Sunday, March 28, 2021

Significant Growth in the Republic of the Congo

The Republic of Congo Brazzaville Mission is currently in a significant period of growth. The Church recently organized its first branch in the northern city of Ouesso on the border with Cameroon. The mission president reported that the mission receives 20 self-referrals per day from individuals who have learned about the Church online. The mission had 74 baptisms in February despite having few full-time missionaries assigned to the mission and many of these missionaries having little experience. There are 90 people who are not members of the Church who attend the Institutes of Religion class on a university in Brazzaville. Moreover, 17 new wards and branches will be organized by June 2021 in the mission. Currently, there are 28 wards and branches in the entire country. A video on Facebook that provides these details and more (with English subtitles) can be found here.

20 comments:

Eric S. said...

Great news to hear!

John Pack Lambert said...

The Republic of the Congo has about 5 million people. This is about 70% more than Utah and 50 times the population of Tonga. So although it is not super huge there is potential for growth.

One issue, how difficult is it to get from Brazaville to the Kinshasa Temple? Pure distance is low but crossing international boundaries can at times be tricky.

Jim Anderson said...

Just in, a new stake was formed in Pennsylvania this morning, it is the Gettysburg Pennsylvania Stake. A big regional conference was held with the three stakes that it will take units from were present

Chambersburg, Columbia, and Frederick stakes, the last two for sure in Maryland.

Bob Kerns said...

As a result of the creation of this new stake, some wards and a branch were moved from a neighboring stake, the Martinsburg West Virginia Stake. Also two wards were moved from our stake, the Winchester Virginia Stake, to the Martinsburg West Virginia Stake. The growth my wife and I have seen in this area is amazing. Over 50 years ago, almost all of the Martinsburg West Virginia Stake was part of the Winchester Branch with just a handful of members.

Christopher Nicholson said...

It's my understanding that Brazzaville and Kinshasa are basically the same city. Wikipedia describes them as a "transborder agglomeration" and says flights between them are about five minutes one way. I would be surprised if there are heavy border crossing restrictions.

John Pack Lambert said...

Now I am wondering what the chances are that a temple will be announce a temple in Harrisburg or somewhere else in south central Pennsylvania?

I have to admit I would love getting a temple in Gettysburg. I had never dated dream this until now.

L. Chris Jones said...

How about New Hampshire, Maine, or Vermont. I am looking forward for maybe a "historical" temple in/near Sharon, the Joseph Smith birthplace. For example we have other "historical site" temples near Omaha NE (Winter Quarters, Nauvoo IL, and Palmyra NY.

Christopher Duerig said...

Confirmed today on Classic Maps site, the new "Gettysburg Pennsylvania Stake - 2166399", which includes the following 6 wards + 1 branch :

Carlisle, Fairview, Gettysburg, Hampstead, Hanover Westminster Wards + Cumberland Valley YSA Branch.

https://classic.churchofjesuschrist.org/maps/#ll=39.924482,-76.949615&z=9&m=google.hybrid&layers=stakecenter&find=stake:2166399

Christopher Duerig said...

It appears that the newly organized "North Pole Alaska Stake" will include these 5 wards and 2 branches from the East and North areas of the State of Alaska, from the Fairbanks Alaska Stake.

1) Badger Road Ward - 1481371
2) Delta Junction Ward - 26832
3) Eielson Ward - 171476
4) Fairbanks 3rd Ward - 132292
5) North Pole Ward - 24732
6) North Slope Branch - 211389
7) Salcha Branch - 143693

The Classic Maps site is updating now. Not yet known the assigned Unit # for the new "North Pole Alaska Stake"

Adam said...

Rumblings that a new stake center is being built near Centerton, Arkansas, and that when completed a new stake will be created. Only heard it through the local Elders, and is still probably a ways out. The 4 meetinghouses in the Bentonville/Rogers area house 15 units, so we'll be glad to get some more chapels built. Bentonville Stake is still only holding every other week church in person, with only a one-hour slot for sacrament.

Christopher Nicholson said...

It's funny how apostates claim that the Church is only growing among Africans because they don't have access to the internet to find out "the truth", yet the mission president attributes most of this current growth in the Republic of Congo to... the internet.

Jim Anderson said...

That stake center will be ready in 2-3 years from the start of construction, and may be occupied before fully complete, mine 20 years ago was substantially done nine months before it was dedicated, all the major work was done and we got in about 2 years after construction started.

Jim Anderson said...

I think the internet/no internet issue in Africa is a checkerboard, a general authority seventy went to one stake, and found boxes of 'My Family' booklets along the wall on shelves, waiting for a better connection to be keyed in. Crappy internet speeds in that area were blamed.

