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

Country information: Grenada

Published: Friday, Jan. 29, 2010

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Jan. 1, 2009: Est. population, 91,000; Members, 178; Branches, 1;Percent LDS, .2, or one in 511; Caribbean Area; West Indies Mission.

Composed of three Caribbean mountainous islands, Grenada is an independent state with a parliamentary democracy. Its population is 64 percent Roman Catholic and 22 percent Anglican.

Although members of the Church lived in Grenada while attending medical school in the early 1980s, little permanent missionary work started until after the 1983 coup and subsequent invasion of Grenada by U.S. and United Nations forces.

In 1985, President Kenneth L. Zabriskie of the West Indies Mission met with Ben Jones Deputy Prime Minister. Jones welcomed the opportunity for missionaries to enter the country and said that following the coup, the new prime minister met with local clergy and rededicated the land of Grenada to Jesus Christ. President Zabriskie sent Elders Robert W. Hoffmaster and Leonard G. Gill to Grenada in May 1985. They met with a medical student, Al Nuttal, and his wife, Julie, and their children, who had just moved from St. Lucia.

A branch was established in St. George's on 3 September 1985, but growth of the Church slowed in 1987 when organized anti-Mormon efforts in the press led to senior missionaries being brought to testify in court about Church beliefs.

As a result of missionaries were removed from the island. For several years, missionaries could only stay if they renewed their visas every two weeks. In September 1990, Kelvin Diaz, counselor in the West Indies mission presidency, met with Prime Minister Nicholas Braithwaite whom he had known from their previous service in the Red Cross. President Diaz's friendship with Braithwaite helped open a dialogue and change negative opinions about the Church.

At a critical time following a fire which gutted several government buildings in 1990, three computers were delivered to Prime Minister Braithwaite by senior missionary Dean Sloan in December 1990 on behalf of the Church. Shortly thereafter, the government allowed missionaries to have six-month visas. On 13 May 2001 the St. George's chapel was dedicated by President M. Don Van Noy of the West Indies Mission.

Sources: Kenneth L. Zabriskie, History of the West Indies Mission, [ca. 1989], Church Archives; West Indies Mission, Mission history and historical reports, Church Archives. A. Dean and Darnell Z. Jeffs, interview, 2003, Church Archives; Elden Wood, Autobiography, 1994, Church Archives.