“Twenty-Three New Stakes: Honduras, Norway, and Venezuela Get First Stake,” Ensign, Aug. 1977, 77–78
Between April conference and the end of May, twenty-three stakes were organized—eleven in the U.S. and twelve in other nations. And these included the first stakes to be organized in Honduras, Venezuela, and Norway!
The San Pedro Sula Honduras Stake, with Samuel Ben-Zion Ventura as president, is the first stake within the boundaries of the Costa Rica San José Mission—a milestone for Central America. The Caracas Venezuela Stake, with Adolfo F. Mayer as president, and the Oslo Norway Stake, with Osvald Bjareng as president, bring full Church organization to one of the newest and one of the oldest fields of missionary labor. Venezuela was dedicated for missionary work in 1966, while missionaries have been serving in Norway since the mid-nineteenth century.
Other non-English-speaking stakes include four new stakes in Uruguay: the Minas Uruguay Stake (Alberto E. Hernandez, president), the Santa Lucia Uruguay Stake (Hector Julio Vigo, president), the Rivera Uruguay Stake (Ormesindo Correa, president), and the Paysandu Uruguay Stake (Atilio Silveira, president).
The Culiacan Mexico Stake (Federico Fragoza Diaz, president) and the Minatitlan Mexico Stake (Ignacio Cruz Sanchez, president) bring the total number of Mexican stakes to twenty-nine—more stakes than in any other country outside the United States!
Two new stakes outside the U.S. are in the Philippines: the Quezon City Philippines Stake and the Makati Philippines Stake. And the Seoul Korea Stake was divided to form the Seoul Korea East and West stakes.
The U.S. stakes organized during the same short period include three in California and two in Texas. The California stakes are the Morgan Hill California Stake (Donald Russell Lundell, president) and the Santa Cruz California Stake (Edwin Reese Davis, president), both in the San Francisco Bay area, and the Mission Viejo California Stake (Nolan G. Draney, president) in southern California. And the Houston Texas East and Dallas Texas North stakes were divided to form the Friendswood Texas Stake and the Dallas Texas East Stake.
Stakes were organized in four other western states: the Redmond Washington Stake (Arnold R. Parrott, president), the Roseburg Oregon Stake (Gary Richards Lowe, president), the Salt Lake Hunter Stake (Merrill R. Dimick, president), and the Idaho Falls Idaho Ammon West Stake (Boyd R. Thomas, president). In addition, the Winchester Virginia Stake was organized from the Blue Ridge District of the Washington D.C. Mission, with Harold S. Harrison called to serve as stake president; while Americans overseas were organized into another servicemen’s stake—the Frankfurt Germany Servicemen’s Stake (Kenneth Alvin Nessen, president), formed from the Kaiserslautern Germany and Stuttgart Germany servicemen’s stakes.
Twenty-three stakes in fifty-five days, and more than half of them outside the United States: a testimony to the tremendous growth of the worldwide Church!