stake is of special interest because it was organized from a division of the Guatemala City Mariscal Stake - a stake that includes congregations from only stake to ever be discontinued in Guatemala City: the Guatemala City Monte María Stake (discontinued in 2008).

There are now 46 stakes and 16 districts in Guatemala.

Hong Kong
The Church organized two new stakes in Hong Kong on June 5th.

The Hong Kong China Kowloon East Stake was organized from a division of the Hong Kong China Kowloon (renamed Hong Kong China Kowloon West) and the Hong Kong China (renamed Hong Kong Island China) Stakes. The new stake includes the following five wards: the Kowloon City, Kwun Tong, Po Lam, Tseung Kwan O, and Tsim Sha Tsui Wards. The new stake is technically a reinstatement of the original Hong Kong China Kowloon East Stake that operated between 1980 and 2006.

The Hong Kong China Lion Rock Stake was organized from a division of the Hong Kong China Kowloon (renamed Hong Kong China Kowloon West), the Hong Kong China (renamed Hong Kong Island China), and Hong Kong China Harbour Stakes. The new stake includes the following five wards: the Cheung Sha Wan, Ngau Tau Kok, Sham Shui Po, Shatin, and Tai Wai Wards.

There are now six stakes and one district in Hong Kong.

A new stake was created in Akwa Ibom State. The Ikot Ekpene Nigeria Stake was organized from the Ikot Ekpene Nigeria District on May 15th. Information on which branches became wards in the former district remains unavailable. However, most of the seven branches have appeared to become wards. The Ikot Ekpene Nigeria District was organized from a handful of mission branches in the Ikot Ekpene area in 2009.

There are now eight stakes and three districts in Akwa Ibom State.

A new district was organized in Enugu State on June 5th. The Nsukka Nigeria District was organized from the following three mission branches: the Nsukka 1st, Nsukka 2nd, and Obollo-Afor Branches. Rapid LDS growth has occurred in the Nigeria Enugu Mission within the past five years as all three stakes and two of the four member districts were created during this time period.

There are now 36 stakes and 19 stakes in Nigeria

The Church organized a new stake in the Austin area on June 5th. The Cedar Park Texas Stake was organized from a division of the Austin Texas, Austin Texas Oak Hills, and Round Rock Texas Stakes. The new stake includes the following five wards and one branch: the Carriage Hills, Cedar Park, Cypress Creek, Marble Falls, and New Hope Wards, and the Llano Branch. With only five wards and one branch, the new stake is one of the stakes with the fewest congregations organized in Texas within the past 15 years.

There are now 70 stakes and three districts in Texas.


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Eduardo said...

Thanks, Rabin! Way to get the ball rolling with the Gospel in Nepal!
Typo note: it ought to say 19 districts in Nigeria, right?
Great to see the growth in Hong Kong. How many Chinese states speak Cantonese? Of course more of all China is becoming Mandarinized every day, I suppose, the true mark of a hegemon. With Vietnam opening up, Burma hopefully developing in democracy, perhaps Laos loosening its autocratic ways, Mongolia seeing teal growth, Taiwan growing, China seems more ready than ever to get the gospel...
Is democracy part of the answer? Or could a single party state allow freedom of worship?
Prayers to all of Asia.
Perhaps Texas will have 100 stakes before Nigeria. Which country will be the next to have 100 stakes? Chile was there but retracted...

TempleRick said...

Philippines may be the top candidate. It already has 96 stakes and plenty of potential with 77 districts.

Christopher said...

Which countries have 100 stakes? US and Mexico I can presume.

Bryan Dorman said...

USA has around 1500 stakes. Brazil and Mexico both have more than 200. Peru has 101.

Joseph said...

Sorry for being a little behind its been a busy couple of weeks

8 May
Angré Ward, Cocody Cote d'Ivoire Stake (W:12)

15 May
Bangolo Branch, Cote d'Ivoire Abidjan West Mission (B:10, D:5, S:5)

22 May
Yamoransa Ghana Stake (B:5, W:6)
Abakrampa Branch
Abura Dunkwa Branch
Asebu Branch
Mankessim 1st Branch
Mankessim 2nd Branch
Green Hill Ward
Moree 1st Ward
Moree 2nd Ward
Nkanfoa Ward
Yamoransa 1st Ward
Yamoransa 2nd Ward

Guarituba Branch, Pinhais Brazil Stake (B:1, W:6)

May 29
Abuja Nigeria North Stake (W:7)
Bwari 1st Ward
Bwari 2nd Ward
Kaduna Ward
Kubwa 1st Ward
Kubwa 2nd Ward
Mpape Ward
Suleja Ward

Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Ngaba Stake (W:6)
Lemba Ward
Livulu Ward
Makala Ward
Mont Amba Ward
Ngaba Ward
Yolo Ward

Patos de Minas Brazil District (B:3)
California Branch
Guanabara Branch
Patos de Minas Branch

Avon 2nd Ward, Indianapolis Indiana West Stake (B:3, W:7)
Botetourt Branch, Roanoke Virginia Stake (B:3, W:5)
Guanabara Branch, Patos de Minas Brazil District (B:3)
Lehi Legacy Branch (Care Center), Lehi Utah Stake (B:1, W:13)
Midlothian Ward, Dallas Texas Stake (B:2, W:8)
Prairiewood 4th Ward (Tongan), Sydney Australia Prairiewood Stake (W:5)

5 June
Cedar Park Texas Stake (B:1, W:5)
Llano Branch
Carriage Hills Ward
Cedar Park Ward
Cypress Creek Ward
Marble Falls Ward
New Hope Ward

Guatemala City San Cristóbal Stake(B:1, W:4)
Jerusalén Branch
Balcones Ward
Panorama Ward
Peronia Ward
San Cristóbal Ward

Hong Kong China Lion Rock Stake (W:5)
Cheung Sha Wan Ward
Ngau Tau Kok Ward
Sham Shui Po Ward
Shatin Ward
Tai Wai Ward

Nsukka Nigeria District (B:3)
Nsukka 1st Branch
Nsukka 2nd Branch
Obollo-Afor Branch

Ahoutoue 2nd Branch, Aboisso Cote d'Ivoire District (B:7)
Asokore Branch, Koforidua Ghana District (B:10)
Desert Edge Ward, St George Utah Little Valley Stake (W:12)
Draper SA Ward, Sandy Utah Willow Creek Stake (W:8)(27 Participating S)
Great Oaks Ward, Round Rock Texas Stake (W:8)
Meadow Ranch 2nd Ward, Eagle Mountain Utah Cedar Pass Stake (W:10)
Opebi Ward, Lagos Nigeria Ikeja Stake (B:2, W:8)
Vail Ranch Ward, Temecula California Stake (B:2. W:12)

YTD 320(13.91/week*23) = +18 Total 34,398(+19) (Net 196 61%)
=====YTD == % of YTD Chng Total
Africa =98 ====30.6% (+11) 1867 (+11)
Asia ===7 ==== 2.2% (+1)== 939 (+2)
Am C =24 ==== 7.5% (+1)= 3938 (0)
Am N =98 ==== 30.6% (+6)= 9378 (+3)
Am S =21 ==== 6.6% (+3)= 6334 (-1)
Europe 7 ===== 2.2% (0)== 1711 (-2)
Pacific 23 ==== 7.2% (+2)= 2748 (+2)
U&I 42(30) 13.0(8.9)% (+4)= 6941(5724)(+4)

Totals no-sensitive (Net +18)
====Areas -Temples ===Miss Stakes Dist =Wards Branch Totals
Global-- 25 ==== 150 ===419 =3,214 =545 22,725 =7,342 34,420
Us/Can 10 ===== 82 ===131 =1,616 ==10 12,647 =2,045 16,541
US ----- n/a ===== 74 ===124 =1,568 ===7 12,309 =1,896 15,978
Utah---- n/a ===== 16 ====10 ==579 ===1 =4,723 ===328 =5,657
Canada n/a ====== 8 =====7 ===48 ===3 ===338 ===149 ==553
Out------- 15 ===== 68 ===288 =1,598 =535 10,078 =5,297 17,879

John Pack Lambert said...

I wonder if forming stakes with only 5 wards in Hong Kong is part of plans to revise the number of wars down in stakes, so there are less ward conferences etc to go to for stake leadership, and the stake president does not have as much a demand on his time. Alternately it might just indicate they are about to create many more wards in Hong Kong.

Peru and Brazil as well as US and Mexico have 100 stakes. Chile also had over 100 stakes but lost a lot, It is at I believe 77 at present. The Phillipines is fairly close to having 100 stakes.

In the US Arizona, Utah, Idaho and California all have over 100 stakes if I remember correctly.

Not only does the Philippines have 77 districts, but I am pretty sure it has a few stakes that are close to splitting.

