Timeline

Below are the years significant LDS events took place in Africa, or which would affect Africans. Sources are EnsignChurch News, Newsroom.LDS.org and Africa Southeast.

  • 1852, Aug – Special church conference, Salt Lake City, UT. President Brigham Young called 106 men to go on missions throughout the world. Jesse Haven, William H. Walker, and Leonard I. Smith assigned to South Africa. They arrived on 18 April 1853.
  • 1853 – First African convert: Henry Stringer. First branch organized in South Africa (in Mowbray).
  • 1865 – Last of missionaries in Africa in 19th century; converts emigrate to Utah.
  • 1903 – Missionaries back in Africa – South Africa.
  • 1917 – First LDS meetinghouse completed – addition to the mission home in Mowbray.
  • 1940 – Missionaries withdrawn because of WWII.
  • 1946 – Missionaries return to South Africa.
  • 1950 – Missionary work begins in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe).
  • 1951 – First convert in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe).
  • 1954 – President David O. McKay was first general authority to visit South Africa.
  • 1963 – South Africa Mission reclassified as a foreign-language mission
  • 1970 – The first stake in South Africa was organized in Johannesburg (Transvaal Stake). Louis P. Hefer as stake president.
  • 1972 – CES programmes were introduced into southern Africa.
  • 1973 – President Spencer W. Kimball pronounced a dedicatory prayer upon the land of South Africa which included the promise that wards and stakes would dot the land and a temple would be built there.
  • 1973 – Book of Mormon published in Afrikaans. (see BOM Translations for a timeline for other African languages)
  • 1978 – First area conference held in Johannesburg. Attendees numbered at 3450 – almost half of all African LDS population. Members from South Africa, Zimbabwe, and South West Africa (Namibia) attended the conference. Five General Authorities attended, the first time more than one was in Africa at the same time.
  • 1979 – First African convert baptisms in Kenya. First branch created in Reunion.
  • 1980 – First branches created in Ghana and Kenya. First mission created in Zimbabwe
  • 1981 – Durban Stake created.
  • 1981 – First African missionaries called from West Africa. Elder Benjamin Crosby Sampson-Davis and Elder Samuel E. Bainson were both from Ghana. They were called to the England Manchester Mission. Johannesburg Temple announced.
  • 1982 – First branch created in Mauritius.
  • 1984 – First branch created in Namibia.
  • 1984 – Cape Town Stake created.
  • 1984 – South Africa Mission split. Johannesburg and Cape Town Missions created.
  • 1985 – First branch created in Swaziland. Johannesburg Temple dedicated. Harlan W. and Geraldine Merkley Clark, temple president and matron.
  • 1986 – First converts and branch in Liberia.
  • 1987 – Selections from the Book of Mormon are published in Zulu. Missionaries enter Swaziland for the first time. Zimbabwe Harare Mission begins operation.
  • 1988 – First black African stake, and the first West African stake created in Aba, Nigeria, with David W. Eka as president. First branches created in Ivory Coast, Lesotho, and Sierra Leone. First mission created in Liberia.
  • 1990 – First branch created in Uganda. Swaziland and Lesotho dedicated by Neal A. Maxwell. Missionaries enter Botswana for the first time. The Africa Area is created with Richard P. Lindsay as the area president.
  • 1991 – Botswana dedicated by Richard G. Scott. Namibia dedicated by Russell M. Nelson. First branches created in Botswana and Tanzania. First mission created in Kenya.
  • 1992 – First branches created in Central Africa Republic and Zambia.
  • 1992 – First mission created in Ivory Coast.
  • 1994 – First branch created in Ethiopia. First districts created in Kenya.
  • 1996 – Johannesburg Area Conference is the largest LDS gathering in South Africa. Roughly 5000 attended. First branch created in Mozambique.
  • 1996 – Pres. Hinckley visited South Africa. 5500 from Johannesburg, 1800 from Durban, 1500 from Cape Town attend. First branch created in Angola. First stake created in Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • 1995-1997 – Regional Representatives are replaced by Area Authority Seventies. President Eka, Emmanuel O. Opare, Sr,Christopher N. Chukwurah, and ChristoffelGolden, Jr.,are called as Area Authority Seventies.
  • 1998 – Africa West Area created. Elders Eka, Opare, and Chukwurah are assigned to the new area. First Madagascar mission created. Temple announced for Ghana. First convert baptized in Benin.[source]
  • 1999 – First branches created in Malawi and Togo.
  • 2000 – Temple announced for Nigeria. First stakes created in Liberia and Madagascar. A new stake created in Ivory Coast. Book of Mormon translated into Amharic. MTC announced for Ghana.
  • 2001 – First stake created in Kenya.
  • 2002 – Missionary Training Centre opened in Tema, Ghana. Emmanuel A. Kissi called as Area Authority Seventy in Ghana. Nigeria Ibadan and Nigeria Uyo Missions created
  • 2003 – Alexander A. Odume and Adesina J. Olukanni called as area authority seventies in Nigeria. First district created in Mozambique.
  • 2004 – Temple dedicated in Accra, Ghana. Ground broken for first meetinghouse in Bo, Sierra Leone.
  • 2005 – Temple dedicated in Aba, Nigeria.
  • 2005 – Cape Verde Praia Mission, Ghana Cape Coast Mission, Uganda Kampala Mission were created.
  • 2007 – Elder Kapumba T. Kola is the girst general authority called from Central Africa. First Institute class held in Benin.[source] Togo and Benin dedicated for preaching the gospel.[source]
  • 2009 – Elder Joseph W. Sitati is the first black African to be called to the First Quorum of the Seventy. First district created in Ethiopia.
  • 2010 – First stake organized in Uganda. First branch organized in Southern Sudan.[source] First branch in Djibouti organized.[source]
  • 2011 – First mission organized in Benin.[source]First district organized in Angola.[source] First district in Malawi organized.[source]
  • 2012 – First district organized in Cameroon.[source]

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