The first LDS Branch in Mali was organized today in Bamako! A second group was organized near Ouelessebougou in the village of Farako. My friends in Mali rejoice today. I rejoice with them!
On May 23, Elder Bednar visited Ouelessebougou to meet with the new Saints there. We have been cheering them on from here. Here is his welcome:Following that visit, approvals were given to organize the Church in Mali.
From: Terence M Vinson
Sent: Tuesday, June 13, 2017 4:43 PM
To: Paul Cazier
Subject: Branch in Bamako
Your prayers have been answered. We have received approval to include Bamako and the areas within a radius to the north, east and south of Bamako including the Chicken Farm and Ouelessobougou, within the Côte d’Ivoire Abidjan Mission, and to create a Branch of the Church within the Bamako area.
The current mission president, President Sahy, concludes his three years as president on 30 June, so we cannot expect him to organize for this addition to his mission with the short time remaining. So, it will be July at the earliest before we can get missionaries there, but it is hoped that we will have four missionary elders there permanently from some time in July. The members and investigators in Bamako would have a Branch President and a Mission President and all the necessary keys of the priesthood available for their spiritual progress and to provide access to all needed ordinances.
This is wonderful news and can now be shared with the members and friends of the Church in Mali.
Our intention is for Elder Nash to come to Bamako the weekend after next to create the Bamako Branch in the Côte d’Ivoire Abidjan Mission as I am assigned to create a stake elsewhere in the Area that weekend, and we both have assignments this weekend. However, I would like to travel to Bamako in July with the new mission president to introduce him to our dear friends there.
Elder Nash and I are cheering right now here in Accra.
I am also cheering, here in Yakima, for my dear friends in Mali. I can’t wait to return to them someday.
Church in Ten West African Countries
NEWS RELEASE 15 JULY 2017 – BAMAKO, MALI
The Bamako Mali Branch (a small congregation) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was created on July 9, 2017. Formation of the Bamako branch marks the tenth country in West Africa to have organized Latter-day Saints congregations.
Eleven new stakes or districts (smaller than a stake) have been created in the Africa West Area during 2017. Ten more stakes are expected to be created before the end of the year.
“This is incredible,” remarked Elder Vinson, who has visited Mali three times this year. “In a period of less than four months, these faithful people have gone from never having had a Church leader visit their country, to becoming an organized unit and having leaders with priesthood keys to administer the affairs of the Church.”
“The Lord’s hand has clearly been manifest in His work in Mali. The people are thoroughly interested. They are prepared to . . . discuss and learn more, as the gospel ‘becomes delicious’ to them,” said Elder Vinson. “We have strong leaders and impressive future leaders as pioneers of the Church in Mali.”
As part of the organization of the Bamako Mali Branch, Kouassi Vance Abissa was named branch president, with Prince Gankama Bouala as his first counselor and Pierre Bayo as second counselor. Sunday meetings will be held in a rented hall in Bamako.
Leaders also organized the Farako Group for members and others living outside of Bamako, near a large farming village. Dramane Bagayoko was named group leader of the Farako Group.
Arnold Odonkor, Africa West Area Manager of Member/Leader Units, accompanied Elder Vinson during his visit to Mali. He had been asked to identify members of the Church currently living in Mali.
“We knew we had 18 members of record living in Mali. During our meeting on Sunday we had 38 adults, 4 youth, and more than 50 children in attendance. Some are patiently waiting for missionaries to come so they can be baptized.”
Commenting on the meeting he continued, “I realized the Church is about families. Anytime and anywhere the Church is organized, it begins with a family. Someone accepts the truth of the Gospel and they want to share it with their family and their friends. In this way, we bless one another and bring joy to their lives.”
Other countries in the Africa West Area with organized congregations of the Church include: Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Cote d’ Ivoire, Liberia, Sierre Leone, Senegal and Guinea.