On the other hand with how the Church is growing in Nigeria, I would not be surprised if there are 100 stakes there in a few years. Although growth is not nearly at the level of Ivory Coast, Benin or Ghana. However the Church still has not began to scratch the surface in much of Nigeria. The far north where Boko Haram operates will take major changes in politics there or a decision to let missionaries face prison and assasination while converts might well face hanging. However the Church's 5 stakes in Lagos Nigeria still do not represent a deep reaching of the city. The state has an estimated population of 25 million, and especially the west end of the state the Church may not have much reached. Lagos State is however just a thin sliver of land along the coast, only a small part of the Yorubaland, much of which has not been reached by the Church. places like Ogun State (which had under 4 million people in 2006, but may have grown significantly in the last decade), have not been well reached. Abeokuta Nigeria in Ogun Stake did get a stake in November of 2014 from a district that had existed since 1993. Abeokuta has a metro area population of about 500,000. Although there are large numbers of Muslims in Yorubaland, there are also large numbers of Christians, and there is not a threat of violence to Muslims who change faith.

In the case of the new stake, it is in a state of 5 million inhabitants that has an estimated 10 million people in diaspora, primarily in other parts of Nigeria. It is the center of the oil industry in Nigeria.

On the issue of the Church growing in autocratic states, I believe the Church did OK in growth during the early years in Nazi Germany. Some at times have felt this was achieved while sacraficing chances to stand against human rights abuses, chances that would have probably sent many Church members to their deaths, which judging from some works some members wish had happened so they could feel more good about the Church in the past, so to compensate they write books with covers showing the swastika and the angel Moroni intertwined on the cover. I see no reason the Church can not thrive in an autocratic state.

John Pack Lambert said...

In fact a large number of Latin American countries were under essentially mono-party autocratic governments complete with death squads when the Church was first established there. In India the Church made most of the inroads it had from person to person relations with Rajiv Gandhi and his one-party state, not during the times the country has been a true Democracy. In fact Democratic India has seen the rise of Hindu nationalism, which might kill more Muslims but has policies more intended to stop the rise of Christianity. In Greece, Poland and Turkey the Church has struggled to grow largely because the national indentity is so tied to a particular religion, and this is despite democratic governments.

Actually the same is at play in Thailand, but the Church has grown more there. Still considering the Church has been in Thailand for a decade longer than in Ghana and even more so longer than Ivory Coast or the Democratic Republic of the Congo, yet all those countries have many more stakes than Thailand. Of course Thailand has a special place for missionaries offending local culture with the offensive pictures taken with a Buddha Statue having almost got the Church expelled. The DR Congo has 81 million people to Thailand's 69 million but Ghana has just 27 million, so its 17 stakes and 12 districts dwarf the 3 stakes and 3 districts in Thailand, with well under half the population, and with the Church actually having been banned for 18 months in 1989 and 1990.

John Pack Lambert said...

I just figured out that Ghana and Texas both have in the 27 million population range. Ghana's 17 stakes and 12 districts are well below the about 70 stakes and 3 districts in Texas, but Ghana also has stakes like the one in Kumasi with 10 wards and 8 branches that are well due being split. Plus the Church has 8 missions based in Texas to only 4 based in Ghana. Even that is not quite a fair comparison since 3 stakes in Texas are in the New Mexico Albuquerque Mission.

The Church actually set up two colonies in Texas in the late 19th-century, in the area east of Dallas in Enoch and another town near Gilmer. The legacy is still there in 3 wards in Gilmer. The other early growth of the Church in Texas came with the Mormon colonists from Mexico coming in in 1910. So The Church has been in Ghana for just under 40 years, with part of that time banned, and in Texas for at a minimum 105 years. Add to this much of the recent growth is from people moving in from other parts of the US, the fact that state has had a temple roughly 3 times longer than Ghana, and that going to the temple from anywhere in Texas in 1980 was much easier than going to the temple from anywhere in Ghana in 2000, and I am pretty sure that parts of northern Ghana today it would take more resources for most members to get to the temple than it would have taken for members in El Paso to get to the Mesa Temple in 1980. Lastly, the Church has a presence throughout Texas, while there are still areas of Ghana not covered by any branch.

John Pack Lambert said...

Another thing, back in 2003 Texas essentially had as many missions as it does today. Ghana only had one which was shared with two other countries, so even the current level of missionary presence in Ghana is only a very recent development.

John Pack Lambert said...

Hopefully the Cocody Stake in Ivory Coast is split this year.

John Pack Lambert said...

The Lehi Utah Stake also looks ready to split with 13 wards. It is good to see a new regular geographical branch formed in the Roanoke Virginia Stake. Some have thought we might see the end of such in the US, but they seem to have a way of holding getting added. The Church still only lightly reaches much of the US. There are counties with no branch or ward meeting in them.

Christopher said...

