News Release

New Mormon Congregations Formed in Isumo, Papua New Guinea

Coconut palm trees dot the surroundings of the newly established local meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Papua New Guinean village of Isumo. 

The village is situated at the delta of the country’s biggest river, the Fly, in Papua New Guinea’s Western Province.

The Isumo Papua New Guinea District was organised on 6 March 2016 by Church leaders Elder Jeffrey D. Cummings of the Seventy and President Voi R. Taeoalii, President of the Papua New Guinea Port Moresby Mission.

The new district was created out of the Isumo congregation which was under the Daru Stake. Brother Kaiki Kintstone Bau, formerly bishop of the Isumo congregation, was called to be the president of the new district. 

To get to Isumo from Port Moresby, one must first fly to Daru (a one hour flight to the west) and then board a small boat for at least two hours across the open ocean.

People living in this area are largely dependent on fishing and catching crab as well as subsistence farming for their living. 

In recent years the membership of the Church in the area has been burgeoning. There are now some 800 Latter-day Saints spread across numerous islands in the delta and on the mainland.

The people who inhabit the islands in the delta and surrounding areas are part of the Wabada language and many are related.

Under this new district, three new branches have been organized in Isumo, Gesawa and Sagero. 

Missionaries and staff of the Church's PNG Service Centre also attended the conference and provided training to the newly called leaders.  


Elder and Sister Moyers, senior missionaries serving in Papua New Guinea, said  “Wow! From the moment we arrived we could feel that the members of Isumo had prepared and awaited this historical day.

"As we arrived they came to meet us, they ran to our boat and pulled it 100 metres in the mud to the shore.” 

“The members were lined up singing ‘How Great Thou Art,’ hoping they with their children would get to shake Elder Cummings' hand, a servant sent by the Lord. You could feel the love in their eyes and their anticipation of this special visit.” 

On Sunday the congregation was large and everyone wanted to be there with their families. So, they removed the benches allowing more to squeeze in by sitting on the floor. Approximately 400 Latter-day Saints were present to witness the organization of the new district. 

President Taeoallii read the names of the leaders in this newly organized district and all hands raised high to sustain each name as it was said. With big smiles, their faces were filled with joy while their heads nodded yes, this is good. 

Elder Cummings taught that the priesthood would be an umbrella of protection for this people. 

He then pronounced a blessing on Isumo's district, their leaders and their families.

He said,” The Lord is pleased with this. May all His children be as prepared to welcome their Saviour when He returns.” 

There are 23,000 Latter-day Saints in Papua New Guinea who worship in more than 70 congregations.



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