When President Howard W. Hunter created the Church's 2,000th stake - the Mexico City Mexico Contreras Stake - on Dec. 11, 1994, it was the 120th stake he had personally created. The only person to create more stakes in the history of the Church was Elder Mark E. Petersen, who created 122.
Just over a year after he was called as an apostle, President Hunter created his first stake, the Las Vegas North Stake, on Nov. 6, 1960. He created at least one new stake every year after that until 1985, when he became acting president of the Council of the Twelve.President Hunter also created the Church's 500th stake, the Fallon Stake in Nevada, on Jan. 18, 1970. But just hours before the conference where the stake was organized, President David O. McKay died in Salt Lake City. That mingled some sorrow with the joy over the Church's milestone of growth.
In November 1975, President Hunter had an unprecedented assignment. He created 15 new stakes (although two were later designated as reorganized) in two days in Mexico City, where there previously were five stakes. On Nov. 8, 1975, he created five new stakes and reorganized the Mexico City Mexico Aragon Stake. The following day he created eight more new stakes and reorganized the Mexico City Mexico Arbolillo Stake. Four days later, he created the Poza Rica Mexico Stake. A total of 16 new stake presidencies were called in six days. More stakes were created on this weekend by then-Elder Hunter than existed in the first 46 years of the restored Church.
Twenty-nine, or nearly a fourth of the stakes that President Hunter created, were in Mexico, primarily because of the rapid growth in the country while he was the Council of the Twelve adviser to the area.
But in addition, he formed new stakes in many other countries, beginning with the Nuku`alofa Stake in Tonga on Sept. 5, 1968. It was the 28th stake he created. Other countries, in addition to the United States, where he created stakes were Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Fiji, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Peru, Samoa, Spain and Taiwan.
As a fitting climax to his remarkable service in creating stakes, President Hunter returned to Mexico City as president of the Church in December 1994. As the Church's 2,000th stake, the Mexico City Mexico Contreras Stake was a symbol of the sustained growth in the area, as well as throughout the Church.
During the conference, President Hunter said: "How wonderful to see so many of you gathered here on this historic occasion, as we have created the 2,000th stake of the Church. The events of this weekend are further evidence that the Lord is watching over and directing His kingdom on earth."