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New Church buildings spur invitations, celebrations in Nigeria and Ghana

Open house programs allow the community to learn more about the Church in Choba and Jos, Nigeria, and Kumasi, Ghana

Three new buildings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Africa West Area recently opened — and allowed an opportunity for local Church members to invite friends to come and see what the Church teaches.

In Nigeria and Ghana, local community and traditional leaders, politicians, media, leaders of other faiths and members of the community attended open house ceremonies for a new stake center, district building and branch building.

Guests were able to tour the buildings and learn about many of the Church’s classes and programs, such as self-reliance, seminary and institute, gathering places, missionary work, family history and BYU–Pathway Worldwide.

Church choirs and traditional singers and dancers performed as well, reported the Church’s Africa Newsroom.

New stake center in Choba, Nigeria

More than 700 people attended an open house ceremony May 18 for the recently constructed Port Harcourt Nigeria Choba Stake Center. The new building, in Choba, Rivers State, will be a meeting place for the Choba 1st and 2nd wards. The stake has nine wards and five branches.

A friend of the Church learns about the seminary and institute programs at the Port Harcourt Nigeria Choba Stake Center open house.
A friend of the Church learns about the seminary and institute programs at the Port Harcourt Nigeria Choba Stake Center open house on May 18, 2024. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Traditional leaders, other invited guests and friends from the community joined stake members for the official program. In his remarks, Elder Sancho Chukwu, an Area Seventy, invited everyone to nurture their faith in Jesus Christ and love one another as children of God.

A community traditional leader, Chief John Emenike, expressed how grateful he is to the Church and invited the youth to take advantage of all the Church’s educational and self-reliance opportunities. He also praised the Church for its humanitarian efforts.

New district building in Jos, Nigeria

A new district building for the Jos Nigeria District has been built. On May 11, the Church held an open house ceremony for the building, which will also be a meeting place for the Bukuru Branch. The previous district building was located in Bukuru and had been damaged by fire.

Guests attend a program during the open house for the new Jos Nigeria District building.
Guests attend a program during the open house for the new Jos Nigeria District building on May 11, 2024. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

A district is smaller than a stake and is made up of branches instead of wards. Jos has seen large numbers of people baptized at once, and earlier this year two new branches were created in the district.

During the ceremony, Nigeria Abuja Mission President Dennis K. Ocansey addressed the invited guests, including local traditional, government and interfaith leaders, as well as local media.

“The purpose of incorporating education and skill development into our Church departments is that our Heavenly Father wants his children to be self-reliant. To achieve this, we must grow spiritually, intellectually, emotionally and socially,” President Ocansey said.

Jatau Doji, community head of Lyoh Gyel, commended the Church for opening its doors to neighbors. “We have started to enjoy your presence,” he said. “The vocational training and self-reliance programs will benefit our teeming youth. I wish you had come when I was much younger.”

Traditional dancers perform at the Jos District building open house in Jos, Nigeria.
Traditional dancers perform at the Jos District building open house in Jos, Nigeria, on May 11, 2024. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

New branch building in Kumasi, Ghana

On May 4, the Church held an open house at the Onwe Branch building in Ejisu-Juaben, Kumasi, Ghana. The Onwe Branch is in the Ghana Kumasi Ejisu Stake, which was created earlier this year.

Member of Parliament Kwabena Boateng joined other local leaders, members of the branch and friends from the community for the event. The guests were given information and materials from missionaries during a tour of the building, and Boateng shared that he was particularly impressed by the message regarding the plan of salvation.

Traditional leaders attend an open house for the Onwe Chapel in Kumasi, Ghana.
Traditional leaders attend an open house for the Onwe Chapel in Kumasi, Ghana, on May 4, 2024. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“I had the opportunity to learn about the foundational beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ, particularly their articles of faith, which forms the bedrock of their principles and values,” Boateng said. “It was an enlightening experience that deepened my appreciation for their faith and dedication.

Boateng — who was making his first official engagement as a newly elected Parliament member — also learned about the gathering place for young single adults being established in the area and commended the Church for the initiative.

“I commend the Church for their admirable gathering place initiative, which is to establish a skill training center within our constituency,” he said. “This endeavor holds great promise in addressing the issue of unemployment among our youth and empowering them with valuable skills for the future.”

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