I heard that there is a building freeze with chapels in many parts of N. America. Is this a thing? I hadn't heard of that, but I do know n our area we are outgrowing some of our facilities. Is there a reluctance to build new chapels for economic reasons? I do wonder because I have noticed some crowding of up to four wards into chapels. Is the church still true for 3:00 church? With all the growth going on in so many parts of the world, I wonder how if there are some financial restraints keeping up with chapels.

Ryan Searcy said...

I kind of wondered if there would eventually be a 3 o'clock church, but that would put services to 6, and that's kind of late. In addition, a vast majority of chapels are only suited for 3 congregations (bishop's and clerk's offices).

Ryan Searcy said...

In many urban areas where there are a lot of stakes, or high concentration of members, I believe the Church wants to make sure buildings are in heavy use before building new ones. I know a few places in California, where there are almost as many buildings as wards (because several wards were discontinued).

Alex said...

There may be a building freeze some places (not something I've heard about, but theoretically possible), but there is definitely not a global freeze in building chapels in North America. Two examples: There are multiple chapels in Meridian, Idaho being built to accommodate the people moving in, including the stake center next to the new temple. In Chicago, they are actually building the first downtown chapel to accommodate the Lincoln Park wards and the Wilmette Stake's YSA ward and SA branch that all meet in a school right now.

There are definitely financial restraints with chapel building, as so many places need or want more space or a place to put more wards or replace an aging building, but all the Church will commit is what it can afford, since it refuses to go beyond its means. To reconcile the requests for more chapels and the need for financial restraint, the Church has very specific requirements for when a chapel can be built, with the final decision I believe made by the Department of Physical Facilities, which works closely with the First Presidency from what I can see. Once the decision is made, then the Church has to follow the multi-month or even multi-year legal process to get permission to build the chapel, which often accounts for most of the lag in getting buildings where they are clearly needed in North America.

I have seen a few instances of 4 wards meeting in a building, and while I have seen 3 (and even 3:30) pm start times, that's actually not the way I've seen that works the best. Wards will start 1 1/2 to 2 hours apart (e.g., 8:30, 10, 12, and 1:30 pm as start times), alternating wards with sacrament meeting first and sacrament meeting last so one ward is using the classrooms while another ward holds sacrament meeting. It's chaotic but doable, especially when you have (for example) an English ward, a Spanish ward, a YSA ward, and another specialty ward like SA or another language all in the same area. Buildings are usually designed with a 3 unit maximum in mind (the 4-ward buildings often had 2 bishops sharing an office), and generally, that many wards with all of their weekday activities overstress the building so much that there's usually a request to the Physical Facilities department in progress by the time that happens.

In a totally unrelated note, Spokane, WA is apparently getting a new stake in the near future that will take wards from at least the Spokane and Spokane North stakes.

Eduardo said...

My Hoosier state got a new ward! Fantastic! I wonder what effect the new temple is having on central Indiana Saints. I should count which counties in Indiana do not have LDS units. It would be interesting to see which US states have the largest percentage of counties without units.
Also good to see a new branch in Temecula stake. That area of southern Cal has seen a lot of growth.

Eduardo said...

Between LDS wards of Vincennes (historical Revolutionary War fort spot) and the ones in Evansville, Gibson County (1) has no units. Princeton is there and I have read literature about evangelical seminaries, or at least one there. Pike County (2) to the east also appears to have no units. These are very rural places where even Catholics are scarce. Methodists are the biggest single denomination in Indiana but Baptists and Lutherans are quite common. To the south and east Warrick (3) and Spencer (4) Counties appear to have no units. That is a start on the southwest corner of the state. So it appears almost half of the that corner of the state have no LDS units. Missionaries probably pass through on occasion, as Joseph Smith did in his lifetime, but traction is tricky out in the farmlands.
To the north Washington in Daviess (5) County used to have a branch where my step-dad joined around 1978, but no longer. Next door Martin (6)County has no congregation as well. Of note, Daviess has a lot of Mennnonites and Amish. Also, Martin County has a large Naval Base that dominates traffic around there. Orange (7) County, wedged between Bedford to the north and English to the south has no LDS unit. Owen (8) County used to have a branch in Spencer (my dad and ward members help build it in the 1970s), and Clay (9) County used to have a branch in Brazil but that ended. 9 so far, so I expect out of 92 Indiana counties maybe a third will not. There are more people north of I-70, the mid-point of the state going north-south. More later, unless someone else wishes to explore the units of the Hoosier state...
We discussed Brown County (10) a while ago, which is amply covered by parts of Bloomington, Martinsville, Franklin, and Columbus, I think. Those 10 counties might not add up to much more than 150,000 people, I need to do the math.

