Wednesday, November 1, 2023

36 New Missions to be Created in 2024

Today, the Church announced plans to organize 36 new missions in 2024 due to a significant increase in the number of Latter-day Saints serving full-time missions. New missions that are scheduled to open in on July 1st, 2024, include:

  • Argentina Tucumán
  • Bolivia Cochabamba South
  • Brazil Manaus South
  • California Modesto
  • Cambodia Phnom Penh East
  • Chile La Serena
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo Kinshasa South
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo Kolwezi
  • Dominican Republic Santo Domingo North
  • Ecuador Quito West
  • Florida Tallahassee
  • Germany Hamburg
  • Ghana Accra North
  • Ghana Takoradi
  • Japan Sendai
  • Kenya Nairobi East
  • Madagascar Antananarivo North
  • México Mexicali
  • México Puebla East
  • Montana Missoula
  • Nevada Henderson
  • Nigeria Calabar
  • Nigeria Port Harcourt North
  • Perú Lima Northeast
  • Philippines Dumaguete
  • Philippines General Santos
  • Philippines Tuguegarao
  • Portugal Porto
  • Sierra Leone Bo
  • South Carolina Charleston
  • Texas Dallas South
  • Texas El Paso
  • Thailand Bangkok East
  • Utah Salt Lake City East
  • Utah Saratoga Springs
  • Utah Spanish Fork

This is a major announcement that indicates confidence that the Church has placed on these increased numbers of members serving full-time missions being sustained for years to come. I will provide analysis on these new missions in the coming days. With these changes, there will be 450 missions in the Church - the most ever in the history of the Church. Also, the Church reported that there are now more than 72,000 full-time missionaries serving (of whom nearly 5,300 are senior missionaries).


James G. Stokes said...

Thanks for this report, Matt! When the Church News app alerted me to this update, I shared my own analysis thereof:

Matt, as the resident Church growth expert, I wanted to ask you if you think that the new missions that may not have temples within their boundaries might be prime candidates for such announcements in the future. I would think that would be the case, but I'm no expert on any connection between new missions and new temples. I also wondered if perhaps the announcement might lead to the possible realignment of existing Church areas or the creation of new Church areas next year as well. Does anyone have any thoughts on that? Matt, I'd especially appreciate your observations. Thanks.

Chris D. said...

That is great news. It's nice to see that among the 36, are included at least 3 or more that will be reinstated next July from previously consolidated. Like Utah Salt Lake City East, Portugal Oporto and Japan Sendai. To name a few.

John Pack Lambert said...

I think Florida Tallahasee also existed in the past.

I noticed none were in North America North East, and it looks like none are in the North America Central Area.

I have to admit the one I am most excited about is Kolwezi. Kanaga got a separate mission from Mbuji-Mayi last July and in October Mbuji-Mayi had a temple announced. I hope Kolwezi has a temple announced next year. I also hope Ellie Monga is the first president of the Kolwezi Temple. I do not think I have ever dared make a 1st temple president prediction for an unannounced temple. It may join my general authority who will not be called as a general authority prediction as one that totally failed. We shall see, wither when they announce Kolwezi's first president or on the sad day when Brother Monga dies, whichever comes first, but hopefully the former.

In Haiti, the first temple president, Fritzner Joseph, was also the first Haitian to serve a full time missionary, and he and his wife were the first Hitian couple sealed in the temple. Brother Monga however I'd literally the father of the Church in Kolwezi. He traveled several days to Lumbubashi to be baptized, then returned to Kolwezi and prepared a few hundred people for baptism. Few fathers of the Church in a place live to see it get a temple. Brother Monga might. The fact that he was not yet 20 when baptized helps.

John Pack Lambert said...

While Talahassee is a previously existing mission, I believe Charleston South Carolina never has. I do up this ups the changes of Charleston getting a temple. This announcement probably pushes off until at least 2028 when the number of announced temples will equal the number of missions. The difference in theory in July will be 115. That though would mean 0 temples were announced in April which seems extremly unlikely. My guess is 15-25 temples will be announced in April, a little more is very unlikely, a few less maybe even single digits possible, but I do not believe we will see 0 announced.

I see Bo is getting a mission. That is exciting.

