Wednesday, December 14, 2016

New Stakes Created in Colorado, Honduras, Nigeria, Virginia, and Zimbabwe; New District Created in Brazil

A new stake was created in Colorado Springs on December 11th. This stake creation was a special one for me since this I live in the boundaries of the new stake. The Colorado Springs High Plains Stake was organized from a division of the Colorado Springs East Stake. The new stake includes the following eight wards and one branch: the Black Forest, Calhan, Falcon, Indigo Ranch, Meridian, Oakwood, Stetson Hills, and Woodmen Hills Wards, and the Limon Branch. Additionally, four wards were reassigned from the Colorado Springs North Stake to the Colorado Springs East Stake.

There are now 35 stakes in Colorado.

A new stake was organized in northern Honduras on December 4th. The La Ceiba Honduras Miramar Stake was organized from a division of the La Ceiba Honduras Stake. The new stake includes the following five wards and one branch: the Buenos Aires, El Confite, Las Colinas, Miramar, and Montecristo Wards, and the La Másica Branch. The Church has organized five new stakes in Honduras during 2016 - the most new stakes organized in Honduras in a single year since 1995.

There are now 28 stakes in Honduras.

A new stake was organized in southeastern Nigeria on December 4th. The Uyo Nigeria Ibiono Stake was organized from the Ibiono Nigeria District and the Uyo Nigeria Stake. The new stakes includes the following ward and 11 branches: the Itam 1st Ward, and the Enen-Atai, Ibiono 1st, Ibiono 2nd, Idoro, Ikot Ekpene Road, Ikot Esia, Ikot Mbon Ikono, Itam 2nd, Nkwot, Okoita, and the Use Ikot Amama Branches. Many of these branches have likely become wards. Information on which branches became wards is not currently available in the official directory. There have been significant delays for the Church to update which branches have become wards in other newly organized stakes in Nigeria. For example, It has taken six months for information on which branches have become wards in the newly organized Ikot Ekpene Nigeria Stake to appear. This new stake currently has seven wards and one branch.

There are now 42 stakes and 16 districts in Nigeria.

Two new stakes were organized in Virginia.

The Washington DC YSA Stake was organized on December 4th. The new stake includes the following seven wards: the Braddock YSA, Colonial YSA 1st, Colonial YSA 2nd, Glenn Dale YSA, Langley YSA, Shenandoah YSA, and the Washington DC YSA 2nd Wards. The new stake is the Church's second YSA stake to be organized in the eastern United States. The first YSA stake in this region of the country was organized in Buena Vista, Virginia in 2012.

The Church organized the Gainesville Virginia Stake from a division of the Centreville Virginia Stake and the Ashburn Virginia Stake. The new stake includes the follow six wards: the Gainesville, Haymarket, Tall Cedars, Vint Hill, Warrenton 1st, and Warrenton 2nd Wards.

There are now 23 stakes in Virginia.

The Church organized its fourth stake in Harare on December 4th. The Harare Zimbabwe East Stake was organized from a division of the Harare Zimbabwe Stake and two mission branches in the Zimbabwe Harare Mission. The new stake includes the following four wards and four branches: the Mabvuku 1st, Mabvuku 2nd, Ruwa, and Tafara Wards, and the Acturus, Damofalls, Dombotombo, and Marondera Branches. Furthermore, church leaders report that the announcement of the location and groundbreaking of the Harare Zimbabwe Temple appears forthcoming in early 2017.

There are now seven stakes and two districts in Zimbabwe.

The Church organized a new district in Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil on November 20th. The São Lourenço do Sul Brazil District was organized from a division of the Pelotas Brazil North Stake. The new district includes three branches: the Camaquã, Canguçu, and São Lourenço do Sul Branches. There are now 23 stakes and eight districts in Rio Grande do Sul State.

There are now 265 stakes and 40 districts in Brazil.


bwebster said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bwebster said...

