“First Branch Organized in Republic of Georgia,” Ensign, Nov. 2002, 126
With almost 50 members, the first branch in the Republic of Georgia was organized on 9 June in the capital city, Tbilisi. The branch was created three years after the country was dedicated for the preaching of the gospel.
Georgia, an Asian country bordered by Russia and the Black Sea, was dedicated in March 1999 by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Humanitarian missionaries arrived shortly thereafter and began providing service to the community, including arranging for supplies to be sent to orphanages and hospitals as well as teaching English.
When the country was dedicated, Vazha Natroshvili, who had joined the Church some years earlier while in the Netherlands, was the only local member. Brother Natroshvili accompanied the missionaries to discussions, and within months the first family and a young adult were baptized.
The Church has continued to grow steadily in Georgia. With 43 members and several investigators participating, Elder Robert F. Orton of the Seventy, Second Counselor in the Europe East Area Presidency, and Mervin Beckstrand, president of the Armenia Yerevan Mission, were on hand to officially organize the new branch.