Starlink and at least four others will be a game changer, speeds like we are accustomed to here, few to no dropouts, and the ability to get set up anywhere, will be up by the end of this year or next, they also have to get providers in each country. Billions do not have access to the internet right now and many will be able to get online with this. Many who have never heard of the church will find it, many who have no idea someone has records for family history will find familysearch and subsequently the church.

We are in for a major, explosive growth event unlike any seen previously in Church history

Christopher Duerig said...

Confirmed today the new "Almada Portugal Stake - 2162539", on Classic Maps site. Which includes the following 5 Wards + 2 Branches :

Almada, Barreiro, Costa de Caparica, Montijo, Seixal Wards + Camacha, Funchal Branches.

https://classic.churchofjesuschrist.org/maps/#ll=38.63465,-9.148023&z=12&m=google.hybrid&layers=stakecenter&q=Almada%20Portugal%20Stake&find=stake:2162539

James said...

Hello again, everyone! With comment moderation in effect here, I'm not sure whether or not this has been covered by anyone else, but today, we got the first major announced development for the April 2021 General Conference. Following the April 2019 General Conference, all General Conference Leadership Sessions were postponed for future conferences until it was safe to hold them again. This year, through in-person socially-distant attendance for those who can safely travel to Church headquarters, and virtual participation for those inside the US or elsewhere in the world, those sessions were held again.

As a major element of this year's session, the Brethren noted a change in protocol for the sustaining of area seventies. At the beginning of the meeting, at President Nelson's request, Elder D. Todd Christofferson read the list of 77 new area seventies that were to be sustained during this General Conference. After the names were read, President Nelson then stood and called for a sustaining vote for those calls. The plan going forward is to continue to do that during leadership sessions, and then during the usual sustaining of Church Officers during the Saturday Afternoon Session, the new area seventies will be sustained as a group, rather than by the individual mention of their names.

This "new normal" for the sustaining of new area seventies accomplishes two major purposes: First, it brings the Church further into compliance with the revelations and doctrine on common consent and authority in the Church. Second, it also means that the bulk of the Sustaining of General Authorities and General Officers will hve already been handled, and that could shorten the typical length of that process quite a bit. Usually in April, that process has taken 10-11 minutes, primarily because of the area seventies list. So that could reduce the amount of time that sustaining takes by roughly half or more.

For additional details, please see the following articles:

https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/april-2021-general-conference-leadership-meeting

https://www.thechurchnews.com/leaders-and-ministry/2021-04-01/77-area-seventies-named-sustained-general-conference-leadership-208413

I have provided analysis on this on my blog, for any who might be interested in looking that over:

https://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com/2021/04/breaking-news-general-conference.html

My thanks once again to you all.

Eduardo said...

Congo-Brazzaville is fundamentally French speaking, yes? This should be a continued expansive trend in a few Francophile countries, hopes for highly populated Rwanda and Burundi to the east, as well.

The Spencers said...

Adam, it is true they are building a new stake center in Centerton, AR. The buildings in Rogers and Bella Vista are over capacity now, and I believe the local stakes are holding off on creating new units until the new building is finished, so it will likely be at capacity already when it is dedicated.
I live here, and I marvel at the rapid growth of the church in this area (mainly move-ins). The Rogers stake was split only 6 years ago (creating the Bentonville stake) and it appears they're close to splitting again. The town of Centerton had less than 10,000 residents a decade ago. It's probably double that now, and there are 3 wards there, as well as 4 in Bentonville and 2 in Bella Vista. Rogers has 3, not counting the Singles Ward, Spanish Branch and soon-to-be Marshallese branch (btw, there's also a Marshallese ward in neighboring Springdale).
If a new stake is created by the time the Bentonville temple opens, the temple will serve 5 stakes in NW Arkansas as well as 4 stakes in Missouri.

Jim Anderson said...

Newsroom has the video of the temple groundbreaking where Elder Bednar spoke from Salt Lake, there is a lot about what he saw while there in his remarks. You can find it on Youtube, Newsroom posted it there.

John Pack Lambert said...

The patriarch of the Brazzaville Congo Stake died from Covid-19.

On the language issue while French is the official language Kituba and Lingala are recognized national languages. Also Kikongo is spoken in parts of the country, making it one of four countries with Kikongo speaking areas. The country is 70% urbanized, but that leaves 30% of the population in the sparse jungle regions to the north of Brazzaville.

There are 62 spoken languages in the Republic of Congo. It is not fundamentally French speaking. Kitiba is a lingua franca that heavily derives from Kikongo. Over half the population of the Republic of Congo belongs to the Kongo ethnic group. Although more members of that group live in either DR Congo or Angola. Bear in mind DR Congo has almost 20 times the population of the Republic of Congo.

John Pack Lambert said...

Up until about 1997 there were nearly 9,000 ethnic French people in the Republic of the Congo. This was less than 0.5% of the population. War in that year caused an exodus of the French.