Country information: St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Jan. 1, 2009: Est. population, 104,500; Members, 427; Branches, 2;Percent LDS, .4, or one in 245; Caribbean Area; West Indies Mission.

In the eastern Caribbean and part of the Windward Island chain, the Grenadines are a parliamentary democracy. Most of the population speaks English. Religious adherents are primarily Methodist, Anglican, and Roman Catholic.

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, then of the Seventy, visited St. Vincent in January 1980 along with President Richard L. Millett of the Puerto Rico San Juan Mission. Steven B. Wooley and Terry Williams were sent from the mission to begin work in the country in March 1980. Millett visited St. Vincent again the following month. Among those attending the meetings was Ebenezer Joshua, the first chief minister of the country who helped St. Vincent obtain independence from England. Brother Joshua was one of the earliest converts and served in the branch presidency.

The Kingstown Branch was organized 22 October 1980 with Edmund Israel as president. He had also been taught by Elders Wooley and Williams. Missionaries cleared the land for a meetinghouse and a site dedication was held 16 June 1985; a building was subsequently constructed. Sharon Nichols was the first local member called on a full-time mission in 1983. When Ebeneezer Joshua died in 1991, a crowd of 30,000 to 40,000 people, including top government officials, viewed or attended his televised funeral in the Kingstown meetinghouse. Jay Hughes spoke about Joshua's beliefs and the plan of salvation. In August 1991 Edmund and Evelyn Israel left for the Milwaukee Wisconsin Mission and became the first senior missionaries from St. Vincent. Since 29 January 1995 Verrol W. Young has served as branch president, and St. Vincent has continued to be part of the West Indies Mission.

Sources: Richard L. Millett, History of the Church in the Caribbean, 1977-1980, Church Archives; Kenneth L. Zabriskie, History of the West Indies Mission, [ca. 1989], Church Archives; Puerto Rico San Juan Mission, Mission history and historical reports, Church Archives.

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