The number of missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be back above 400 next summer.
The Utah-based faith announced Thursday that eight new missions will come on line in July 2020, giving it 407 missions worldwide.
The new missions are:
Brazil Recife South.
Ecuador Guayaquil East.
Ethiopia Addis Ababa.
Tanzania Dar es Salaam.
Texas Dallas East.
“Changes to mission boundaries occur regularly based on the needs and demands of each area around the world,” a church news release explained. “These new missions will be created from the division of existing missions.”
At one point, for instance, the church had some 420 missions before consolidations reduced that count. The faith currently has more than 68,000 full-time missionaries serving around the globe.
“Three [of the new missions] are located in countries where the church currently does not have a mission headquartered within the country (Cameroon, Ethiopia and Tanzania),” independent research Matt Martinich wrote on ldschurchgrowth.blogspot.com. “Today's announcement signals a major development with greater allocation of mission resources to receptive and underserviced areas of the world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.”
Martinich, who lives in Colorado Springs and tracks LDS Church growth, noted Cameroon had a mission in the capital of Yaounde a quarter century ago, but it was moved to Ivory Coast. The African nation, with more than 2,100 Latter-day Saints, is currently part of the Brazzaville Congo Mission.
“The creation of the new mission in Cameroon has been desperately needed,” Martinich wrote, “given the country’s large population that has been chronically underserved by mission resources available.”
He noted church growth there has topped 10% a year for much of the past two decades.