News Release

New LDS Congregation Created in Gauteng

Sunday, September 6th, members of two congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gathered together in Bedfordview for the anxiously awaited announcement of the creation of a third unit of the Church in their area. President Vusimuzi Msiza, President of the Bedfordview Stake, presided over the joint meeting.

President Dirk Vetten announced that the new congregation, Orange Grove Ward, would be comprised of 70% of the former members of Bedfordview Ward. 30% of former members of Edenvale Ward would now be part of Bedfordview.

Announced as leaders of the new Orange Grove Ward are Bishop - Mitchell Gohnert; 1st Counsellor – Alvin Moodley; 2nd Counsellor – Luke Mavrodaris.


New counsellors were called to serve with Bishop Osorio Ramos in the Bedfordview Ward:  1st Counsellor – Siphesihle Mabaso; 2nd Counsellor – Jared Davidson


Bishop Ramos shared tender thoughts during his message to those present at the historic meeting saying, “In the past two days, I have had a more clear understanding of my responsibility as bishop and why this ‘split’ was needed.” He further counselled, “As we put our faith in Heavenly Father and are faithful in our homes, the Lord in turn will bless us. With the split of the units, we will more effectively reach out to those who need to come back to church and build up each unit.”

Sunday’s meeting held two memorable experiences for Luke Mavrodaris, who was called to the leadership of the new Orange Grove Ward.  Brother Mavrodaris also had the opportunity to perform a priesthood blessing for his infant son (similar to a christening).

22 year-old Jared Davidson, called to the leadership of Bedfordview Ward, was a former full-time missionary from the United States, who served in the South Africa Johannesburg Mission. Brother Davidson served some of his time in the Bedfordview Stake of the Church. After his mission, he began writing to a young lady he met while in South Africa and later proposed to her and they were married in March 2015. Brother Davidson said that prior to his calling to the Bishopric, he served in the Young Men’s Presidency, with counsellors who were former investigators he had baptized during his mission. Truly, his missionary service has come full-circle, as he now serves in the leadership of the area in which he served.

Anytime there is a need for division of units in the LDS Church, due to increased growth in the area, there may be feelings of sadness, loss and emotion. However, many throughout the day expressed joy in gaining new friendships with the people who will now be in their congregations and in supporting their newly sustained leaders.

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wards are encouraged to create an atmosphere where its members can get to know each other and learn to serve and love one another. Many people refer to their ward as a ward ‘family’. Members care for each other’s spiritual, emotional, and temporal needs.

Quoting from Topics on this site: “A ward is a community where Mormons can develop friendships and support their fellow Church members in their efforts to worship and follow Jesus Christ.” The reactions of love and fellowship before AND after the announcement in this historic meeting surely emulated this message.

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