First Stake Created in Vanuatu

Contributed By Church News staff

  • 8 July 2015

Church members and guests attend the meeting at which the Port Vila Vanuatu Stake was created on June 21, 2015. It is the first stake in this Pacific island nation.  Photo by Tessa Dewsbury.

PORT VILA, VANUATU

Some 2,000 Latter-day Saints and guests gathered at the Fenea Pacifik Convention Centre in Port Vila on Sunday, June 21, to witness the creation of the Church’s first stake in Vanuatu.

The Port Vila Vanuatu Stake will include 2,000 members who worship in eight chapels.

Elder Kevin W. Pearson of the Seventy and President of the Church’s Pacific Area presided over the conference.

Elder Adolf Johansson, an Area Seventy, accompanied Elder Pearson.

Pacific Area President Elder Kevin W. Pearson and wife, June (left), join with Pacific Area Seventy Elder A. Adolf Johansson (right) to welcome special guests Danstan Hilton, Minister of Justice and Religion and his wife Rosina at the creation of Vanuatu's first stake June 24, 2015. Photo by Tessa Dewsbury.

Danstan Hilton, minister of justice and religion, and his wife, Rosina, were special guests at the historic event.

Preparations for the stake’s creation began many months ahead of the original date in April of this year, but the event was postponed when Cyclone Pam affected 22 of the 83 islands that make up the country of Vanuatu.

The category-5 storm struck with devastating force on March 13. Many homes were damaged or destroyed, valuable export crops were decimated, and 11 people lost their lives.