The area discussed is divided between the Louisville and Indianapolis Missions. I was surprised to see how much of Indiana is now covered by the Cincinnati Mission.

Unknown said...

Just a quick view of my home state, Iowa (with no guarantee of total accuracy), shows that there are organized wards or branches in 41 of the 99 counties. There are probably members residing in most if not all counties, and there may even be missionaries assigned to cities where no official units meet. 24 of the 28 largest cities in the state have organized units and the other four are all suburbs of Iowa's major cities (Des Moines, Davenport, Cedar Rapids) so they would be included in the units for that city.

Christopher said...

Thanks Alex for the insights on chapel building. I can understand the caution in making sure we don't overbuild when perhaps an area may shrink due to move-outs, etc. When I was growing up I lived next door to a stake center, but every three years our ward rotated with two other wards to drive to a neighboring town to attend their chapel with only one ward in it. We always laughed about leaving a church building next door to attend one in another town! And I think situations like that are quite common. I can't remember which apostle said it, but something to the effect that rapid growth is the biggest problem we face as a church. It is a nice problem to have.

I also wonder with all the growth happening in West Africa (which is tremendous and wonderful) has put a strain on building costs. I personally like some aspects of the old way of building a chapel: when local members would contribute financially and even offer labor to help a chapel be built. In areas where members are able to financially contribute, they could supplement the building costs. It makes the sacrifice of chapel building more personal. But I can appreciate why they do it the way they do now, though.

J S A said...

Provo Utah Freedom Stake created last Sunday. 7 wards from other southern Provo stakes.

Dave said...

Is there a way to determine the number of new chapels the church builds every year, and is there a geographic break down? In the early 90s I know we were building something like 400 new chapels a year, but have no idea what it is now, or what it's been in between.

The church is growing about as fast as it can grow, with the management of that growth being the church's #1 problem. The requirements of building up testimonies, developing quorums of Melchizedek Priesthood holders, achieving concentrations of size enough to accommodate church structure in places adequate for the formation of branches, wards, and stakes----all of that will keep the church from growing exponentially. We will never be a fad.

The upside is that once the structures are in place, the church will grow geometrically and there will be nothing that can stop it.

Alex said...

Christopher, if you like the old way of doing the chapel building, then you'll love the Church's solution for getting lots of chapels in the rapidly growing but super poor city of Kinshasaa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The LDS Church News, in an article in November 2014 called "LDS leaders visit Africa, say 'Progress is remarkable,'" talked about a building program where they are hiring members for on-the-job training where they are trained in construction while building new meetinghouses, and they then graduate with a construction certificate that lets them get more construction jobs. It's been implied that these members will also be involved with building their temple, which is why it's not that fancy.

Dave, there is a way to determine the number of new chapels the Church builds each year, and that's to regularly stalk the leader and clerk version of LDS Maps, make a detailed list of all 16,000+ chapels, and then regularly check back to see what changes. Since number of chapels is not a published statistic (the "over 16,000" number took me about 10 minutes on Google to find and is an unofficial projection). A better way to do it is to estimate based on the number of congregations, which is officially published.

Eduardo said...

Of course the difficulty of projecting chapels based on units is that many of our branches are housed in rented spaces that are not chapels.I have attended a branch like that in Castellon, Spain. How many of our branches rent out their spaces?

Christopher said...

Thanks Alex. I think I read that article a while back, but it was nice to be reminded. These kind of programs are excellent at building chapels while building self-sufficiency. Revelation is at work as the church grows in these places! It also must help with retention, when a convert can come to the church and say to himself, "I helped build these walls!" You feel more connected to your church. I still wonder how we in N. America can have that sort of intimate connection to our chapels. Instead of mindlessly writing tithing cheques, which we too often do, how can we better feel the reverence and connection to our buildings in a place where we already tend to take everything for granted as a society?

In the big picture, of course, it doesn't matter as much where you meet, whether it's a rented space, a cookie-cutter chapel, or a building you helped build. What matters is the spirit that we members bring to our meetings.

(Although I still argue the spirit isn't as strong with 3:00 church while being crammed into a chapel not designed for four wards. Just kidding...well, kind of.)

Gnesileah said...

On the topic of new meetinghouses -- a new meetinghouse is currently being built in Billings, Montana. It will be the sixth in the city. Two of our meetinghouses have four wards each, and some of these wards are large enough to split. The Church intended to build a meetinghouse next to the temple on land that the Church has owned for years, but neighbors protested and said the Church promised, during public hearings for the temple in the late 90s, never to build on that land. While no record of such a statement could be found, the Church abandoned their plans for the site in the spirit of trying to be a good neighbor. Another site was located nearby, and received building clearance from the city a few weeks ago. The vacant land around the temple, which has been zoned for residential, is now being sold as custom home lots. At least two lots have been sold and have homes going up on them. The temple president's house has looked so lonely all by itself for all these years, and now finally has some neighbors.

