News Release

The Joy of Service - New Mission Presidents Arrive

The term of the two mission presidents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in East Africa has come to an end. They departed from their missions on July 1st 2013 and were replaced by new presidents. President Eric Jackson had been the mission president for the Uganda Kampala Mission, which covers the countries of Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda and South Sudan. President Steven H. Broadbent on the other hand had led the missionary program in the countries of Tanzania and Kenya.

Mission presidents throughout the worldwide supervise and train hundreds of missionaries assigned to their specific geographic areas. There are currently over 65,000 missionaries serving worldwide. Mission presidents serve with their wives for three consecutive years. They also provide leadership to mission congregations.

The new Mission Presidents are; Robert Felt Chatfield for Uganda Kampala Mission and Gary Cook Hicken for Kenya Nairobi Mission.

During their time in East Africa, both President Broadbent and President Jackson and their wives have seen remarkable growth in the Church in the region. The Uganda Kampala mission has seen the Church membership increase by over 4000 members during the last three years with new areas of the Church opening-up, particularly in the countryside. “We have been bestowed with the wonderful and spiritual honor of dedicating three new meetinghouses this year; in Bugembe in April, in Mbale in May (both in Uganda) and another in Debre Zeit in Ethiopia in June 2013. We are still working tirelessly to purchase properties for meetinghouses in Masaka, Njeru, Mpumudde, Iganga, Lira and Gulu in Uganda and Beklobet and Awassa in Ethiopia,” remarked President Jackson.

In the Kenya Nairobi Mission, the number of missionaries has increased from 72 in 2010 to 114 in 2013. A new district in Eldoret has also been created. A district is a geographical area with several small congregations.

This new district has nine congregations totaling approximately 1400 members. President Broadbent stated in their departing interview; “One of the things we have learned through our service is that God is mindful of His children”. “We love Kenya and Tanzania, the simplicity, and the genuineness of the people,” Sister Broadbent also stated.



Gary Cook Hicken, 63 and Kathyrn Jean Nicksic Hicken, come from Lindon Utah Central Stake, US. They have five children. Brother Hicken, is a former Branch President at the Provo MTC, a formerStake President, Counselor in a Stake Presidency and Bishopric, high councilor, bishop and Scoutmaster. He served in the police force as a Police Chief in Saratoga Springs Police Department. He was born in Provo, Utah, to Evan James and Gloria Chloe Hicken.

Sister Hicken served with her husband in the Provo MTC and is a former ward missionary, ward primary president, counselor in a Stake Young Women presidency, counselor in ward Relief Society Presidency and Young Women Presidencies and Ward family history consultant. She was born in Madison, Wisconsin, to Stephen William and Gwendolyn Dorothea Campbell Nicksic.


President and Sister Chatfield were called to preside over the Uganda Kampala Mission starting July 1, 2013.  They are from Alpine Utah and are members of the Lone Peak Ward, Alpine West Stake.  They have served in most of the organizations of the Church because they have been members from the age of eight. 

President Chatfield served a mission in New York City as a young man.  His love is working in theYoung Men’s Program. He also served as bishop and then as High Councilor at Brigham Young University.  

Sister Chatfield has worked with the Young Women and loves the opportunity to serve the Lord. Together they love being with their family and especially in the outdoors. 

They have six daughters who are all married and seventeen grandchildren. Even though being away from them for three years will be hard, they consider it a great opportunity to serve the Lord and be an example to their grandchildren.

They are so excited to work with the missionaries and the members in the Uganda Kampala Mission. 

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