Restoration and Church History
Sierra Leone: Church Chronology

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Sierra Leone: Church Chronology

1970s–1980s • Outside Sierra Leone

Several Sierra Leonean converts were baptized while living abroad, including in Europe, Ghana, and the Cook Islands.

June–October 1981 • Freetown, Sierra Leone

After being baptized in the Netherlands, Michael Samura returned to Sierra Leone, contacted Church headquarters about establishing the Church there, and started gathering investigators into unofficial congregations.

August 23, 1984 • Freetown

Hilda Quaye, who had joined the Church in Ghana, wrote to Church leaders. She received a response almost a month later and was given Michael Samura’s address. She began assisting with his congregations, teaching a Primary class for children.

1987 • Lunsar, Sierra Leone

Bai Sama Sankoh, who had joined the Church in Spain, returned to Sierra Leone and began holding unofficial meetings for people interested in the Church.

January 17, 1988 • Freetown

Christian George, who had joined the Church in Germany, began instructing an independent congregation that Elizabeth Bangura, a convert from Ghana, had introduced to the restored gospel.

March 1, 1988 • Freetown

The Liberia Monrovia Mission was organized and included Sierra Leone.

May 7–8, 1988 • Freetown

C. Erwin and Colleen Waite and Claire J and Iliene Fisher, the first missionaries assigned to Sierra Leone, arrived and held the first official Church meeting, with about 60 people in attendance at Elizabeth Bangura’s home.

June 6, 1988 • Sierra Leone

The Church received official recognition from the government of Sierra Leone.

June 11, 1988 • Freetown

The first baptismal service was held at Lumley Beach. Saidu Michael Bangura, Elizabeth Bangura’s husband, was the first of the 14 people baptized that day.

August 7, 1988 • Freetown

The Freetown Goderich Branch was organized, with Christian George as president, Michael Samura as one of the counselors, and Elizabeth Bangura as Relief Society president.

Sierra Leone: Dedication Day

May 18, 1989 • Freetown

Elder Richard G. Scott, standing on Leicester Peak, dedicated Sierra Leone for the preaching of the gospel.

May 1990 • Liberia and Sierra Leone

Due to the First Liberian Civil War, proselytizing was suspended in Liberia, and mission headquarters were moved from Monrovia to Freetown.

July 16, 1990 • Freetown

Eight Liberian missionaries arrived at the mission home after a perilous 34-hour journey from Monrovia to escape the war. They completed their missions in Sierra Leone.

July 27, 1990 • Bo, Sierra Leone

The first Church meeting outside of Freetown was held in Bo after the Mohamed and Abibatu (Abie) Turay family moved there.

January 1991–July 1992 • Sierra Leone

Church leaders directed members to gather in home-group meetings instead of meeting at their usual meetinghouses.

1991–2002 • Sierra Leone

Sierra Leonean Saints suffered through the Sierra Leone Civil War. Missionaries were repeatedly withdrawn and reinstated as the level of security in the country fluctuated. Local district missionaries and members continued missionary work, however, and the Church continued to grow.

November 5, 1991 • Freetown

The Freetown Sierra Leone District was organized, with Christian L. George as president.

April 22, 1991 • Sierra Leone

The Liberia Monrovia Mission was dissolved, and Sierra Leone became part of the Ghana Accra Mission.

February 28, 1992 • Bo

The Bo Sierra Leone District was organized, with Mohamed Turay as president.

September 6, 1992 •Freetown

Michael Samura was called to serve in the Ghana Accra Mission presidency.

October 12, 1992 • Sierra Leone

The seminary program was instituted in Sierra Leone.

1993 • Sierra Leone

By the end of the year, 89 Sierra Leoneans were serving as full-time missionaries.

1997 • Bo

A meetinghouse was looted and burned by rebel forces.

December 2000 • Freetown

Members of the Freetown Sierra Leone District conducted a service project for victims of war atrocities.

September–October 2003 • Sierra Leone

Relief Society members gathered for the first district women’s conferences held in Freetown and Bo.

October 13, 2004 • Bo

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the first Church-built meetinghouse in Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone: Temple Trip

May 2, 2006 • Accra, Ghana

The first group of Sierra Leonean Saints to receive temple ordinances arrived at the Accra Ghana Temple.

July 1, 2007 • Sierra Leone

The Sierra Leone Freetown Mission was organized and reported nearly 500 baptisms by the end of the year.

October 27, 2007 • Sierra Leone

Saints in Sierra Leone participated in the Church’s first Annual All-Africa Mormon Helping Hands Day.

January 2008 • Freetown

The Sierra Leone Freetown District launched a literacy program.

September 2008 • Bo

The Sierra Leone Bo District held a career workshop.

November 25, 2012 • Kenema, Sierra Leone

The Kenema Sierra Leone District was organized, with Jonathan Cobinah as president.

December 2, 2012 • Freetown

The Freetown Sierra Leone Stake was organized, with Patrick Swarray Jr. as president. It was the 3,000th stake of the Church to be organized worldwide. Mohammed S. Kamara became Sierra Leone’s first ordained patriarch.

August 2014 • Sierra Leone

Full-time missionaries were withdrawn from the country in response to an outbreak of the Ebola virus. Missionary work continued through branch missionaries, and the Church distributed aid to thousands of families throughout the crisis.

2015 • Sierra Leone

Church membership in the country surpassed 16,000.

August 2017 • Freetown

Church members helped distribute aid from LDS Charities to those affected by flash floods and a large mudslide.

November 12, 2017 • Bo

The first stakes in Bo were organized. Peter B. Kpaka was called to preside over the Bo Sierra Leone West Stake, and Victor K. Hindowa was called to preside over the Bo Sierra Leone North Stake.

2017 • Sierra Leone

In response to a request from the government of Sierra Leone, the Church began a project to digitize vital records across the country.