News Release

Church Launches Papua New Guinea Mormon Newsroom Website

"News media, opinion leaders and members of the public now have a place to go online for information and stories about Papua New Guinean Mormons," Dr. Fa McCarthy, spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, announced today. 

This site provides news releases, background material, commentary, Church statements, multimedia and other elements for use by the news media, bloggers and others.

Contact information for Church media representatives can be found here.

There are currently 25,000 members of the Church worshipping in 73 congregations throughout Papua New Guinea. Membership has increased by nearly 30% over the last five years.

Early HIstory of Church in Papua New Guinea

Church members visited Papua New Guinea long before the first missionaries arrived in 1980. The Port Moresby Branch (a small congregation) was organized 10 October 1979, with Athol Pike as branch president. Attending were mostly expatriates of Australia. Elder L. Douglas and Sister Eva Johnson of the Australia Brisbane Mission arrived 15 August 1980. On 19 October 1980, Maria Biai, Komara Nana, Sarah Nana, and Rhoda Baka were baptized. Some 63 investigators attended services the following Sunday.

Elder Douglas Campbell and his wife Nita succeeded the Johnsons, and during their stay, property was obtained for a mission home and a Church building. Membership at that time had grown to 280. By October 1982, membership had reached 475 in three branches. Many of those converted had heard of the Church by word of mouth and contacted the missionaries to learn more.

By 1983, five branches had been organized under the direction of mission president Dennis D. Flake. A Church building was completed in 1984. Also that year, two Papuans, Elders George Mauhi and Robert Goisisi, were called as full-time missionaries.

Despite opposition, membership continued to increase. By March 1987, there were 1,450 members in nine branches. As the Church grew, more and more contacts were made in remote villages where many were interested in learning about the gospel. For example, residents of the Daru Village asked for missionaries, who arrived in July 1991. Just three months later, the Daru Branch had 160 members. During this short time, two full-time missionaries, Elders Brian Mott of Washington and Benjamin Lish of Ohio, were involved in the conversion of approximately 100 of the new branch members.

District President Vaiba Rome, one of the early converts, led some 138 Papuans to the Sydney Australia Temple in late 1991.

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