Henderson is getting a mission. I served in the Las Vegas mission. That mission lost some areas since to Reno mission, and also some areas were shifted to Las Vegas West and St
George, but all the areas I actually served in remained in the Las Vegas mission. 2 of the 6 areas I served in were in the city boundaries of Henderson. So was the mission presidents home. It will be interesting to learn how the boundaries end up. Sunrise Stake, Central Stake, North Stake, and probably East Stake will remain in the Las Vegas Mission. Henderson will most likely have Warm Springs Stake and the 6 Henderson designated stakes, as well as Kimgman Arizona and Lake Havasu City Arizona. I am not sure which way the Paradise Stake will go. I am guessing some stakes in the west mission will go to Las Vegas or Henderson missions.

If El Paso mission is a prelude to El Paso Temple I am very excited.

Utah County now will have 4 missions based there. When I was at BYU the Provo Mission covered what will now be 5 missions plus some of the Farmington New Mexico Mission.

It looks like none of these missions will be a first for their country.

steve_j said...

It's nice to see my mission (Hamburg, Germany) being reinstated.

Bryansb1984 said...

I'm kinda curious but what is the grand total number of missions including these new ones?

James G. Stokes said...

Bryansb1984, that total will come to 450, as specified in the announcement to which Matt linked.

Chris D. said...

JPL, Correction, the Montana Missoula mission according to the article list posted is located within the current boundaries of the North America Central Area.

"New missions are coming to 18 of the Church’s 22 areas around the world. These additional areas of service will be created in the following locations, effective July 1, 2024:

Africa Central
Democratic Republic of the Congo Kinshasa South
Democratic Republic of the Congo Kolwezi
Kenya Nairobi East

Africa South
Madagascar Antananarivo North

Africa West
Ghana Accra North
Ghana Takoradi
Nigeria Calabar
Nigeria Port Harcourt North
Sierra Leone Bo

Cambodia Phnom Penh East
Thailand Bangkok East

Asia North
Japan Sendai

Brazil Manaus South

Dominican Republic Santo Domingo North

Europe Central
Germany Hamburg

Europe North
Portugal Porto

México Mexicali
México Puebla East

North America Central
Montana Missoula

North America Southeast
Florida Tallahassee
South Carolina Charleston

North America Southwest
Nevada Henderson
Texas Dallas South
Texas El Paso

North America West
California Modesto

Philippines Dumaguete
Philippines General Santos
Philippines Tuguegarao

South America Northwest
Bolivia Cochabamba South
Ecuador Quito West
Perú Lima Northeast

South America South
Argentina Tucumán
Chile La Serena

Utah Salt Lake City East
Utah Saratoga Springs
Utah Spanish Fork

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...

Hey, Missoula, Montana!

They must have realized how expansively immense the Billings mission currently is.

Breckenfeld said...

I think like that, except for Utah, a new mission means a new coordination concil, a good environment for a Temple...

David Todd said...

I'm excited about the ones that will be second missions for their countries. This will increase the number of missionaries serving in those countries and hopefully lead to more outreach and growth.

Chris D. said...

That being said. With the now 450 total Missions worldwide, distributed on average of 20 Missions for each of the 22 current Church Administrative Areas. And with the 36 additions this year, both the Brazil and South America Northwest Areas share the #1 spot with 37 Missions each and Mexico coming in 3rd place with 34.

I know in the recent past Matt has stated the thought that Nigeria will be the next new Area to be organized in the relative future. I think with this new data and reflection. If Brazil and South America Northwest, both having almost exactly double the total average (37 each compared to the average of 20). That either or both may be the next to split as they were previous to the 2013 last consolidations. With Mexico at 34 Missions being a close contender to split compared to the average 20 per area.

With these 5 new Missions for the Africa West Area, brings the Area total to 25 which is just barely above the 20 above mentioned Area averages. But the Lord works in mysterious ways unknown to us that think in linear time and statistical numbers. He may still decide to split Africa West and Nigeria before the others.

Any thoughts?

Chris D. said...

Also, from the aforementioned article, one thing that struck my eye as an oddity, that of the 36 soon to be organized. Only 34 "new" Mission Leadership couples are being called to direct them. In my linear no abstract thinking, that infers that 2 of the current Presidents and spouse will be reassigned to the new Mission Leadership to finish their 3 year calling and someone new will be called to fill the Leadership position of the old missions from before the split.

"New missions, new mission leaders
The increase in missions will also result in the calling of 34 additional mission leadership couples, who will attend the 2024 Seminar for New Mission Leaders next June.

With more missions and leaders worldwide, mission leaders will have more interactions with missionaries, and more missionaries will be assigned to more local wards and branches."

