Church News - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Country information: Antigua and Barbuda

Published: Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009

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ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

Jan. 1, 2009: Est. population, 85,600; Members, 181; Branches, 1;Percent LDS, .2, or one in 473; Caribbean Area; West Indies Mission.

These eastern Caribbean islands are a constitutional monarchy with a British type of parliament. The population speaks English and is mostly members of the Church of England.

Missionary work began in St. John's, Antigua, on 29 May 1984 when President Kenneth Zabriskie of the West Indies Mission visited the prime minister of Antigua and received permission for missionaries to come to the island. The first missionaries, Ralph and Aileen Tate arrived on 28 July 1984. They were followed in late August by Elders Gill W. Halford, Jay R. Schroeder, Carl Read, and Russell T. Hansen. The first person baptized was Evelyn Shaw on 15 September 1984. Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone of the Seventy visited the island on 26 September 1984 during a tour of the West Indies Mission. Rex B. Blake, while serving a mission with his wife, Ruth, became the first president of the St. John's Branch, when it was organized 6 January 1985.

Romell Tiwari became the first native branch president in 1993. He and his wife, Indranie, were also the first Antiguan couple sealed on 21 July 1992 in the Salt Lake Temple. Clyton Peters and Kevin Moore were two missionaries called from Antigua in March 1999 to serve in the West Indies Mission. Branch members come from many nations including Guyana, Dominica, and Barbados. Elder Gene R. Cook of the Seventy visited Antigua 25 May 2003 and shared a message encouraging branches in the islands of the sea to follow a simplified program. The branch meets in a rented facility and has 129 members. There are no members currently on the island of Barbuda.

Sources: Kenneth L. Zabriskie, History of the West Indies Mission [ca. 1989], Church Archives; Donald E. Giddings, phone conversation, 5 May 2004.