[reposted to correct a typo]

"There are now 28 stakes in Honduras."

(Shakes head.) I became a student of LDS history shortly after joining the Church at age 14. It's a bit sobering -- nearly 50 years later -- to see how a major portion of that history has played out.

I served as a missionary in Honduras back in 1972-73, in San Pedro Sula. I was in what was known then as the Central American Mission (subsequently renamed the Costa Rica San Jose Mission), which included Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and the Canal Zone (though no proselyting allowed in the last). At that time, there were no stakes or wards anywhere in the mission. Honduras had two (Church) districts: San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa, each with roughly half a dozen branches, maybe less.

It's pretty staggering to see the tremendous growth of the Church in all four of those countries, which now encompass nine (9) missions, three (3) temples, and about 350,000 members (vs. about 10,000 members of record when I left in 1974). The truth of God continues to "go forth boldly, nobly, and independent"; I'm grateful to have lived to see it happen.

BB said...

The Surprise Arizona West Stake was created from a division of the Goodyear Arizona and the Surprise Arizona Stakes on December 11. The Surprise West Stake includes the following wards:

Cactus Lane
Canyon Trails
White Tank Mountain

Mike Johnson said...

bwebster, thanks for you post about Central America. I think I may have heard that story before from a podcast from the Mormon Interpreter. I was wondering if your name is Bruce.

Great news about all of the stakes, including from Arizona.

23 stakes in Virginia, 3 in the last 4 months. I am excited.

Eduardo said...

Bwebster: I hope that you back to Central America. I have been back to Chile twice (my mission) totalling a period of 9 months. Tried to do a little follow up.
I think it should be cheaper to fly than Santiago de Chile.
And the weather should be nice too, no?

Unknown said...

Here's a question, has there ever been two different Stakes that use the same Stake center outside of YSA Stakes using the same one as a family Stake. I could see this happening at the new Surprise West Stake. The Surprise Stake center is in the new Surprise West Stake's boundaries and two of the three wards are in the Surprise Stake. Also none of the other buildings have office space to set up a new set of Stake offices.

Eduardo said...

Incidentally, for people with big hearts or healthy bank accounts, I am on a committee of a non-profit organization that aims to help youth in Guatemala and then beyond to receive funds to be educated and have chance at a better life. All of us are members and the head, David Allred, donates his own money monthly and has "adopted" 3 Guatemalan youth in this fashion. We are looking to tap into former LDS missionaries of Central America or anywhere to give more kids a chance there.
Hit me up with questions and I will give you more details.
There is a Guatemalan bishop involved down there, I forget if it is la Ciudad de Guatemala or no.
More later. It would be nice to get supporters for such a well meaning effort. Again, the org is still forming.

James said...

What wonderful growth milestones have occurred for the Church just this year. And while the recent reports of stake creations have raised some doubt in my mind as to whether or not the Church would be successful in establishing 100 new stakes as previously forecast, it looks like that won't be a problem. Great to hear! I am very excited about that.

Personally, I would like to note: for all those who care or might be interested, I have done more blog posts within just the last 24 hours than I can count. I would welcome anyone who would be interested in reading and/or commenting on those posts to visit my blog at the link below. One of them was my annual Christmas post, a couple of them have been about the struggles and trials my wife are currently experiencing in regards to our health and finances. Prayers in our behalf are very welcome and would very much be appreciated. Thanks.

Mike Johnson said...

Levi, I have seen cases of 2 stakes sharing a stake center. But, it has been a long time.

BYULAW said...

Every stake division I have been involved with (in Utah) both stakes temporarily shared the stake center until a new one was built within the stake boundaries of the other stake. I suspect Arizona would be able to do the same thing due to the close proximity of stakes.

Unknown said...

In Every other Stake division I have seen the Stake center does Not get shared. I've seen a large classroom has tables set up as the high council room and a bishops office is borrowed for the Stake presidency office.