James G. Stokes said...

Chris D., you make some good observations about Church areas. I hadn't thought of it in that context. As we both noted, Matt has indicated the next most likely split is for Nigeria to become its' own area. That seems more likely in the near term now, since 5 of the new missions will be within the current boundaries of the Africa West Area. I could see the Church eventually having a South America North and separate South America West Area, and Brazil has had two areas in the past. I know that Matt indicated that, at some point, he could see a Southeast Asia Area as well, but I would think, based on what we know, that we'd likely see a Nigeria area first, then perhaps splits to South America (including Brazil), and a Southeast Asia Area only after that.

As to your observation about the 36 missions vs. the 34 new couples called to lead them, I did have a thought. In the past, the Church has asked more seasoned mission presidents (2 years into a 3-year assignment) to transfer their assignment to newly-created missions. When I heard about the new mission in Nairobi, my mind went to my "Uncle" David and "Aunt" Stacie Sturt, who were called to lead the Nairobi Kenya Mission last year. By the time the new mission in Nairobi is effective, they will be marking 2 years of service. In their letters, they have reported visits to various parts of that mission, some of which may be in the new one. So given their status as more senior leaders, I could see a scenario where they are transferred to open the new mission and new mission leaders take over their current assignment. If that doesn't happen, something similar with "more seasoned" mission leaders who are also 2 years in could occur.

What I will be interested to see is if any current GA or area seventies are among the new mission leaders called. I assume that announcement will come in a month or two, if not sooner. Hope these thoughts, such as they are, are helpful.

Daniel Moretti said...

I can imagine that the Manaus South Mission will cover the states of Rondônia, Acre and southwestern Amazonas, leaving most of that state plus Roraima for the old mission to the north

Ohhappydane33 said...

What about the fact that local service missionaries will be under the jurisdiction of the Mission President rather than the Stake President? That may account somewhat for the new missions in Utah.

njporter82 said...

I think that the most likely new area as mentioned above will be either Nigeria or some other Africa area. With a new area in Asia after that. I could be wrong but I don't see the church reversing the areas they combined in the Americas between 2006 when there was the most areas at 31 and 2018 when it was down to 21. It would be interesting though if they did decide to start splitting those areas again as Chris mentioned.

EP said...

JPL, when did you serve? I'm very curious if we've ever crossed paths, from the time the Church bought the mission home in Stonegate in the late 90s, the Las Vegas Nevada Mission President was in my ward. I think they're still in my dad's home ward (I've been an Idahoan for 10 years now).

Ryan Searcy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan Searcy said...

Another mission in Manaus makes me rethink the low possibility on my list for a temple in Porto Velho. It is quite far from Manaus, and it looks far enough away to not be reassigned if one was built in Cuiaba. I am curious if that would include the districts in the far north of Bolivia. I know Rio Branco would be a more central location, but it would be rather humorous if Acre does not get a temple announced at all. Alternately, the Church might go against the joke and announce one there.

JTB said...

Glad to see so many of the new missions being created in higher productivity areas. I served from 2016-2019 and remember seeing some area maps of the mission during the Surge. Small, rural wards would have 2-3 areas (not to mention an entire zone being located in the area of one branch from what I heard). This seems like a much better way to distribute mission resources and build the Kingdom. I am especially excited about Bo and Dallas Texas South. I am curious what the new mission boundaries for Dallas will be, our stake goes all the way from downtown Dallas out to Waxahachie. If the stake were to split I could see the potential Forney stake being included in the South mission.

Craig said...

Craig Shuler says:

My wife and I are exciited about the new Utah Salt Lake City East Mission. We enter the MTC December 4, to serve as full-time mission office missionaries for 23 months in the Utah Salt Lake City South Mission, located about a mile from our home in Sandy. Our mission boundaries will almost certainly be involved when the new mission is formed. Around the world hundreds of missions will have boundary changes.

Unknown said...

Related to some of the discussion about areas, I am told by a relative who works for the church that the some of the databases now show the Europe East area renamed to the Eurasia Area. He notes that he hasn't heard anything official related to this, last week the name in the databases he uses just started showing up that way. I imagine this change will be reflected in external church communications at some point; perhaps the internal renaming is in preparation for other changes in the works.


David Todd said...

