News Release

Church in Ten West African Countries

The Bamako Mali Branch (a small congregation) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was created on July 9, 2017. Formation of the Bamako branch marks the tenth country in West Africa to have organized Latter-day Saints congregations.


Eleven new stakes or districts (smaller than a stake) have been created in the Africa West Area during 2017. Ten more stakes are expected to be created before the end of the year.

“This is incredible,” remarked Elder Vinson, who has visited Mali three times this year. “In a period of less than four months, these faithful people have gone from never having had a Church leader visit their country, to becoming an organized unit and having leaders with priesthood keys to administer the affairs of the Church.”

"The Lord's hand has clearly been manifest in His work in Mali. The people are thoroughly interested. They are prepared to . . . discuss and learn more, as the gospel ‘becomes delicious’ to them,” said Elder Vinson. “We have strong leaders and impressive future leaders as pioneers of the Church in Mali." 

As part of the organization of the Bamako Mali Branch, Kouassi Vance Abissa was named branch president, with Prince Gankama Bouala as his first counselor and Pierre Bayo as second counselor. Sunday meetings will be held in a rented hall in Bamako.

Leaders also organized the Farako Group for members and others living outside of Bamako, near a large farming village. Dramane Bagayoko was named group leader of the Farako Group.

Arnold Odonkor, Africa West Area Manager of Member/Leader Units, accompanied Elder Vinson during his visit to Mali. He had been asked to identify members of the Church currently living in Mali.

“We knew we had 18 members of record living in Mali. During our meeting on Sunday we had 38 adults, 4 youth, and more than 50 children in attendance. Some are patiently waiting for missionaries to come so they can be baptized.”

Commenting on the meeting he continued, “I realized the Church is about families. Anytime and anywhere the Church is organized, it begins with a family. Someone accepts the truth of the Gospel and they want to share it with their family and their friends. In this way, we bless one another and bring joy to their lives.”

Other countries in the Africa West Area with organized congregations of the Church include: Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Cote d’ Ivoire, Liberia, Sierre Leone, Senegal and Guinea.


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