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Country information: Zimbabwe

Published: Monday, Feb. 1, 2010

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Jan. 1, 2009: Est. population, 11,393,000; Members, 17,241; Stakes, 3; Wards, 17; Districts, 2; Branches, 27; Missions, 1; percent LDS, .15, or one in 661; Africa Southeast Area.

There were Church members in Southern Rhodesia as early as 1925. Peter and Elizabeth DuPlooy, who lived 62 miles out of Salisbury, were baptized on 10 March 1925 while on a visit to South Africa. South African Mission President Samuel Martin made a trip to Southern Rhodesia in July 1927 where he and Marion L. Allred baptized two sons of Walter Taylor Jubber, an early member of the Church who emigrated to Southern Rhodesia from South Africa. During July 1930, South African mission President Don Mack Dalton sent missionaries, George C. Maw, Vern D. Greene, and Bertram C. Cutforth, to begin work in the new Rhodesia District in August 1930. On 30 August 1931, missionaries, A.K. Berry and Thomas Y. Wilson, organized Shangani Branch, with Walter Taylor Jubber as president. By 1935, Dalton stopped sending missionaries to Rhodesia because of the shortage of missionaries and Rhodesia's distance from mission headquarters in Cape Town, South Africa.

Members continued contact through letters written to the South African Mission headquarters that ran news in the mission publication The Southern Cumorah Cross.

It was not until 1 September 1950 that missionaries returned to Southern Rhodesia. Four missionaries, Dale G. Johnson, George L. Albright, Monroe McKay and Tharon Bigler, were transferred to Salisbury, while four other missionaries, Glen L. Hamberlin, Gail Weggeland, Donald Cook, and Dimar Hoggan, went to Bulawayo. On 1 February 1951 the first convert, Hugh Hodgkiss, was baptized.

On 17 April 1951, the missionaries distributed 3,000 handbills, prompting a large crowd to attend an introductory meeting. The Salisbury Branch was organized in September 1951. The first services were held in a preschool building. Ernest Sibanda was the first native Rhodesian baptized in Rhodesia in March 1965. The first known missionary to serve from Rhodesia was Judith Jubber who served in the Netherlands Mission from 1967 to 1969.

Meetinghouses were built and dedicated in Rhodesia in the late 1960s. Elder Mark E. Petersen of the Quorum of the Twelve dedicated the Salisbury Branch meetinghouse on 17 September 1967. Elder Marion G. Romney of the Quorum of the Twelve dedicated the Bulawayo Branch meetinghouse on 3 September 1968.

On 18 April 1980, Britain recognized Rhodesia's independence and the country's name was officially changed to Zimbabwe. On 1 July 1987, the Zimbabwe Harare Mission was organized from the South Africa Johannesburg Mission. In 1988, selections from the Book of Mormon were translated in Shona.

President Gordon B. Hinckley, on a five-country tour of Africa, visited Zimbabwe on 18 February 1998, and spoke to about 1,500 Latter-day Saints. Several government officials, including the Secretary of Defense and the Social Welfare director, attended the meeting in Harare.

On 12 December 1999, the Harare Zimbabwe Stake was organized by Elder Dennis E. Simmons of the Second Quorum of Seventy, with Edward Dube, president.

Membership in 2003 was 12,616, and 14,561 in 2004.

Sources: Evan P. Wright, "A History of the South African Mission, 1852-1970"; Cumorah's Southern Cross, Church Library; South African Mission, Manuscript history and historical reports, Church Archives; Record of members, Church Archives.

Stakes — 3

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

No. Name Organized First President

2541 Harare Zimbabwe 12 Dec 1999 Edward Dube

2804b Harare Zimbabwe Marimba Park 8 June 2008 Stanley Makaza

2675 Bulawayo Zimbabwe 20 March 2005 Tasara Makasi

Mission — 1

(As of Oct. 1, 2009; shown with historical number. See MISSIONS.)

(204) ZIMBABWE HARARE MISSION

65 Enterprise Road,

Highlands, Harare,

Zimbabwe

Editor's note: Information in this section has been gathered from a variety of sources and is believed to be the best available at the time of publication. Corrections, additional information and further country or state histories will be appreciated. Those with comments or information may write to: Church Almanac Histories, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, UT 84110 or E-mail ldschurchnews@desnews.com