Eduardo said...

Incidentally, for people with big hearts or healthy bank accounts, I am on a committee of a non-profit organization that aims to help youth in Guatemala and then beyond to receive funds to be educated and have chance at a better life. All of us are members and the head, David Allred, donates his own money monthly and has "adopted" 3 Guatemalan youth in this fashion. We are looking to tap into former LDS missionaries of Central America or anywhere to give more kids a chance there.
Hit me up with questions and I will give you more details.
There is a Guatemalan bishop involved down there, I forget if it is la Ciudad de Guatemala or no.
More later. It would be nice to get supporters for such a well meaning effort. Again, the org is still forming.

Jim Coles said...

It appears to me that a stake may be formed in the Philippines very soon. There were 4 branches transferred from one district to another giving that district 10 branches. The Sogod Philippines district to be exact. Maybe I'm off on this but it sure seems like it. This was posted on the

Unknown said...

I would agree or why would there be a move like that?

Mike Johnson said...

It looks like the Sogod and Maasin Philippines districts each lost a branch when they merged.

The Sogod Philippines District had had the following 7 branches:

Mahaplag Branch
Bontoc Branch
Hinunangan Branch
Libagon Branch
Malitbog Branch
Sogod Branch
St Bernard Branch

Maasin Philippines District had had the following five branches:
Inopacan Branch
Bato Branch
Hilongos Branch
Maasin Branch
Macrohon Branch

LDS Maps Classic still has these districts and branches.

The Mahaplag Branch and the Inopacan Branch no longer show up in the merged district as shown on These branches may have been branches that report directly to the Philippines Tacloban Mission.

These branches were the northernmost branches in their respective districts. They could have been moved into the neighboring Ormoc Philippines Stake or Tolosa Philippines District. does not list either branch in the stake or district.

It could be these branches were merged into other branches in the enlarged Sogod Philippines District.

There are two possibilities why the districts were merged and why two branches were eliminated (if they were). The first is a stake is imminent. There may have been a need to eliminate branches to make sure enough congregations could be wards.

If a stake isn't formed soon, then the other possibility becomes more likely--that of declining membership. Declining membership at this point seems less likely because that likely would have had consolidation of branches but it may not have necessary to eliminate a district.

Interesting development. I hope it is a stake.

Ryan Searcy said...

It's not really a merging. The Maasin Philippines district was reorganized as the Baybay Philippines District. It includes the Mahaplag and Inopacan Branches as well as one from the Ormoc Philippines Stake.

Mike Johnson said...

Thanks Ryan.

That even makes it more interesting. Neither the Mahaplag nor the Inopacan Branch connects with the Kilim Baybay Branch, but in between touching all three branches is the Baybay Ward of the Ormoc Philippines. The Mahaplag and Inopacan branches only touch across a "four corner" situation.

TempleRick does have the Baybay District with the Mahaplag, Inopacan and Kilim Baybay branches. And he has the Baybay ward still in the Ormoc Philippines Stake. I can't help wondering if the Baybay Ward didn't go into the new district centered upon and named after itself as a 4th branch in the new district. Otherwise, the Baybay Ward would be completely cut off from the Ormoc Philippines Stake and the new district would have three pretty much isolated branches.

I am glad to know the branches weren't dissolved. Thanks for finding them.

I am curious to learn more about all this.

James said...

This has been a most interesting conversation and discussion regarding Church and unit growth and changes. I have loved following it. Incidentally, on a personal note, my wife and I were the grateful recipients of what can only be termed a miracle resolution to some of our problems just today. You can read the details of that miracle on my blog. Thanks to all who may have offered prayers in our behalf. Miracles do happen, and life is good again. Getting back to the main points of this discussion, it is wonderful beyond my ability to express that we can hear so quickly about such developments. The Lord's hand is over His work and all that that entails. Great news!

Mike Johnson said...

