News Release

New Branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Created in Goma, DR Congo

On July 30, 2023 Mission President Christian Mavinga formally established the first branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The new Goma Branch has 43 members.

President Mavinga called the following leaders to serve in the new branch:  

  • Branch President: Charles Shabani
  • Branch First Counselor: Fabrice Kayembe
  • Elders Quorum President: Lepape Lubambula
  • Relief Society President: Angèle Mpoyi
  • Relief Society First Counselor: Yvonne Riziki
  • Branch Clerk: Sylvestre Mwaka Atibu
  • Branch Mission Leader: Yves Mbonigaba

Branch members expressed their feelings of gratitude and solemnity during this occasion. New Branch President Charles Shabani gave thanks for the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ through the Prophet Joseph Smith. “We have the fulness of the gospel,“ he said, “but that doesn't put us in a position to be superior to others. Rather, it requires that we fully live the gospel.”

Sister Mavinga said, “Any beginning is always difficult. But remember that the Lord also provides the means when He gives a command. I would like to remind you to minister to one another. This is the key to the growth of the Church.”

President Mavinga told members that the creation of a new branch represents a new experience for the leaders and members. He quoted D&C 138:56: “before they were born, they, with many others, received their first lessons in the world of spirits and were prepared to come forth in the due time of the Lord to labor in his vineyard for the salvation of the souls of men.”

Now is the time, he taught, to actively participate in the Lord’s work. He invited the leaders to study the scriptures, the words of the living prophets, and the General Handbook of the Church to “learn [their] duty, and to act in the office in which [they were] appointed, in all diligence.”

President Mavinga underscored Sister Mavinga’s counsel about ministering and encouraged the members to visit one another. He encouraged them to live the principles of the gospels and be examples of disciples of Jesus Christ and share the gospel with their neighbors. Strengthening the leaders and the members and sharing the gospel will help the Church to grow quickly.

The first meetings of the Church in Goma took place on March 25, 2018 in the home of Innocent Bamongo and several other members living in the area. Prior to the creation of the new branch on July 30th, this was an informal congregation known as a group. Former Mission President Jean-Pierre Haboko occasionally visited the group in Goma to minister to Church members.

Goma is a beautiful city of about 700,000 residents in eastern DR Congo. It is located on the north shore of Lake Kivu and about 15 km from an active volcano.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was officially organized in DR Congo in 1986. Today there are nearly 106,000 Church members throughout the country, with 43 branches, 234 wards, 27 stakes, one temple in operation, one under construction, and one in the planning stages.

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