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

Country information: St. Kitts and Nevis

Published: Monday, Feb. 1, 2010

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Jan. 1, 2009: Est. population, 40,000; Members, 162; Districts, 1; Branches, 2;Percent LDS, .41, or one in 247; Caribbean Area; West Indies Mission.

Located in the Eastern Caribbean in the Leeward Islands, St. Kitts and Nevis has a population that speaks English and is mostly Protestant.

In 1983, Pres. Kenneth Zabriskie of the West Indies Mission and his wife, LeOra, were introduced to the deputy prime minister of St. Kitts through a mutual acquaintance, Kutaba Alghanin, who sailed about the Caribbean in his yacht and employed two returned missionaries as tutors to his children.

In July 1984, Elders Douglas Myers and Robert J. Molina arrived on St. Kitts and were soon followed by Reuel and Alice Lambourn on Oct. 20, 1984. They adapted a home into a meetinghouse and the St. Kitts-Nevis Branch was organized on Sept. 10, 1985, with Elder Lambourn as the first president. On Feb. 2, 1985, Dianna Ermintude Johnson was baptized, the first convert on the island. A weekly open house was held on Thursdays where the newly baptized members and investigators could study together.

A local member, Carol Pamela Heather Thomas, became the first missionary from the islands when she was called June 14, 1991, to serve in the New Jersey Morristown Mission. Three other missionaries served from St. Kitts and Nevis in the next two years. In 1994, the branch had about 70 members taking part in all the programs, including seminary. Two choirs regularly participate in the meetings. In February 1995, a small group of Church members went to the government and asked permission to clean up a park in the center of town. This act helped change many people's attitudes about the Church. Terry Lewellyn Hanley became the first native branch president to serve on St. Kitts in early 1996.

Sources: Kenneth and LeOra Zabriskie journals; correspondence from West Indies Mission, 1994; "Caribbean members plan to celebrate achievements of pioneers — those on island and of 1847 trek," Church News, June 22, 1996; Deseret News, Sept. 21, 1998.