Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Following Faith
Peggy Fletcher Stack
Peggy Fletcher Stack has been producing stories for The Salt Lake Tribune's award-winning Faith section for nearly two decades. Writing about contemporary faith, rituals, and spirituality as well as religion's conflicts and cohesion has always been Stack's passion. Follow her at facebook.com/peggy.fletcherstack, Twitter @religiongal

» Peggy Fletcher Stack E-mail

» Subscribe (RSS)

Mormons reach growth milestones in Africa, world

The LDS Church organized its 3,000th stake — a group of congregations like a diocese — over the weekend. This one was in the West African country of Sierra Leone.

Though an impressive Mormon milestone, it is far below previous projections, writes LDS growth expert Matt Martinich for Cumorah International LDS Resources.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"In 1980, the official LDS Church magazine the Ensign projected that there would be 3,600 stakes by the year 2000 and 11.14 million members," Martinich writes, "whereas the church reported only 2,581 stakes at year-end 2000 — a thousand less than anticipated."

Membership figures for 2000 — 11.07 million — were much closer, he writes, so the discrepancy between the number of members and the number of stakes "suggests that inactivity and local leadership development [have] prevented the organization [from achieving] a commensurate number of stakes during this period."

During the past 50 years, he writes, the church’s annual increase was highest in 1978 at 11.9 percent and lowest in the 2002 at minus 0.2 percent, according to Martinich’s analysis.

Still, Africa remains a fertile territory for the Utah-based church.

"In 2012, the Utah-based faith has made significant progress organizing new stakes in countries that previously had no stakes," Martinich writes on his blog. "Earlier this year, the first stakes were organized in Botswana, Cape Verde, India and New Caledonia."

For the past few decades, the LDS Church has focused missionary work and humanitarian aid on that region of the globe.

For instance, the Ouelessebougou Alliance, a Salt Lake City-based nonprofit organization, announced Monday in a news release that it is working with Islamic Relief, LDS Humanitarian services and the LDS Provo Missionary Training Center on a project to send 4,200 education kits and 4,500 health kits to the West African nation of Mali to benefit villagers in one of the poorest areas of the world.

Oh, yes, and a Brigham Young University graduate and Mormon entrepreneur, Yeah Samake, is running for president of Mali.

Peggy Fletcher Stack

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.