Restoration and Church History
Brazil: Church Chronology

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Brazil: Church Chronology

1913 • Brazil

German immigrants Max and Amalie Zapf became the first Church members in Brazil.

December 25, 1925 • Buenos Aires, Argentina

Elder Melvin J. Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated South America for the preaching of the gospel.

1920s • Brazil

Many Germans, including several Church members, immigrated to Brazil in search of greater opportunity.

1927 • Brazil

Auguste Lippelt and others wrote letters to Church leaders elsewhere that Church materials and missionaries be sent to Brazil.

December 1927 • Joinville, Brazil

Reinhold Stoof, president of the South American Mission, visited Brazil to explore the possibility of sending missionaries there.

September 17, 1928 • Joinville, Brazil

William Fred Heinz and Emil A. J. Schindler arrived in Joinville and began teaching the German-speaking people of Brazil.

April 14, 1929 • Joinville

Bertha Sell and her children, Theodor, Alice, Siegfried, and Adele, were baptized. They were the first converts baptized in Brazil.

July 6, 1930 • Joinville

The first branch in Brazil was organized in Joinville, with missionary David J. Ballstaedt as president.

Brazil: Church House

October 25, 1931 • Joinville

The first Church-owned meetinghouse in Brazil was dedicated in Joinville.

October 11, 1933 • Joinville

The first Relief Society in Brazil was established in Joinville, with Toni Barsch as president.

May 25, 1935 • São Paulo, Brazil

The Brazilian Mission was organized in São Paulo, with Rulon S. Howells as mission president. The primary language of the mission was German.

July 14, 1935 • São Paulo

The first district in Brazil was organized in São Paulo, with Emil A. J. Schindler as president.

1938 • Brazil

The Joseph Smith Story was translated into Portuguese. This was the first official Church publication in Portuguese.

1939 • Brazil

Portuguese became the official language of the Brazilian Mission.

1939 • Brazil

At the start of World War II, the Church closed all European missions, and more missionaries were called to Brazil.

March 1940 • São Paulo

The Book of Mormon was published in Portuguese.

May 1940 • São Paulo

The first Portuguese-speaking district was established in Brazil, with Melvin Morris as president.

1943 • São Paulo and Campinas, Brazil

Local members were called to lead branches in São Paulo and Campinas.

November 1943 • Brazil

As Brazil and the United States entered World War II, all North American missionaries were evacuated from Brazil.

1946 • Campinas

Alfredo Lima Vaz was called as a missionary. He was the first native Brazilian to serve as a full-time missionary.

January 1948 • Brazil

The first issue of A gaivota (the Seagull), the first Portuguese-language periodical of the Church in Brazil, was published.

1954 • Brazil

During the first visit of President David O. McKay, he authorized an expanded program for building meetinghouses throughout the country.

Brazil: Walter Spat with Counselors

May 1966 • São Paulo

The first stake in South America was organized in São Paulo, Brazil, with Walter Spät as president.

1971 • Brazil

The seminary and institute program was organized in Brazil.

March 1, 1975 • Buenos Aires

During an area conference in Buenos Aires, President Spencer W. Kimball announced that the first temple in South America would be built in São Paulo.

1978 • São Paulo

The Brazil Missionary Training Center, the first outside the United States, was established in São Paulo.

June 8, 1978 • Salt Lake City, Utah

President Spencer W. Kimball announced a revelation extending the priesthood to all worthy male members of the Church.

October 30, 1978 • São Paulo

Spencer W. Kimball dedicated the São Paulo Brazil Temple, the first temple in South America.

1979 • São Paulo

José B. and Diva Euzébia Puerta, the first temple president and matron from Brazil, were called to preside at the São Paulo Brazil Temple.

February 22–26, 1983 • São Paulo

Latter-day Saint artists from Brazil participated in an exhibition at the Galeria Prestes Maia in São Paulo.

April 6, 1985 • Salt Lake City

Hélio da Rocha Camargo was called as a General Authority Seventy. He was the first General Authority called from Brazil.

April 1990 • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Helvécio Martins, a native of Rio de Janeiro, was called as the first General Authority of African descent.

December 15, 2000 • Recife, Brazil

President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the Recife Brazil Temple.

December 17, 2000 • Porto Alegre, Brazil

Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the Porto Alegre Brazil Temple.

May 17, 2002 • Campinas, Brazil

Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the Campinas Brazil Temple.

November 22, 2007 • Brazil

A special plenary session of the Federal Senate was held to recognize the Church’s humanitarian efforts in Brazil.

June 1, 2008 • Curitiba, Brazil

President Thomas S. Monson dedicated the Curitiba Brazil Temple.

June 10, 2012 • Manaus, Brazil

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, then of the First Presidency, dedicated the Manaus Brazil Temple.

April 6, 2013 • Salt Lake City

Thomas S. Monson announced the construction of the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple.

April 29, 2015 • São Paulo

Elder D. Todd Christofferson spoke at the interfaith Celebration of Religious Freedom event.

April 3, 2016 • Salt Lake City

Thomas S. Monson announced the construction of the Belém Brazil Temple.

April 2, 2017 • Salt Lake City

Thomas S. Monson announced the construction of the Brasília Brazil Temple.

March 31, 2018 • Salt Lake City, Utah

Ulisses Soares was sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the first Apostle from Brazil and South America.

June 2, 2019 • Fortaleza, Brazil

Elder Ulisses Soares dedicated the Fortaleza Brazil Temple.