Brigham Young University

Elder Marion G. Romney organized the first branch of the Church in Venezuela on 2 November 1966, with Carl C. Wilcox as president. Church meetings had been held at the home of Brother Wilcox prior to the branch’s official organization. The branch consisted of 45 members, most of whom were expatriates working in Venezuela.

Soon after the branch’s organization, the first four missionaries were sent to the area from the Costa Rica Mission. Work advanced to the point that the Colombia-Venezuela Mission was created in 1968 and the Venezuela Mission was formed on 1 July 1971, with approximately 1,200 members.

President Gordon B. Hinckley announced plans for a temple in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1995, and in 1998 it was reassigned to be one of the smaller temples. The Church began construction on the temple in January 1999. By the beginning of the year 2000 there were 89,484 members living in 16 stakes and 219 wards and branches throughout Venezuela.

[Year-end 2005: Est. population, 25,375,000; Members, 134,597; Stakes, 24; Wards, 173; Branches, 89; Missions, 4; Districts, 11; Temples, 1; Percent LDS, .5, or one in 197; Source: 2007 Church Almanac.]

SOURCES

Echeverri, Mario G. “Venezuela.” Ensign 7 (February 1977): 30-33.

“Five New Temples Are Announced.” Church News, 11 October 1997. 3.

“From around the World.” Church News, 4 November 1995. 12.

1999-2000 Church Almanac. Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1998. 405-6.

KYLE R. WALKER AND FRANCISCO GERARDO GIMENEZ

From Arnold K. Garr, Donald Q. Cannon, and Richard O. Cowan, eds., Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2000), 1291. Used with the permission of the Deseret Book Company. Copies prohibited by law.