During the 1960s and 1970s, Polish people in many countries were introduced to the gospel. Many returned to Poland and sought the fellowship of other members.
When Maria Królikowska joined the Church in 1966 in England, she did not know there were Latter-day Saints in Poland. When she learned of the Zełwągi Branch, over 200 km (125 miles) from her home near Warsaw, she was determined to meet with the members there.
For several years, Królikowska traveled from Warsaw to Zełwągi to attend Church and frequently visited members scattered in other areas. Their examples of faith under difficult circumstances strengthened her, and she grew as close to them as she was to her own family.
Shrinking membership and emigration of the leadership led to the discontinuation of the Zełwągi Branch in 1971. Some members remained in the area until the mid-1980s.
Around the same time, in the early 1970s, Fryderyk Czerwiński, a shopkeeper from Szczecin, read an article about Mormons in the Polish magazine Dookoła Świata (Around the World). Impressed by the article’s descriptions of an industrious people who had built Salt Lake City out of the desert, Czerwiński thought, “It would be nice to become a member of such a church.” Czerwiński cultivated relationships with members of the Church throughout Poland. In 1974, he was baptized in Dresden, Germany. He soon contacted members in Zełwągi and conducted monthly Sunday meetings in his home in Szczecin. Fryderyk Czerwiński was called as presiding elder of the Church in Poland in August 1977.
The Church began sending Polish-speaking senior missionary couples to assist members in establishing the Church. For the next 10 years, Czerwiński worked with missionary couples to support the branch in Szczecin and small groups in other areas. They established an information center in Warsaw, and a branch began to grow there.