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Country information: Dominican Republic

Jan. 1, 2009: Est. population, 9,650,000; Members, 110,036; Stakes, 19; Wards, 117; Branches, 80; Missions, 3; Districts, 8; Temples, 1; percent LDS, 1.1, or one in 88; Caribbean Area.

On the island of Hispaniola, Dominican Republic is about the size of Vermont and New Hampshire combined, but has nearly five times their combined populations. The Dominican Republic is a representative democracy. Its population speaks Spanish and is mostly Roman Catholic.

In the 1960s and 1970s, a few Latter-day Saint families from the United States came to the country on business and held their own Church services. In 1978, the Amparo and Rappleye families moved from the United States and began holding Church services under the direction of the Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission. Eddie and Mercedes Amparo were native Dominicans baptized in the United States. They returned to their homeland in 1978. The Amparos soon met another Latter-day Saint family, John and Nancy Rappleye. John Rappleye befriended, Rodolfo Bodden, who was also a boyhood friend of Eddie Amparo. The Bodden family was baptized in August 1978, the first to join the Church on Dominican Republic soil.

Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission President Richard L. Millett sent missionaries in 1978, including John and Ada Davis. On 7 December 1978, Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Seventy visited and blessed the land. The first branch was organized 12 September 1978 in Santo Domingo. The Church grew rapidly and on 1 January 1981, the Dominican Republic Santo Domingo Mission was organized with John A. Davis as president. At that time, membership was 2,500.

Another highlight came two months later on 8-9 March 1981 when President Spencer W. Kimball addressed the Saints, including another late night discourse to Saints from Puerto Plata whose bus had broken down causing them to arrive after the meeting concluded.

Membership increases have been rapid in the country. In 1979, 354 people were baptized. By 1986, membership reached 11,000. The first stake was created in Santo Domingo on 23 March 1986. The following year, the second mission was organized in Santiago when membership was about 13,000. A third mission was created on 1 July 1991 with the division of the Santo Domingo mission. A missionary training center for the Caribbean was dedicated in Santo Domingo on 13 April 1998. Stakes have also grown quickly with the second stake organized 16 October 1988, and a third on 5 November 1989.

Membership in 1990 was 31,000. The Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple was dedicated 17 September 2000 by President Gordon B. Hinckley. In 2002, membership reached 84,754. By 2004, 12 stakes and 11 districts covered the country.

Sources: William B. Smart, "2 Families Bring gospel to a Nation," Church News, 11 July 1981; Jason Swensen, "Dominican Republic: Land of Believers," Church News; 13 January 2001; "Mission Created in Dominican Republic," Church News, 6 December 1980; Gerry Avant, "History is Made: Prophet Visits Caribbean Islands, Church News, 21 March 1981; "Dominican Growth: From Zero to Thousands Since 1978," Ensign, January 1987; Spencer W. Kimball, "Rendering Service to Others," Ensign, May 1981; Elizabeth and Jed VanDenBerghe, "Dominican Republic: A Second Decade for Dominican Saints," Ensign, October 1990; "Ground Broken for Caribbean's First Temple," 24 August 1996, Church News; Jason Swensen, "Caribbean's First Temple Prompts Rejoicing," Church News, 23 September 2000.

Stakes — 19

(Listed alphabetically as of Oct. 1, 2009.)

No. / Name / Organized / First President

Caribbean Area

2700 / La Romana Dominican Republic / 11 Dec 2005 / Tomas Familia Munoz

2480 / La Vega Dominican Republic / 21 Jun 1998 / Juan E. Almonte

2672 / Los Alcarrizos Dominican Republic / 13 March 2005 / Wilson Sigfrido Segura

2670 / Puerto Plata Dominican Republic / 13 Feb 2005 / Edward Nixon Reynoso Crespo

2360 / San Cristobal / 25 May 1997 / Juan Paciano Felipe

Dominican Republic

1800 / San Francisco de Macoris / 26 May 1991 / Eric Edison Olivero P.

Dominican Republic

2722 / Santiago Dominican Republic East / 21 May 2006 / Jorge S. Dominguez

2009 / Santiago Dominican Republic North / 8 Jan 1995 / Roberto Antonio Rodriguez

1786 / *Santiago Dominican Republic South / 8 Jan 1995

Santiago Dominican Republic / 17 Feb 1991 / Ramon Matias Lantigua

1593 / Santo Domingo Dominican Republic 23 Mar 1986 Jose Delio Ceveno

2799 / Santo Domingo Dominican Republic

Hainamosa / 13 Apr 2008 / Florentino Alcantara

1906 / Santo Domingo Dominican Republic / 18 Oct 1992 / Felix Sequi-Martinez

Independencia

2800 / Santo Domingo Dominican Republic 13 Apr 2008 / Victor de la Cruz

Las Americas

1593 / Santo Domingo Dominican Republic / 2 Nov 2003 / Ruddy Emilio Monegro Gomez

Las Caboas

2806b / Santo Domingo Dominican Republic

Los Restauradores / 31 Aug 2008 / Paulino Agame Martinez

1735a / *Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Oriental / 2 Feb 1992

*Oriental Dominican Republic 29 Oct 1991

*Santo Domingo

Dominican Republic Oriental 24 Sep 1991

Santo Domingo / 5 Nov 1989 / Pedro Arturo Abreu C.

Dominican Republic East

1844 Santo Domingo Dominican 2 Feb 1992 Jose Andres Taveras Arias

Republic Ozama

1701 / *Santo Domingo Dominican Republic

San Geronimo / 18 Oct 1992

San Geronimo

Dominican Republic / 16 Oct 1988 / Victor Alejandro Navarro M.

2182 / Santo Domingo / 17 Mar 1996 / Domingo Antonio Aybar A.

Dominican Republic Villa Mella

Missions — 3

(As of Oct. 1, 2009; shown with historical number.)

(196) DOMINICAN?REPUBLIC SANTIAGO

Av. Estrella Sadhala

Plaza Alejo 2-B

Santiago, Domincan Republic

(259) DOMINICAN REPUBLIC SANTO DOMINGO EAST

Avenida Bolivar #45 (con Dr. Delgado)

Gazcue

Santiago, Dominican Republic

(188a) D.R. SANTO DOMINGO WEST MISSION

C/Hatey #73

Los Caciazgos

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

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