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First Latter-day Saint branch organized in Gambia

The first branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Republic of the Gambia has now been organized, with President Samuel O. Amako serving as branch president.

“This day is certainly a day of answered prayers — prayers of years of hands lifted up to the heavens for divine countenance to smile on this Sahelian beauty, The Gambia,” President Amako said. “This day is a day of triumph granted by the grace, mercy and love of a loving Heavenly Father, who is no respecter of persons and loves all His children and all His creations.”

President Daniel W. Lewis, president of the Cote d’Ivoire Abidjan West Mission, organized the Banjul Branch on June 10 at a meeting of Church members. His wife, Sister Betty Jo Lewis, accompanied him. As part of this organization, the branch and Gambia became part of the mission, reported the Church’s Africa Newsroom.

President Lewis said: “We can hardly express how amazing this has been. The Lord is doing His work here and hastening it in His time.”

The branch comes about three months after Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visited West Africa and met with many government officials in Gambia. It helped pave the way for legal status of the Church in the country.

Members of the Church’s Africa West Area presidency had attended the inauguration of the country’s president in January by invitation and gathered with Latter-day Saints in Gambia earlier this year. 

President Amako said: “Our gratitude is certainly boundless and will forever remain so. The miracle of The Gambia is a testament of the power of the holy priesthood, a testament of the power of faith, a testament of the power of prayer, a testament of the beauty of God’s love, mercy and grace. The Gambia is another testament of the truthfulness of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Hallelujah!”

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