With Port Harcourt getting a second missions, I've been trying to think of there are any other cities in the world with multiple missions headquartered without a temple in operation or announced. Also, I really hope this new mission helps the church spread more into the outer parts of River State, particularly in the north. The missions just to the east of here have done a great job of permeating into the more rural areas but Port Harcourt stakes seem to all be urban.

Cory said...


I think the discrepancy between 36 new missions and 34 new mission leaders comes from the fact that the Russia Rostov and Russia St Petersburg missions were discontinued in May 2023. Therefore the net increase of new missions for 2024 will be 34.

When Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, the church announced two new missions in Europe (England Bristol and Spain Madrid North). The mission leaders for these missions came from reshuffling two pairs of mission leaders that were originally assigned to be in Russia.

It makes me wonder if the new missions in Germany and Portugal are a result of the reshuffling of mission leaders out of those two discontinued missions in Russia. Both the St. Petersburg and Rostov mission had new mission leaders in 2022, so there may be a pair of mission leaders that still have another year left on their 3 year assignment.

According to the CDOL, Aleksandr A. Drachyov, who was originally assigned to Rostov, is now president in Moscow. From July 2022 to May 2023, he was the president of three missions in Rostov, Moscow, and St Petersburg. In addition, Roman A. Nabatnikov who was originally assigned to Novosibirsk, is currently listed as both the president of Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg.

James G. Stokes said...

Felix, I have verified in the CDOL that the Europe East Area is now the Eurasia Area. So it's changed there.

James G. Stokes said...

Self-correction: it is now the Eurasian Area, with an "n" on the end.

John Pack Lambert said...

I think njporter82 is right. I do not see any reason to suspect there will be a reverse and formation of new areas in North or South America.

My suspicion is that the most likely change to Area boundaries would be to merge the North America Southeast and North America Northeast Areas into a North America East Area. Possibly while shifting the Arkansas Little Rock, Arkansas Bentonville and Louisiana Baton Rouge missions to North America Southwest, and maybe shifting the Indianapolis Indiana mission to the North America Central area.

I think the most likely new area would be one headquartered in Thsiland to cover basically all the current Asia area except Taiwan and China. Some of me wonders though if that might be a shift of boundaries, and moving China and Taiwan to be in the Asia North Area.

Another possibility would be to do the split, also move Taiwan to Asia North and call the other area China and thus have Hong Kong as the only place with a fully disclosed presence.

While I think both the Africa West and Africa Central Areas could be split, I am not sure how soon either of those are likely.

The split of the Europe Area, although somewhat promoted by the war, may indicate a decision to go to smaller areas. However that has not translated to any changes elsewhere.

The Africa West Area I believe got the most new missions at 5. Creating a separate Nigeria Area might actually be doable. Nigeria is more populous than Brazil, Mexico or the Philippines.

I think most likely a Nigeria Area and some creation of an additional area in Asia are what we will see in the next few years, maybe with the reduction by one of the areas in the US and Canada.

One other possibility might be to create a separate Canada Area, possibly while reducing US areas to West, Utah, Central and East. Actually maybe it would be called Utah/Idaho. There I would think Arizona and Nevada would be sent to West. Central would take New Mexico, Texas, and the 3 missions from Southeast mentioned above, but east would probably keep Indiana. Missoula Mission might also end up in Utah/Idaho, which might also take New Mexico Farmington Mission.

Cory said...

Thinking about it better, I think the 34 number refers to a net increase from the prior year. There probably isn't two other pairs of mission leaders floating around considering St Petersburg, Moscow, and Rostov had the same mission leaders since 2022.

Yes, The Europe East Area is now the Eurasian Area. It contains Russia, Armenia, Georgia,
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Belarus.

I am having a difficult time understanding where Turkey and the other Eurasian countries belong to. The CDOL doesn't have a parent listed for the Europe Central Area District (which includes Turkey). There is no mission or area that this district reports to that is listed in the CDOL. It's not included with the Bulgaria Mission anymore, so I don't know if Turkey is still in the Europe Central Area or if it has moved to the Eurasia Area (or even the Middle East Area).

Also, If anyone was unaware, Greece is now part of the Bulgaria/Greece mission and the Adriatic South mission is back to being the Albania Tirana Mission.

James G. Stokes said...

