Church History
Democratic Republic of the Congo: Chronology


“Democratic Republic of the Congo: Chronology,” Global Histories: Democratic Republic of the Congo (2020)

“Democratic Republic of the Congo: Chronology,” Global Histories: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Chronology

September 1970 • Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

A small group of Saints from abroad living in Kinshasa began holding Church meetings.

1970s–80s • Outside Zaïre

Congolese citizens began joining the Church while living abroad, including in Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, and the United States.

1970s–80s • Zaïre

Congolese Saints who had returned to their country as well as prospective Church members began writing Church leaders, requesting information, missionaries, and other Church support.

August–September 1979 • Zaïre

President Spencer W. Kimball sent Oscar McConkie Jr. to Zaïre on a fact-finding visit. This was the first of several trips between 1979 and 1986 to try to establish the Church there.

1980s • Kinshasa and Shaba Province, Zaïre

Unofficial congregations using the name of the Church formed and began corresponding with Church headquarters.

February 1986 • Kinshasa

The first missionaries to Zaïre, Ralph and Jean Hutchings, arrived.

April 1986 • Zaïre

After seven years of work to establish the Church in the country, the Church was granted legal recognition in Zaïre.

June 1, 1986 • Kinshasa

Junior Mucioko Banza and Philippe Banza became the first people baptized in Zaïre. Their parents, Mucioko Wa Mutombo Banza and Régine Mbuyi Banza had joined the Church in Switzerland in 1979.

September 1986 • Kinshasa

The Kinshasa Branch was organized. Michael C. Bowcutt was called as branch president with Mucioko Wa Mutombo Banza and Mbuyi Nkitabungi as counselors and Régine Mbuyi Banza as Relief Society president.

1986 • Kinshasa

As membership increased, Church meetings moved from Mbuyi Nkitabungi’s home to a building in Limete.

February 1987 • Lubumbashi, Zaïre

Roger and Simone Dock, senior missionaries, became the first missionaries to be assigned to Lubumbashi.

June 1987 • Kinshasa

The Zaïre Kinshasa Mission was officially organized.

July 25, 1987 • Lubumbashi

The Lubumbashi Branch was organized, with Clement Mubalamate Kavuala as president.

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Democratic Republic of the Congo: Church Members

August 30, 1987 • Kinshasa

Elder Marvin J. Ashton of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated Zaïre for the preaching of the gospel.

August 1988 • Salt Lake City, Utah

Selections of the Book of Mormon were published in Lingala. The Book of Mormon in whole was published in Lingala in 2004.

September 18, 1988 • Kinshasa

The Kinshasa Zaïre District was organized.

December 1989 • Lubumbashi

The first district Young Women conference in Zaïre was held.

January–February 1991 • Zaïre

Junior Mucioko Banza, Ngalamulume Diamany, Thomas Nkadi Mutombo, and Kanda Malu-Malu were called as the first Congolese missionaries to serve in the Zaïre Kinshasa Mission.

April 1991 • Zaïre

Zaïre’s National Congress established freedom of religion.

September 13, 1991 • Zaïre

The seminary program was introduced in Zaïre, with Kabwika Natambwe as its director.

1991–94 • Kinshasa, Zaïre, and Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo

Civil unrest disrupted the operations of mission headquarters, which moved from Kinshasa to Brazzaville in 1991 and briefly closed in 1993–94.

July 1996 • Johannesburg, South Africa

The first group of Saints from the Democratic Republic of the Congo traveled to the Johannesburg South Africa Temple to receive temple ordinances.

November 3, 1996 • Kinshasa

The first stake in Zaïre, the Zaïre Kinshasa Stake, was organized, with Wa Musithi Jacques Muliele called as president. The following May, Ekezi Imbale Baenda Ise’Ekungola Liyanzi became the country’s first stake patriarch.

August 12, 1997 • Democratic Republic of the Congo

After the country changed its name, the mission name was changed to Democratic Republic of the Congo Kinshasa Mission.

September 7, 1997 • Lubumbashi

The Lubumbashi Democratic Republic of the Congo Stake was organized, with Nzembelenge Milambo as president.

2000 • Salt Lake City

The Book of Mormon was published in Swahili.

January 2005 • Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Church’s employment program, career workshops, and Perpetual Education Fund were implemented. Through the Church’s humanitarian aid program, donated eyeglasses were distributed.

September 9, 2006 • Kinshasa

The youth from the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Masina Stake organized a national day of service, cleaning public areas in the community.

May 1, 2007 • Democratic Republic of the Congo

Daniel Tusey Kola was called as the first Congolese Area Seventy.

May 22, 2011 • Kananga, Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Kananga Democratic Republic of the Congo Stake was organized, with Christophe Kawaya as president.

July 23 and 30, 2011 • Kinshasa

The first two youth conferences in the country were held, with more than 1,200 attending.

October 1, 2011 • Salt Lake City

Church President Thomas S. Monson announced a temple would be built in Kinshasa.

July 2014 • Brazzaville

Elie Kyungu Monga and Vianney Mwenze Monga were called to preside over the Republic of Congo Brazzaville Mission.

February 12, 2016 • Kinshasa

Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles presided over the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple.

April 24, 2016 • Mbuji-Mayi, Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Mbuji-Mayi Democratic Republic of the Congo Stake, the 15th stake in the country, was organized, with N’sumbu Jean-Pierre Kalonji as president.

August 2016 • Kinshasa

The Church reached an agreement with the government to digitize over 20 million family history records. Church members Richard Dadzie and Thierry Mutombo met with Jean Claude Mabaya, the secretary of the Minister of Interior, to sign the contract.

2016 • Democratic Republic of the Congo

Church membership surpassed 50,000.

October 9, 2017 • Salt Lake City

The Church announced plans to translate the Book of Mormon in Tshiluba and to give members access to draft portions before the publication of the final translation.

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Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple

April 14, 2019 • Kinshasa

The Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple was dedicated.