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

Country information: Republic of the Congo

Published: Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010

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Jan. 1, 2009: Est. population, 4,013,000; Members 4,194; Stakes 1; Wards 8; Branches 6;Percent LDS, .1, or one member in 957; Africa Southeast Area; DR Republic of Congo Mission.

The Republic of Congo, previously known as French Equatorial Africa, became independent from France on 15 August 1960. Located in west-central Africa on the equator, it is bordered by Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Gabon. French is the official language, while local dia-lects are also spoken. Fifty percent of the people are Christian, while 48 percent follow tribal beliefs and 2 per-cent are Muslim.

In 1971, there were around 10 members of the Church scattered throughout the country. Twenty years later, on 20 January 1991, the Zaire Kinshasa Mission President Scott H. Taggart traveled to the capital city of Brazzaville to begin missionary work there. They met with the Massamba-Sita family and President Taggart set apart Hyacinthe Massamba-Sita as lead elder in Brazzaville and gave him permission to hold sacrament meetings. Senior missionary couple, George Leland and Emily Burningham arrived a few months later.

The Zaire Kinshasa Mission headquarters were moved to Brazzaville because of civil unrest in Kinshasa, Zaire, during September and October 1991. The mission headquarters returned to Zaire in November 1991. A month later, on 23 December, the government of the Republic of the Congo granted legal recognition to the Church.. The Brazzaville Republic of Congo District was organized on 23 February 1992.

Elder Richard G. Scott became the first member of the Quorum of the Twelve and first General Authority to visit the Republic of Congo on 24 August 1992.

On 29 December 1993, the Zaire Kinshasa Mission, which included the Republic of Congo, was closed because of wars in the region. It was re-opened in late 1994.

On 19 October 2003, the Brazzaville Republic of Congo Stake was created with Jean Patrice Milembolo as president.

Membership was 3,262 in 2003.

Sources: "Congo Grants Formal Status to the Church," Church News, 28 December 1991; Borgna Brunner, "Countries of the world, Republic Congo, People's of the," Time Almanac 2004; Democratic Republic of the Congo Kinshasa Mission, Manuscript history and historical reports, Church Archives.

Stakes — 1

(Listed alphabetically as of Oct. 1, 2009.)

No. / Name / Organized First President

Africa Southeast Area

2614 / Brazzaville Republic of Congo / 19 Oct 2003 / Jean Patrice Milembolo