News Release

Africa Southeast Area 50th Stake Created

The Africa Southeast Area is showing great growth.


Congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are organized geographically and members attend worship services near their home. Each member belongs to a stake, which is similar to a Catholic diocese. The leader of a stake is called the stake president.

The word stake is taken from Old Testament tent imagery in which the “tent,” or church, is held up by supporting stakes (see Isaiah 54:2).

Each stake is comprised of several smaller congregations called wards or branches. There are usually 5 to 12 wards and branches in a stake.  

The substantial time and effort required to administer a stake and meet the needs of the members is carried out by the members themselves as the church has a lay ministry. Most members are asked by local leaders to contribute in specific capacities. Duties include local administrative, teaching or service-oriented positions. These responsibilities are changed on a regular basis, according to the needs of the congregation.

The Church's first presence in Zimbabwe was in 1931 with the first missionaries being sent to Rhodesia in 1935.   It's first stake was organized in 1999 in Harare, the second 2005 in Bulawayo and now there are seven.

The Harare Zimbabwe Stake has been led by President Albert Mutariswa over the past 8 ½ years, with his counselors, Ignatius Maziofa (1st) and Terrify A. Banda (2nd).

In the reorganization of the stake, two stakes were created, Harare Stake and the Harare East Stake. The newly-formed Harare East, became the 50th Stake in the Africa Southeast Area. Called to serve in this stake presidency were President Ignatius Maziofa, lst Counselor Terrify A. Banda, and 2nd Counselor Edward Gramu.  Called to serve as the stake president for the Harare Stake was President Sawman Machakaire with lst Counselor Robert Spencer, and 2nd Counselor Onward Chivunga.

Elder Hamilton shared that he and Elder Chatora (of the seventy) had interviewed over 40 priesthood holders who were all worthy of the calling.

"What makes a man worthy to serve as leaders in a stake,  asked Elder Hamilton. They should be living the principles of the Gospel and keeping their covenants and commitments in the church. They should be taking care of their families, and teaching them correct principles. They should be honoring their priesthood calling and worthy to enter the temple. They should be full tithe payers and obeying the Word of Wisdom.  After the interviewing and seeking the Lord’s will, it was evident who He had chosen to lead these two stakes at this time."

We as mormons believe in revelation, and in supporting and sustaining our leaders. The attendees from each stake stood and raised their hand in support  to sustain their new presidencies.

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