The Republic of Suriname, previously known as Dutch Guiana, is located on the north coast of South America. Its population consists predominantly of descendants of Africans, East Indians, and Indonesians, with a small Native American population. John and Beverly Limburg began proselyting there in October 1988. The first baptisms took place on Easter Sunday in 1989. On 24 February 1990 Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated Suriname for preaching the gospel. In 1991 the first local leaders were called and a branch organized. Elder Paul Levie served as president of the branch, and Selma Armaketo as the first Relief Society president. The branch has continued to grow with some additional activity in rural areas of the country. In 1997 a missionary couple and eight elders served in Suriname. At the beginning of the year 2000, Suriname had 454 members organized into one branch.
[Year-end 2005: Est. population, 438,000; Members, 627; Districts, 1; Branches, 2; Percent LDS, .13, or one in 750; North America Southeast Area; West Indies Mission; Source: 2007 Church Almanac.]
1999-2000 Church Almanac. Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1998.
MARK L. STAKER
From Arnold K. Garr, Donald Q. Cannon, and Richard O. Cowan, eds., Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2000), 1202. Used with the permission of the Deseret Book Company. Copies prohibited by law.