Gnesileah said...

Additionally, the Church recently finished construction on a new meetinghouse in Stanley, North Dakota, and is building a meetinghouse in Watford City, North Dakota. Both of these cities had their first branches organized in recent years, and both have now been upgraded to wards. Lots of growth in western North Dakota during the past five years. Dickinson used to have only one branch, and now has two wards (their meetinghouse was recently expanded).

David Todd said...

A few years ago, my ward met in a Stake Center with three other wards. The meeting times were 8:30, 10:30, 12:30, and 2:30. While it actually worked pretty well, there were some important modifications that had to be made (the room that is attached to the nursery became a new bishop's office). Once the Alliance Texas Stake was formed and a new Stake Center was built, our chapel went down to having 3 wards again, but I believe the new Stake Center now has 4 wards meeting in it (though it was built as a new larger model that they are testing out so there is more room than you might think).

Ryan Searcy said...

Dang, the Aboisso and Adzope districts have nearly doubled their number of branches in just a couple of months! I wonder if one or both of these districts will break the record on fastest district creation to stakehood.

alizabeth.leake said...

What is the record on shortest time from district to stakehood?

BYULAW said...

We have 8 wards in our stake with 2 buildings. 4 wards attend the stake center, 3 wards the other building, and then one ward goes to a building in a nearby stake. As far as I know there are not any plans to build another building in the immediate future. The time sharing in the stake center right now is 9:00 (classes first), 9:30 (sacrament first), 1:00 (classes first), and 1:30 (sacrament first). The halls are really crowded as one ward leaves the chapel and the other one enters, but for the most part it works smoothly.
This isn't a long term solution, however, because is that there are another 100 homes or so going up in the next year or two within our stake boundaries (Utah so most will be members). The question is whether they wait until the wards have to split (which they usually do at about 750-800 members) to build a new chapel, or if they build the chapel in anticipation of the wards splitting. It appears that they are being conservative and waiting until it is an absolute necessity even though it is probably inevitable that another will need to be built in 1-2 years.

John Pack Lambert said...

Back in 1988 my grandparents ward in Pleasanton California met at 4 in the afternoon. Their chapel had 4 wards meeting in it. There are buildings built with multiple chapels so two wards can meet simultaneosly. I know Fremont California has such a building and there our some connected with the Wymount Married student housing at BYU. I also know that in 1999 the YSA unit in the Logandale Nevada Stake met in the relif society room of a building for sacrament meeting at the same time as a ward met in the chapel of the building.

John Pack Lambert said...

Besides the fact of rented buildings there are other complicating factors. Since 2010 the area of the Detroit mission has seen 8 wards and branches consolidated but the 3 lost buildings were all rentals. On the other hand the two chapels built in Detroit proper both dedicated in 2007 do not connect with when the branches they serve were formed. In Las Vegas when I was on my mission LDS Family Services was based in a building in the central city that had once been a chapel but had been refurbished as wards were consolidated in the central city.

Of the seven chapels in my stake all owned by the Church only 6 were built by the Church. The seventh is a former Greek Orthodox Chapel the Church bought. Although after buying it the Church added on a cultural hall and a baptismal font. This is actually another issue. Some chapels go through expansions. My stakes stake center was not built as a stake center it was built as a high class chapel to fit the high class nature of Bloomfield Hills largely at the urging of our then stake president George Romney. It was actually modeled after the Honolulu Tabernacle. It is the only LDS chapel I have ever been in with a cry room to look down on the chapel from above.

After the old Detroit Chapel was bulldozed to build I-96 the stake center was moved to Bloomfield Hills. This required more office space which was gained by adding a back hallway and turning the patio area into a fully enclosed courtyard. On the other hand the LDS chapel in Roseville Michigan was built in 3 phases. When I was little the old foyer was still visible by the rooms that were the original chapel but it has since been turned into a classrooms.

On the other hand the Lansing Michigan Stake Center was destroyed by arson in the summer of 2002 and then had to be rebuilt. I know of at least two cases in California where the Church tore down buildings and built new ones on the same sight. From a cost stand point that is almost the same as a new building but it would not face as much government hassel.

Unknown said...

