Church News and Events

First Stake Created in Botswana

  Ruth L. Renlund

  • 16 November 2012

 Left to right: Elder Dale G. Renlund, President Geoffrey Tembo, President Clement Matswagothata,  President O. Shaka Mokweni, and Elder Colin H. Bricknell.

Saints in Botswana rejoiced as the first stake was created in their country, the Gaborone Botswana Stake. Elder Dale G. Renlund, of the Seventy, president of the Africa Southeast Area, along with Elder Colin H. Bricknell and Elder T. Jackson Mkhabela, both Area Seventies, organized the stake on November 4, 2012.

The stake was created with units from the Roodeport South Africa Stake and consists of eight wards or branches.  Other boundary changes were also made to the Roodeport South Africa Stake and Soweto South Africa Stake.

President Clement M. Matswagothata, president of the first stake in Botswana.

President Clement Matswagothata, age 32, was called as the first president of the new stake.  Geoffrey Tembo, first counsellor and O. Shaka Mokweni, second counsellor complete the stake presidency.

Over 1800 people attended the two Sunday general sessions in which the changes were presented and sustained.  Members gathered in Gaborone, Botswana as well as in Roodeport South Africa.

Members of the new Gaborone Botwana Stake gather for this long awaited event.

Elder Dale G. Renlund reminded the congregation of a special blessing the country received 20 years ago when Elder Richard G. Scott dedicated Botswana for the preaching of the gospel.  In that dedicatory prayer, Elder Scott blessed the saints, present and future, that as they kept the commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ, they would have a leavening influence on all the people of Botswana.  Elder Renlund remarked. “If you want to be a true Botswana patriot, keep the commandments of God.”  He further observed, “The organization of this stake is evidence of that blessing. Scattered Israel is being gathered.”