On 1 November 2023, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that an additional five missions would be opened in the Africa West Area of the Church, beginning on 1 July 2024. This is in addition to the three missions opened in 2023 in West Africa. The increase is in recognition of the incredible growth of the Church in West Africa, with membership now over 450,000 with nearly 1700 congregations. With the addition of the newly announced missions, the Africa West Area of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will have 25 missions.
The new missions are being created to accommodate the increasing number of missionaries serving worldwide. The Church announced that a total of 36 new missions were being created, with nine of those missions being organized in Africa. Currently there are 72,000 missionaries serving throughout the world and that number continues to grow as young men and women, as well as seniors, heed Prophet Russell M. Nelson’s April 2022 call for more missionaries. The new missions will bring the number of missions in the Church to 450.
The new missions in West Africa are the Nigeria Calabar Mission, the Nigeria Port Harcourt North Mission, the Ghana Accra North Mission, the Ghana Takoradi Mission, and the Sierra Leone Bo Mission.
“The Lord continues to hasten His work around the world, and we are certainly seeing this first hand in the Africa West Area,” said Elder S. Gifford Nielsen, a General Authority Seventy and President of the Africa West Area of the Church. “As the baptisms continue to increase, the additional missions and missionaries will provide us the opportunity to share the gospel message with more of our neighbors. We are only beginning to see the possibilities of sustained growth as thousands of faithful saints strengthen their testimonies and make sacred covenants.”
Missions will be created in Ghana, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. The Nigeria Calabar Mission will be created with areas that are currently served by the Nigeria Uyo Mission. The new Nigeria Port Harcourt North Mission will cover areas presently in the Nigeria Port Harcourt Mission. The new Sierra Leone Bo Mission is the second mission in the country with the Sierra Leone Freetown Mission. The newly created Ghana Accra North Mission will be the third mission created in Accra, and will serve areas currently in the Accra and Accra West missions. The Ghana Takoradi Mission will serve areas previously served by the Ghana Cape Coast Mission.
President Christopher L. Morgan, President of the Ghana Cape Coast Mission, welcomed the announcement of the new mission creations. “We have loved supporting the Western Region of our mission and we have done our very best to help ‘gather scattered Israel’ in this part of the Lord’s vineyard,” he said. “However, we have not had enough missionaries to adequately cover the areas needing missionaries. The creation of the Takoradi Mission will help provide the needed missionaries and leadership to help establish the Church in this part of Ghana. We are excited and know that this is one of the many ways the Lord is hastening His work in the last days.”