Church History
Colombia: Church Chronology


“Colombia: Church Chronology,” Global Histories: Colombia (2022)

“Colombia: Church Chronology,” Global Histories: Colombia

Colombia: Church Chronology

1851–52 • Chile

Apostle Parley P. Pratt and his wife Phoebe served a five-month mission to Chile. During their time in Chile, they determined that a Spanish translation of the Book of Mormon was needed.

1886 • Salt Lake City, Utah

The Spanish translation of the Book of Mormon was published.

December 25, 1925 • Buenos Aires, Argentina

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

1963 • Bogotá, Colombia

American families living in Bogotá began holding a weekly Sunday School in their homes.

1964–65 • New York City, New York

A significant number of referrals were received at the Church’s booth at the New York World’s Fair, including 31 for people living in Colombia.

September 21–22, 1964 • Bogotá and Medellín, Colombia

Visits were made to Bogotá and Medellín by A. Theodore Tuttle, area supervisor over Church affairs in South America, to investigate the possibility of establishing missionaries in Colombia.

May 11, 1966 • Bogotá

Spencer W. Kimball of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles traveled to Bogotá with Randall Harmsen and Jerry Broome—missionaries from the Andes Mission—to begin formal preaching in Colombia. Elder Kimball also dedicated the country for the preaching of the gospel and organized the Colombia Branch.

July 24, 1966 • Bogotá

The first member of the Church in Colombia was baptized.

December 1966 • Bogotá

The Church was granted legal status in Colombia.

1966–67 • Colombia

Branches were organized in Bucaramanga, Bogotá, Cali, Medellín, and Pereira.

October 22–24, 1967 • Bogotá

The Colombia District was organized, and José Armando Puccini Miranda and Hector Alfonso Carrillo Riveres became the first local members to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood.

July 1971 • Bogotá

The Colombia Mission was created from the Colombia-Venezuela Mission.

1972 • Bogotá and Cali, Colombia

Seminary and institute classes were first taught in Colombia, and a literacy program was established.

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Groundbreaking

1973 • Colombia

Beginning with the Cali, Colombia, meetinghouse, members from Popayán, Bogotá, and Cali, Colombia, as well as Ecuador and Peru, were called as construction missionaries to build meetinghouses throughout Colombia and gain training to construction trades.

August 23, 1974 • Cali

The Cali meetinghouse, the first Church-built meetinghouse in Colombia, was dedicated.

January 23, 1977 • Bogotá

The Bogotá Colombia Stake was organized, with Julio E. Dávila as president.

March 4–6, 1977 • Bogotá

Church President Spencer W. Kimball spoke to Saints gathered for an area conference in Bogotá.

June 4, 1978 • Cali

The Cali Colombia Stake was organized, with Luis Alfonso Rios Betancourt as president.

July 1, 1981 • Cali

Julio and Mary Dávila became the first Colombian Saints to preside over a mission in Colombia. They presided over the Colombia Cali Mission from 1981 to 1984.

November 22, 1981 • Bucaramanga, Colombia

The Bucaramanga Colombia Stake was organized, with Horacio Insignares as president.

April 7, 1984 • Salt Lake City

Construction of the Bogotá Colombia Temple was announced.

June 5, 1988 • Medellín

The Medellín Colombia Stake was organized, with Arnold Porras Martinez as president.

April 6, 1991 • Salt Lake City

Julio E. Dávila was called as a General Authority Seventy.

February 1992 • Bogotá

The Colombia Missionary Training Center in Bogotá was dedicated by Julio E. Dávila.

December 19, 1993 • Pereira, Colombia

The Pereira Colombia Stake was organized, with José L. González as president.

1994 • Colombia

Church membership in Colombia exceeded 100,000.

1995 • Colombia

Following countrywide fasts by Latter-day Saints, government approval was received to begin construction on the long-awaited Bogotá Colombia Temple.

November 8, 1996 • Bogotá

Church President Gordon B. Hinckley toured the temple site in Bogotá and spoke to a gathering of more than 7,000 Latter-day Saints.

April 24–26, 1999 • Bogotá

The Bogotá Colombia Temple was dedicated by Church President Gordon B. Hinckley.

2000–2002 • Colombia

Latter-day Saints and their neighbors experienced an increase in violence—including kidnapping and bombing of public spaces—from rebel groups in Colombia.

December 2, 2005 • Bogotá

The Colombian Congress honored the Church for its humanitarian service, which had bettered the lives of Colombians in need.

March–April 2006 • Salt Lake City

Lina Maria Uribe, the First Lady of Colombia, toured Church headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah, and attended a session of general conference.

December 2010 • Colombia

The Church provided food, clothing, and other assistance to people displaced by widespread flooding and landslides in Colombia.

2016 • Colombia

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Church in Colombia, Saints throughout the country participated in cleaning projects, blood drives, and other service projects as part of a year of service.

2017 • La Guajira, Colombia

Church humanitarian missionaries helped to repair clean-water infrastructure in 12 villages of the Wayuu and Guajiro tribes.

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Barranquilla Colombia Temple

December 9, 2018 • Barranquilla

The Barranquilla Colombia Temple was dedicated by President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency.

2019 • Colombia

Colombian Saints distributed food, clothing, and medical supplies provided by the Church and other relief organizations to Venezuelan refugees in Colombia. In November, Reyna I. Aburto, Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, and Lisa Harkness, First Counselor in the Primary General Presidency, visited Venezuelan members living in a refugee camp near Cúcuta, Colombia.

August 25, 2019 • Bogotá

Church President Russell M. Nelson presided at a special devotional service with more than 10,000 Colombian Saints in attendance.

July 2020 • Bucaramanga

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the area, Relief Society sisters from stakes in and around Bucaramanga made and distributed masks to people in the neighborhoods hardest hit by the virus.