The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ghana
As of January 1, 2014, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reported 62,031 members, thirteen stakes and 9 districts, 207 congregations (102 wards, 105 branches), four missions, and one temple in Ghana.
The LDS Church was not officially established in Ghana until 1978. However, from 1969–1978 there were congregations using this name, following the Book of Mormon and hoping to be able to receive the missionaries and ordinances of the church. One of the main leaders of this group was Billy Johnson. These groups did receive recognition by the government of Ghana in 1969.
In 1978, Spencer W. Kimball received the revelation extending the priesthood to all worthy male members of the church regardless of race or color. After this, the church decided to open missions in West Africa. Merrill J. Bateman, a Brigham Young University economics professor who had often traveled to Ghana to study the cocoa industry, and Edwin Q. "Ted" Cannon made an initial trip to Ghana and Nigeria in the summer of 1978 and contacted many members of these churches that wanted to join with the LDS Church.
In November 1978, Cannon returned to Africa as a missionary with his wife Janath Cannon and in December they went to Ghana. Here they baptized most of the people who had been affiliated with the various groups using the church's name and from this point on congregations under the name The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located in Ghana were part of the church headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah.
In 1985 Ghana was made into its own mission, previously it was under the mission headquartered in Nigeria. The government of Ghana outlawed all activities of the LDS Church on 14 June 1989 claiming it was a front for the CIA. During the following period known as "the freeze" Emanuel Abu Kissi headed the Church in Ghana with Billy Johnson and his wife being the only missionaries. Members could hold sacrament meetings in their homes on a family basis, but no regular ward meetings were held and the LDS Church could not collect tithing. In November 1990 the government lifted the freeze having become convinced the Latter-day Saints were loyal citizens. On 21 April 1991 two stakes were organized in Ghana, one in Accra and the other in Cape Coast. From 1991 until 2007 the Ghana mission also covered Sierra Leone and Liberia. In 2005 Ghana was divided into two missions, with a new mission based in Cape Coast also covering Togo and Benin.
Ghana membership history
- a Estimated membership for December 31 of the respective year
- b Actual Membership for December 31 of the respective year
- c Actual Membership for January 1 of the respective year
On January 11, 2004 the Accra Ghana Temple was dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley.
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- Accra Ghana Temple
- Billy Johnson (Mormon)
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints membership statistics
- Religion in Ghana
- Christianity in Ghana
- Kissi, Emmanuel A. Walking in the Sand (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2004)
- Garr, Arnold K., Donald Q. Cannon and Richard O. Cowan, ed., Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2000) p. 426-427, ISBN 978-1-57345-822-1 OCLC 44634356