Both of the buildings in my stake have two chapels, with the stake center taking six wards (9, 11, 1), and the building I attend taking four wards (9, 11). On the other hand, I know of at least one building in Roy which only has one ward in it. There might be more like this. I think that this may be the reason why the Church is a little reluctant to build more. In many cases, there is still some space. Even my building would probably take two more wards easily before another building would have to go up - and after that, the stake would surpass 12 wards and would probably be close to splitting anyway.

John Pack Lambert said...

My understanding is with the DR Congo building the chapels program the participants were pretty much all returned missionaries. It may still boost retention but hopefully those who have served missions have high rates of retention. It may serve as a way to keep the rising generation close to the Church with them knowing that their fathers had a part in the building.

One recent development with temple dedications I really like is the cultural celrbrations. I only wish they had existed during the most vigorous temple building from 1998 to 2000. I also hope to see a perio of 2 years when more than 60 temples are built but I think we will need to see at least a retaining of 20% or so annual growth in countries like Benin and Ivory Coast for a few more years, districts become stakes throughout Malaysia, the Africa Southeast area stwp up the process of crating branches in new areas, The Daloa miracle repeated 25 times and a change to higher levels of activity in the Church thoughout Latin America.

Additionally I hope aggresive programs to help church members move out of poverty and government dependency can spead to more of the USA. I hope they can create a turn around so that the high numbers of baptisms of some groups especially African Americans in the 1990s can translate into real growth in Church attendance and faithfulness. This in turn will hopefully open the way for more temples. If the Anacostia Ward for example was an unbeatable powerhouse of temple going along with others in Prince Georges County it would probably put things over the top for a Richmond Virginia Temple. Other cities that might see temples with this power unleashed would be Cincinnatti, Cleaveland, Pittsburgh, Jackson in Mississippi and Macon Georgia with Atlanta Temple getting so much participation just from the city that those in the outlying parts of the state could barely find a session open.

John Pack Lambert said...

When I went to Church in Ypsilanti the ward just seemed to big for the building. On the other hand in Bloomfield Hills it always seemed a waste to just have one ward and the YSA branch in such a large building esoecially with a sizeable portion of the Southfield Ward living closer to the stake center and the Southfield Chapel only having one ward in it. I don't think it would be good to abandon the Southfield Chapel, but I think a ward or branch cut from the east end of the ward and assigned to the stake center would be a good development.

John Pack Lambert said...

To be fair one problem with the Ypsilanti Chapel was it had a bathroom where a stall had been expanded to make it wheel chair accesible leaving other parts of the bathroom just plain too squished which made the whole building seem squished. Another major discrepancy between Ypsilanti and Bloomfield Hills chapel was foyer size. Bloomfield Hills has huge foyer that work well for stake conference or during a tri-stake or more youth dance but can seem far to big at other times. Ypsilanti Chapels foyers were not big enough to handle the traffic at exit time for a ward that had enough membership to split but lacked the solid priesthood leadership to do so.

Eduardo said...

The Waterman building in San Bernardino has a back balcony cry room for the chapel. I think I have been in a few more, most likely California, but I can't recall where.
The LDS chapel by the LA temple has an interesting upper back balcony. I don't think it is for crying, per se, as that is usually reserved for the podium.

Eduardo said...

The Waterman building in San Bernardino has a back balcony cry room for the chapel. I think I have been in a few more, most likely California, but I can't recall where.
The LDS chapel by the LA temple has an interesting upper back balcony. I don't think it is for crying, per se, as that is usually reserved for the podium.

Eduardo said...

The Waterman building in San Bernardino has a back balcony cry room for the chapel. I think I have been in a few more, most likely California, but I can't recall where.
The LDS chapel by the LA temple has an interesting upper back balcony. I don't think it is for crying, per se, as that is usually reserved for the podium.

Matt said...

Here in Colorado Springs, LDS meetinghouses are well utilized. Most have three wards and only two meetinghouses have two congregations assigned. The Colorado Springs North Stake has a building with four wards assigned and the Church has purchased land in Flying Horse Ranch to build another meetinghouse in the area. I have also been told that this site in the north stake is a "special" site and that it was purchased with intention to build a temple there one day.

I also received word that there is going to be a massive realignment of congregations and stakes in Mexico City in the next few months.

Growth in Cote d'Ivoire has been absolutely astounding. On average, the Church has organized a new ward or branch every week since the beginning of the year. As a result, the Church in Cote d'Ivoire has had more new congregations organized in 2016 than any country in the world with the exception of the United States. Several Ivorian cities have also had their first branches organized in 2016, including Ayame, Bangolo, La Me, and Mafere.

Matt said...