Cory, the Church News article actually specifically notes that “The increase in missions will also result in the calling of 34 additional mission leadership couples”, while the total number of missions reflects the fact that the missions you mentioned have been discontinued. So I surmise from that that the discontinued missions didn’t factor into the number of additional missions. I know from the CDOL that we’ve got a couple of area seventies in the now-Eurasia Area who currently serve as mission presidents. But the use of the word “additional” suggests that the number 34 does not include missions that no longer exist, or those existing missions for which new leaders have also been called. We will have to see for sure either way when the new mission leaders are announced in December or January.

James G. Stokes said...

Cory, my apologies to you. I responded to your previous comment while you were sharing your comment above. I will leave it up for anyone who may want to see it, but it's less relevant to that comment now given your additional comment here. Sorry about that.

miro said...

I think that Turkey is still part of the Europe Central Area. It is part of the name of the district. The district is based in Germany (address). An Area seventie of the Europe Central Area is the presidnet of the district. The first Councilor is someone i know personlay living in Switzerland.

John Pack Lambert said...

The plan may be at some future time to move Turkey to the Eurasia Arra, but not yet. Another place that might be moved is Mongolia.

John Pack Lambert said...

Kenya getting a second mission is quite exciting. There is much potential for growth in that country.

James said...

Hey Matt,

Do you have the data on the number of missionaries per mission over time? Looks like the plan right now is 160 per mission, which is lower than my mission was in the 2000's, but I'm not sure if my mission was an anomaly. We had roughly 220 in my mission.

John Pack Lambert said...

I found this on the Church website

I think it would be interesting to also add announced temples. That would have 7 as the start date, since when President Nelson was born the Mesa Arizona Temple was in progress but not competed.

By far the fastest growing number is full-time missionaries. To be fair I think in 1924 there were some local serving missionaries, some only part year terms but others longer, who were not counting in that number. On the other hand missionaries spent a lot more time leading local church programs and activities than they do today. They also provided most of the work force for translation and some other functions now largely done by non-missionaries who are in most cases paid. In 1924 the Lai'e Hawai'i Temple had mainly young full-time missionary temple workers. Also in 1924 there were still some married men serving as missionaries away from their families. This would remain a phenomenon until at least the early 1950s, although by the 1920s the shift to most missionaries being young single people was in progress. I am not sure when the start of calling senior couples to serve as missionaries was. The missionary force was much more male then as well, but there were some young sister missionaries, although in the 1920s the term "lady missionary" may still have been the norm. I think something my grandmother either wrote in her journal or said to me about her mission in Britain in the late 1940s (Elder Ballard was on his mission in the same mission at the same time) indicated that lady missionary was still the usual term even then.

Anyway, in 1924 there were only 35 missionaries per mission. Actually the average was between 34 and 35. The actual number per mission was not even. I believe the missions in the pacific often had under 10 missionaries, while in other areas they were a little larger. The South African Mission I also have the impression was well below average. In the pacific distance and travel issues caused multiple missions, where in other areas they covered much more land area with much larger populations. The British Mission was at the time the largest, and normally under the leadership of an apostle. I believe in 1924 it was James E. Talmage, whose membership in learned societies had allow a rise in respect for the Church. He replaced David O. McKay who had just inaugurated the term "Every Member a Missionary".

So the average is much higher today than it was then.

John Pack Lambert said...

My MTC district president (above the branch president, below the MTC president) was a man who had served his first mission leaving his wife behind wile a fairly young man. I believe he had just graduated from college, and his wife remained in college for about the first year of his mission. She then joined him for the last year of his mission. That was in the late 1940s. I believe he served somewhere in the US. He and his wife eventually served I think 4 missions together. They presided over the mission in Wisconsin in the mid to late 1990s. His last name was Nixon. Many of these details I learned not from any interaction with him (although I remember his presentation on missionaries and the temple. Mainly because he started by asking "how long do those baptized have to wait to go to the temple", most said a year, but the missionary sitting next to me who was from my stake and whose father would later be my stake president volunteers "almost immediately, if they are going to do baptisms for the dead", that was the right answer and the vision President Nixon wanted us to get). Anyway there was a church news article that told some of the story of the Nixons and their mission.

Truman G. Madsen who served his mission also in the late 1940s, in New England, had one companion whose wife had a child during the time he was companions with Elder Madsen. During the Korean War it was asked that men who held the priesthood office of Seventy would step up and serve full time missions, because the US draft had limited the number of young men who could be assigned. Neal A. Maxwell volunteered to serve. He was turned down, not because he was married, but because he had already served a full-time mission, and it was felt that the assignment should be given to someone who had not served yet.

