News Release

First LDS Stake in Zambia

The Lusaka Zambia Stake was created on 15 March 2015 during a special conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Lusaka Zambia Stake was created on 15 March 2015 during a special conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, held at the meetinghouse on Nangwenya Road in Lusaka.  The Lusaka Stake, the first in Zambia, is an executive unit comprised of approximately 2100 members in seven congregations within Lusaka.  

During this historical event, Harrison Lumbama was sustained as the Lusaka Stake President with Counsellors Blessing Mashala and Chis Chansa.  President Lumbama and his wife, Maureen Kabulansando, have three children.  Introduced to the Church by Dr. Patrick and Edah Chikusu, he and Maureen joined in 1997.  He later served as the Munali Branch President (2000-2005) and most recently as the Lusaka District President (2009 - 2015).

First Counsellor, Blessing Mashala, is married to Katoba Chishala with three children.  A member for over 18 years, he served a mission in South Africa.  He was the Libala Branch President and was currently serving on the Lusaka District High Council.  Second Counsellor, Chris Chansa and his wife, Angela, also have three children.  He has been serving as the Second Counsellor in the Zambia Lusaka Mission and as the National Director of Public Affairs over Zambia for the Church.    

Attending the conference, was Dorothy Kazunga, Deputy Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health. Also present was Robert Sichinga, former Minister of Commerce. Following the meeting, the Deputy Minister said, "I always thought Mormons were Satanists. But after just two minutes of this conference and listening to the singing, I know that is not true. This was wonderful."

Yatanda Chiwama from ZANIS news media shared, "I love the humanitarian work your Church is doing. I would love to do a video documentary on the Mormon Helping Hands, wheelchair projects, etc."

Kristi Skidmore, shared her feelings following the event: "This has been a wonderful conference, so uplifting, and the people are so happy with the new Stake. I am so happy for them." Richard Mulenga expressed his gratitude, saying, "Now that we are a Stake, we will get a Patriarch, and we can all get our patriarchal blessings, which I have been waiting year to get."

Chris Chansa, called as second counsellor in the new Stake Presidency, shared his appreciation for his wife, Angela: "When I wanted to marry my future wife, she told me that she would accept nothing less than someone who would take her to the temple. I was not a member at the time, but I am so grateful now for her stand and what it has done for me and for our family. I am so grateful to her and for her strong testimony."

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often referred to as the LDS Church, was formally registered in Zambia in July 1992.  A small congregation consisting of 50 people was initially organized in Lusaka under the leadership of Johnson Makombe.  To accommodate growing membership, additional branches were added and the Lusaka District was established in 2003 with Richard Mulenga as President.  Expanding to the Copperbelt region, the Kitwe District was formed in 2005.  It was recently divided with the Ndola District being created in February, 2015.  The Zambia Lusaka Mission, which includes all of Zambia and Malawi, became effective on 1 July, 2011 with Mikele Padovich as President.  Leif J. Erickson is the current Mission President, with 86 missionaries serving in the mission.

Church membership in Africa is approaching 425,000 with more than 1300 congregations.  Worldwide, there are 15 million members in over 29,000 congregations.  Johannesburg, South Africa is the closest LDS temple to Lusaka.  Of the 25 countries in the Africa Southeast Area, as of 1 January 2015, there were 39 Stakes. 14 are located in South Africa, 12 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 2 in Zimbabwe, and various others.  Now there is one Stake of Zion in Zambia! 

Elder Kevin Hamilton of the Africa Southeast Area Presidency and Elder Khumbulani Mdletshe of Johannesburg, General Authorities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, oversaw organization of Zambia’s first Stake. 

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