Church History
Benin: Overview

“Benin: Overview,” Global Histories: Benin (2018)

“Benin: Overview,” Global Histories: Benin

map of Benin

A Brief History of the Church in



In the late 1990s, a small group of Beninese began meeting in the home of Lincoln Dahl, a Latter-day Saint working in the American embassy in Cotonou, to partake of the sacrament and study the scriptures. When Dahl left Benin in 1997, Mathias Egoku, a Nigerian member of the Church living in Benin, led the group, which was beginning to grow. Two years later, missionaries from the Côte d’Ivoire Abidjan Mission began teaching the gospel over the phone to interested people in Cotonou. No baptisms, however, could be performed until after the Church was officially recognized in the country.

In 2003 the Church received formal recognition in Benin, and two years later, the first branch was organized in Cotonou with Egoku as president. Other branches soon followed. The Saints in Benin answered the charge to “labor in my vineyard, and to build up my church, and to bring forth Zion” (Doctrine and Covenants 39:13). The Church in Benin grew quickly. Just three years after the first branch was established, three branches had been organized. In 2012 a district was created in Cotonou and, just four years later, the district became the first stake in Benin. Latter-day Saints in Benin continue to share the gospel and to reach out in love to their community.

Quick Facts

  • Official Name: Republic of Benin/République du Bénin

  • Capital: Porto-Novo

  • Largest City: Cotonou

  • Official Languages: French

  • Land Area: 114,763 km2 (44,310 mi2)

  • Church Area: Africa West

  • Missions: 1 (Cotonou)

  • Congregations: 17