News Release

Church Marks 24th Anniversary

The 23rd of October this year marks the 24th Anniversary since the dedication of the land of Uganda for the preaching of the gospel by Elder James E. Faust, then one of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In the dedicatory prayer, he petitioned the Lord that in Uganda there would be “a peaceful, pluralistic society so that all of thy children in this land may worship according to their own conscience." Elder Faust continued to petition the Lord, "May the governments be benign and foster religious freedom. … May it be possible for the faithful Saints of this land to receive all of the saving ordinances and covenants."

Elder Faust was accompanied by Elder Richard P. Lindsay, who at that time was serving as President of the Africa Area of the Church. At that point, the Church had barely been established in Uganda - the first congregation had just been organized.

Following the dedication, the Church continued to achieve steady growth. The following year, in1992, the first Ugandan missionaries arrived in the field. These were namely Robert Kagabo, and Amos Tumwesigye. That year also saw the organization of the Seminary and Institute programs, which are both scripture study programs of the Church.

Later in 1997, two meeting houses were constructed in Uganda. One in Kampala opposite the entrance to the Kololo Airstrip which now serves as the Kololo Ward; the other in Jinja, opposite Jinja Senior Secondary School, which serves as the Jinja Town Branch.

In 2005, the country saw the formation of the Uganda Kampala Mission which was created out of the Kenya Nairobi Mission. The mission office located in Uganda and headed by current Mission President, Robert Felt Chatfield, oversees the countries of Uganda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Rwanda, Djibouti and Eritrea.

By the time of the mission formation, the Church had grown in membership to 3,920 with 14 congregations. Currently, the Church has over 13,248 members and 26 congregations in the country.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has formally organised congregations in the towns of Iganga, Busia, Mbale, Lira, Mbale and Masaka with some of the towns such as Gulu and Lira having more than one congregation. There have also been new congregations formed in Jinja such as the Mpumuddo Branch and Njeru Branch, while in Kampala there are new congregations in Mutungo and Kajjansi. 

The recent announcement of a new stake in Jinja will bring the total number of stakes in Uganda to two.

Missionary efforts in Uganda have more than trippled since the time of dedication. There are now about 130 missionaries serving in Uganda alone. These young men and women, as well as some senior missionary couples, come from many countries throughout the world. Uganda has also produced hundreds of missionaries who have served missions of between 18 and 24 months in many countries throughout Africa, Europe and the United States of America.

These missionary experiences have helped them develop qualities of hard work, organisation, and time management as well as principles of stewardship and accountability as they have taught the gospel of Jesus Christ in the communities they have served in.

As they have returned home, many of these young men and women have benefited from an inspired program of the Church known as the Perpetual Education Fund that helps them access soft loans  to complete their schooling and gain a trade of their interest, thus taking their place in the development of their country.

The growth of the Church has been a major blessing to the people in Uganda in many ways. It has helped many people grow closer to the Savior and improve their lives by following His example.

The Church has also blessed the lives of many through its programs such as the LDS Welfare Services which has provided safe water to many families in the villages, donated wheel chairs to the disabled,  trained medical personnel in skills such as neonatal resuscitation and many other projects.

Elder James E. Faust passed away on the 10th of  August 2007. However, the fruits of his blessings many years ago continue to manifest according to the will of the Lord.

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