The increase in number of total planned temples is 4,685%, the increase in missionaries is now 8,189% if we look at full time. The increase in operating temples is 3,083%. At least when we hit 85, which I think is what we are at with Bangkok Thailand Temple dedicated. The increase in the number of missions is only 1,700%. That is just a little under the increase in total wards and branches, although many of those branches in 1924 were quite small. The Wards/branches number today not quite comparable because in 1924 there were branches that today would probably be classed as a group.

Daniel Moretti said...

In fact, the biggest joke in Brazil is that the whole of Acre doesn't even exist! The only road that gets there starts here from my home in São Paulo and crosses 4000 km through Mato Grosso and Rondônia until reaching that region that Brazil bought from Bolivia in 1903, and then continues to Lima, in Peru. This is also recognized as the longest active bus line on the planet.

Chris D. said...

"Meet the new Deseret Peak Utah Temple president and matron

They will begin their service when the temple is dedicated"

Harvstr said...

AFRICA is where the church gets the most growth, likely the mission s will continue ro increase

Chris D. said...

Question: Does anyone know when the "Uyo Nigeria Ibiono Stake (1012363)", changed the name to just "Ibiono Nigeria Stake (1012363)"?

I'm in the process of reviewing all known Stakes for possible changes to my database, and came across this change on the Meetinghouse locator.

Nephi said...

Chris D. The name change was 07/30/2023

Chris D. said...

Thank you, Nephi.

Andrew said...

About Turkey and Azerbaijan: we are currently functioning as a district directly under the auspices of the Europe Central Area. We are not in or assigned to any mission. The same goes for Türkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Chris D. said...

FamilySearch announces new initiative for digitizing Ottoman Empire family histories at ICA Congress

5ive Gears in Reverse said...

I distinctly recall, when it first came out, reading in the news release about the new 36 missions that the increase of numbers of missionaries and reorganization of missions will allow each stake in Utah to have its own set of missionaries (no more sharing missionaries with multiple stakes like in my area). I can't find it anymore in the news release. Does anyone else remember reading that?

njporter82 said...

5 Gears in Reverse I don't know if it was in the official release but below is the link to the article on that mentions it. It also mentions that the change in service missionaries being under mission presidents that some missions along the Wasatch front will double the number of missionaries which would explain the three new missions in Utah. Typically ksl would change the article if the church had changed something.

Chris D. said...

This article kind of makes the Europe East change official with the new name.

"Despite challenges in Europe, members continue living the gospel of Jesus Christ, reports Elder Cook after recent visit"

John Pack Lambert said...

I noticed the mention of the Eurasia Area as well. One place Elder Cook was was Ismir, Turkey. He might be the first apostle to intemperate with Church members in Turkey since the 1st century, or maybe the 2nd, depending how late John was doing so.

Elder McKay did visit with the Armenian mission on his world tour in I believe 1922, but by then it had been driven into excile in Syria. There may have been apostles go to Istanbul since, but I have my doubts about Ismir.

On another note at the Deseret News Tad Walch has an article about the rise in the number of applications by senior couples yo serve missions and how Elder Rasband is quite happy about this. It is too soon to know how this will translate into concrete numbers.

The current rise in total missionaries we have right now is in part attributable to President Nelson's April 2022 talk. It might this be May 2025 before we can say for sure how much Elder Rasban's talk has effected things in more concrete ways.

James G. Stokes said...

Chris, you deleted your comment again. I'm sorry you felt like you needed to do so. The number of units in Benin's two stakes would qualify for a division into a third with the number of current units, but the question is, how strong are they? If all units have larger numbers attendance-wise, it's probably a lock for a third stake. If the numbers don't warrant that, we're probably looking at congregational consolidations, though that seems the less likely scenario.

The change to the Eurasian Area name makes me wonder if some Asian nations closest to Europe will be merged into that area. Could it be part of an upcoming effort by the Church to redraw the boundaries of several Church areas? Seems likely.

David Todd said...

Both Benin stakes seem quite large. As James said, there are other factors that we are not easily aware of, but given the growth rate in the country, I would not be surprised if in a year or so we see them both split, rather than turning two stakes into three.

Matt said...

My contact in Benin tells me that the units in the two stakes in Cotonou are pretty small at the moment due to the recent creation of new congregations (especially in the stake in Cococodji). However, I would imagine that there are plans to create 1-2 new stakes once things are at a point to fill new leadership positions for additional stakes.