66 Area Seventies to be released Aug. 1 as Church modifies timing of their releases

The Church Office Building of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is pictured in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020. Credit: Steve Griffin, Deseret News
Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles reads the names of 77 new Area Seventies at a leadership meeting at the Church Office Building auditorium on Thursday, April 1, 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Sixty-six Area Seventies of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be released on Sunday, Aug. 1, as the Church modifies its practice of releasing such leaders worldwide.

The releases and change were detailed in a recent letter to Area Seventies from President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

“We deeply appreciate the invaluable and dedicated service of Area Seventies throughout the world,” wrote President Ballard in his letter, “and pray that you may feel the love and gratitude of the Lord.”

The letter follows a change earlier this year when, during the April 2021 general conference, new Area Seventies were sustained in the leadership meeting — instead of a general session of conference — and announced by the Church News and Newsroom.

On Thursday, April 1, 77 new Area Seventies were named and sustained as part of the leadership session, which included some 300 general authorities, general officers and Area Seventies.

Area Seventies will now be publicly released on Aug. 1 — and announced in a similar fashion as those newly called — rather than during October general conference.

The Church has 12 quorums of the Seventy. The first two quorums are comprised of General Authority Seventies, who have authority to serve anywhere in the world. The remaining 10 quorums are Area Seventies.

What is the difference between a General Authority Seventy, Area Seventy and general officer?

Under the direction of the Presidency of the Seventy and the respective area presidency, Area Seventies meet with and teach Church leaders, missionaries and members of the Church in local congregations.

Area Seventies are local area authorities called in each of the Church’s geographic areas throughout the world. Like General Authority Seventies, Area Seventies are ordained to the office of Seventy in the Melchizedek Priesthood. However, Area Seventies are not considered general authorities, and their authority is generally limited to the area where they serve.

Area Seventies live at home and serve on a Church-service basis for a designated number of years, similar to a bishop or stake president. They maintain their non-religious vocations.

The 66 being released, by quorum, are:

Third Quorum of the Seventy (Africa Central, Africa South, and Africa West areas) — Frederick O. Akinbo, M. T. Ben Davis, Jerat K. C. Igwe, Christophe Kawaya and John A. Koranteng.

Fourth Quorum of the Seventy (Asia and Asia North areas) — Dong Chol Beh, Ming-Shun Kuan, Seiji Tokuzawa and Robert K. William.

Fifth Quorum of the Seventy (Brazil Area) — Aroldo B. Cavalcante and Carlos E. Perrotti.

Sixth Quorum of the Seventy (Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico areas) — Luis J. Camey, Luis C. Chaverri, Ulises Chávez, José A. Fernández, Candido Fortuna, Felix A. Martinez, Helamán Montejo, A. Moroni Pérez, Rene Romay, Luis G. Ruiz and Jesús Vélez.

Seventh Quorum of the Seventy (Europe, Europe East, and Middle East / Africa North areas) — Matthieu Bennasar and Tom-Atle Herland.

Eighth Quorum of the Seventy (Pacific and Philippines areas) — Richard C. Baquiran, Daniel G. Hamilton, Ryan V. Pagaduan, Mark P. Peteru, Maximo A. Saavedra Jr. and Benjamin T. Sinjoux.

Ninth Quorum of the Seventy (South America Northwest and South America South areas) — P. David Agazzani, Quilmer A. Agüero, Nelson Ardila, Antonio F. Faúndez, Matías D. Fernández, Juan J. Levrino, Carlo M. Lezano, Pedro A. Sanhueza, Daniel Texeira and Luis G. Zapata.

Tenth Quorum of the Seventy (North America Central, North America Northeast and North America Southeast areas) — Douglas B. Carter, M. Dirk Driscoll, Michael A. Gillenwater, Michael D. Groll, J Vaun McArthur, Thomas T. Priday, Brian L. Rawson and Paul H. Sinclair.

Eleventh Quorum of the Seventy (North America Southwest and North America West areas) — Lawrence P. Blunck, Marc C. Davis, J. Scott Dorius, Bruce E. Ghent, Raymond S. Heyman, Todd S. Larkin, Kevin K. Miskin, Michael R. Murray, David L. Stapleton, Maxsimo C. Torres, Carlos Villarreal, Paul H. Watkins and C. Dale Willis.        

Twelfth Quorum of the Seventy (Utah Area) — Brent J. Christensen, Douglas L. Dance, Blake M. Roney, Eric J. Schmutz and Kevin J Worthen.

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