James, I am glad for your Christmas miracle to tide your family through the convergence of several events.

James said...

Thank you, Mike Johnson. I so very much appreciated the many expressions of well wishes, prayers, and sympathy that have attended our situation. I was grateful for this reminder that we are not alone and that the Lord is very much aware of our situation, even if no one else understands. My whole life has been a series of one miracle after another. Shortly after my birth, one of my earliest doctors advised my parents: "Take him home, and simply love him. He will never amount to anything more than a limp noodle on the sofa." After fervent prayer, they determined not to listen. They have always been so good at pushing me to do things, and I will be forever grateful to them that they have enabled me to live the fullest life that I can, albeit filled as it has been with trials and great suffering. That is one thing that constantly drives me to chronicle online not only the events of my personal life, but also, more importantly, any development or news relating to the Church, with a special focus and emphasis on temple developments. After all the Lord has done for me, the least I can do is give back to Him by my own small labor of love. Thanks again. It is most wonderful to see the worldwide Church growth milestones happening everywhere. And, if I am any success at blogging about anything Church-related, it is mainly due to the wonderful labors of love maintained and updated so well by Matt and TempleRick. I heard from someone who would know that my blog is one of the top Google search results for news and information about temples, and that is at once humbling and awe-inspiring. Thanks again, Mike!

Alex said...

Levi and Mike, though the two lubbock stakes technically have different stake centers, for most practical purposes we share one . Both stakes have stake conference in the same building and both nominal stake centers have at least one ward from the other stake assigned to it. I've only been to my assigned stake center once.

Mike Johnson said...

Thank you Alex.

When you have stake conference, what happens to the ward in the building not part of the stake having conference?

I was wondering about the because we now have a branch in another stake in our stake center and was wondering what would happen at stake conference.

coachodeeps said...

Mike, one of two things could happen, I believe. First, the branch not involved could meet still in the same building just at a different hour that week as to not be in conflict with the stake conference. (If, for example, it meets at 11 am, the conference is typically held at 10 am and done by noon, so the branch could meet at 1 pm the week of conference.)

Second idea would be that for the one week the branch not part of the stake could meet in a nearby building at a time that fits that building's schedule. I would think the place and time would need to be altered for this idea, rendering the first as the easiest and most feasible method of handling the situation.

I would imagine it is up to the stake presidents involved to decide. Then the branch president and the agent Bishop would fine tune the details. I am curious to hear how it works out.

Michael Worley said...

In Provo, a married student building serves 8 wards, 1 from a different stake. They scheduled that ward as the last ward of the day to avoid conflicting with stake conference.

Mike Johnson said...

Thank you, coach. Those options--particularly the first--make sense and after I posted my question I thought the first would probably happen. The branch could easily be moved from 11:00 to 1:00 that day.

L. Chris Jones said...

One of the three wards in our building is from the neighboring stake. We had stake conference last month and they moved Their time that week to the afternoon.

L. Chris Jones said...

In my last stake conference we broadcast the meeting to all buildings in the stake. The want you to attend your own building. My ward is the agent ward and I had to set up the system for my calling. One ward is in the neighboring stake and we moved them from 9:00 to 1:00 that day.

Mike Johnson said...

Thanks, Chris. That makes sense.

Bryansb1984 said...

I think the next YSA stake for the East Coast would be in New York, New York with wards and branches from New York City, New York Stake such as Westchester and some in North New Jersey

James said...

Interesting insights as always. I have loved following this conversation. I can't honestly say if my stake buildings house any units that are not part of the stake. We aren't as familiar with how that works in our relatively new home. I do know that in our former stake, we did have units that met in our buildings that were not part of the stake. And they simply shifted their traditional meeting time for anytime we needed the buildings of our stake for stake conference broadcasts. For what it's worth, that's how it worked there. But I can see the merits in other ways of doing things. I think it's mostly a case-by-case basis. Thanks again for the wonderful discussion.