The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Nigeria

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As of December 31, 2015, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reported 142,033 members in 33 stakes, 19 districts, 454 congregations, five missions, and one temple in Nigeria.[1][2] By the start of 2018 membership had increased to over 163,000.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) announced creation of new Owerri mission in Nigeria in 2016.[3]


In the 1950s and 1960s several thousand native Nigerians became interested in joining the LDS Church, despite the Church having no formal presence in the country. In November 1962, LeMar Williams was set apart as a mission president in Nigeria. However, he was not able to get a visa as an American. Elder Nathan Eldon Tanner, a Canadian, went to Nigeria and began negotiations with the Nigerian government. While he was there, he dedicated Nigeria for the preaching of the gospel.[4]:85 Ambrose Chukwuo, a Nigerian college student studying in California, read Mormonism and the Negro and sent a letter to a Nigerian newspaper condemning the LDS Church's teachings on blacks This newspaper published Chukwuo's letter, and also the letters of other students with similar opinions. The Nigerian government did not give the LDS church a permit to proselyte and David O. McKay postponed proselyting plans.[4]:85–87 [5]:24 In 1965, Williams obtained a visa to go to Nigeria and began preparing to set up a mission in Nigeria. Since black Nigerians couldn't hold the priesthood, Williams was going to baptize those who were ready and set up auxiliary organizations that could function without the priesthood.[4]:91 Black Nigerians would be allowed to pass, but not bless the sacrament.[5]:23 However, several members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles expressed concern about teaching black people and called for the program to be terminated. After a unanimous vote, they decided to end the program. They contacted Williams and told him to leave Nigeria immediately.[4]:93 The Biafran war in 1967 further postponed church work there.[4]:94

Membership History[edit]

Year Membership[6]
1983 2,255a
1985 5,500b
1989 12,000b
1995 28,000b
1999 42,746c
2004 68,777c
2009 88,374a
2012 103,898a
2015 142,033c
  • a Actual Membership for January 1 of the respective year
  • b Estimated membership for December 31 of the respective year
  • c Actual Membership for December 31 of the respective year



Nigeria currently has 1 operating Temple and 1 Temple that has been announced.

Abu Temple free use.jpg

121. Aba Nigeria Temple edit


Aba, Nigeria
2 April 2000
7 August 2005 by Gordon B. Hinckley
11,500 sq ft (1,070 m2)
Classic modern, single-spire design - designed by Adeniyi Coker Consultants Limited

198. Lagos Nigeria (Announced) edit


Lagos, Nigeria
October 7, 2018
Announced by Russell M. Nelson on October 7, 2018[8][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Facts and Statistics: Statistics by Country: Nigeria", Newsroom, LDS Church, 31 December 2013, retrieved 2014-05-12
  2. ^ "Country information: Nigeria", Church News 2013 Church Almanac, Deseret News
  3. ^ "Mormon Church announces in missions in Vietnam and Africa".
  4. ^ a b c d e Prince, Gregory A.; Wright, William Robert (2005). David O. McKay and the rise of modern Mormonism. Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press. ISBN 0-87480-822-7.
  5. ^ a b Richard E. Turley Jr. and Jeffrey G. Cannon. "A Faithful Band: Moses Mahlangu and the First Soweto Saints". BYU Studies Quarterly. 55 (1).
  6. ^ "Country information: Nigeria", Deseret News Church Almanac (multiple almanacs from various years), Deseret News
  7. ^ New mission presidents by area for 2013
  8. ^ "Twelve Temples Announced as October 2018 General Conference Closes: Number of temples operating, announced or under construction now above 200", Newsroom, LDS Church, 7 October 2018
  9. ^ LDS Church announces plans to build 12 new temples worldwide, pioneer generation temples will be renovated, KSTU Fox 13, 7 October 2018

External links[edit]