Brigham Young University

The first missionaries to Colombia arrived in May 1966 as part of the Andes Mission. Antonio Vela and Aura Ivars were among the first converts to be baptized. On 1 July 1971, the capital city, Bogota, became the headquarters for a new mission that included the entire nation. Continued growth has brought the formation of four missions and the call of a native Colombian, Julio Davila, as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy (1991-96). Strife within the country required the temporary removal of North American missionaries in 1988. Later they were allowed to return.

Church members faithfully united to provide for the needs of others following two major earthquakes, in Popayan (1983) and Armenia (1999). At the beginning of the year 2000 there were 129,105 members of the Church living in 23 stakes and 309 wards and branches within the country. A significant milestone was met when the Bogota Colombia Temple was dedicated 24 to 26 April 1999.

[Year-end 2005: Est. population, 42,959,000; Members, 149,973; Stakes, 26; Wards, 158; Branches, 109; Missions, 4; Districts, 16; Temples, 1; Percent LDS, .34, or one in 294; Source 2007 Church Almanac.]

SOURCE

1999-2000 Church Almanac. Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1998. 305-6.

CRAIG J. OSTLER

From Arnold K. Garr, Donald Q. Cannon, and Richard O. Cowan, eds., Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2000), 225-26. Used with the permission of the Deseret Book Company. Copies prohibited by law.