I also wanted to add that the Kumasi Ghana Dichemso Stake now has a whopping 10 wards and nine branches. The only time I have ever seen so many units in a single stake was in approximately 2006 when a stake in Lehi had 18 wards and one branch before it split. To make this even more impressive, the Kumasi Ghana Dichemso Stake was organized only two and a half years ago.

Michael Worley said...


Will the "massive realignment of congregations and stakes in Mexico City" be a division or consolidation?

Spencer said...

I'm not sure where else to put this or if it is of interest to anyone, but I served my mission in the Honduras San Pedro Sula mission in 2002-2003 and this morning a member told me that a new stake is going to be formed from part of the San Pedro Sula Stake and I believe the Satelite Stake. It will be called the El Carmen State and include at least the following Wards, El Carmen, La Aldea, El Ocotillo, Las Lomas, Calpules (and it might take in another ward or two). The wards seems to come from two different missions, so I'm not sure which mission the new stake will be apart of.

Anyway, I just thought I'd pass that along.

Christopher said...

Hurray for Honduras! They have been progressing quite a bit in recent years. I served in Tegucigalpa 2004-2006.

Matt said...

Thanks Spencer. When will the new stake be created?

John Pack Lambert said...

I think the stake President Hinckley's father was president of had over 20 wards but it also had 22,000 members. The Salt Lake City was even more crazy big before it split in 4 in 1904. Still the Kumasi Dichenso Stake may have the nost units in the post WWII era.

John Pack Lambert said...

I think the stake President Hinckley's father was president of had over 20 wards but it also had 22,000 members. The Salt Lake City was even more crazy big before it split in 4 in 1904. Still the Kumasi Dichenso Stake may have the nost units in the post WWII era.

Unknown said...

The Worland Wyoming stack has 2100 members and 7 wards.

John Pack Lambert said...

So essentially the Liberty Stake in Salt Lake City in the 1920s had 10 times as many members although how numbers of active members compared is hard to say. I know president Hinckley lived in a ward with over 1000 members. I have the impression that average family sizes in the Church were larger then so the same number of members would not mean the same number of adults.

John Pack Lambert said...

So essentially the Liberty Stake in Salt Lake City in the 1920s had 10 times as many members although how numbers of active members compared is hard to say. I know president Hinckley lived in a ward with over 1000 members. I have the impression that average family sizes in the Church were larger then so the same number of members would not mean the same number of adults.

Spencer said...

Matt, I was told on the 26th of this month.

The Opinion said...

In the Raleigh (NC) South Stake we are trying to have a stake center built as we are only six months old. The stake president was told it will be three years once it is approved by the First Presidency. They said every building needs to be filled to capacity before they begin the approval process. It looks that won't happen for a while. They are creating a new ward and a Spanish branch this year though in the stake. We are competing against the Raleigh and Apex to have a new building built because right now they are only planning on building in one of the three stakes. The other stakes have their buildings filled to capacity. Our chances are slim.

I am moving to Brownsburg IN and I read a letter on their bulletin board that they aren't getting a stake center until their buildings are filled to capacity so I think it is becoming common in the US to have a stake without a traditional stake center.

I also heard on Leading LDS, a podcast I listen to, that the only states in the US that they are actively building stake centers are TX and the Intermountian West (ID,UT,AZ) so I would say there is a building freeze for most of the US.

Eduardo said...

Indiana needs more Saints! Hope it goes well for you in the Hoosier heartland.
It is interesting to me French speaking places are having so much growth. It is the new boom frontier. Africa is a great place for the priesthood to take root.

John Pack Lambert said...

The Ann Arbor Michigan Stake was organized in I think 1977 and didn't have a stake center until 2005. So organizing stakes without a stake center is not all that new of a phenomenon. The extreme in under abundance of buildings is one of the stakes in Henderson Nevada only has one LDS Chapel in its boundaries, but with distances so relatively low and such, I am not sure they have any plans to build more chapels.

Unknown said...

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Bryan Dorman said...

With the formation of the Grand Bassam Stake, Ivory Coast becomes the fifth African nation to reach 10 stakes. They also happen to be the quickest to ten as the first stake was only formed less than 20 years ago

Jim Coles said...

Wasn't there a comment about Taiwan reaching a certain number of stakes they would have a temple announced? What was the number of stakes and was this said in a conference in Taiwan or something? Just curious, can't quite remember.

Spencer said...

Matt, here is a link to the facebook page that shows the new stake presidency in Honduras, including a list of wards that will be included in the state.


DeeAnn said...

I used to live in gre Brownsburg Ward. It's a great Ward! Good luck there.

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Unknown said...

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