The general presidential run-off election in Sierra Leone, held earlier this year on March 7, ended with opposition candidate Julius Maada Bio as the victor. President Bio was sworn into office on Wednesday, April 4, 2018 after officially being declared the winner.
Although President Bio has had a busy schedule since taking office, he made time on May 27 to meet with local Church leaders at his State House Office in Freetown.
Local Church leaders in attendance included Freetown Sierra Leone Mission President Kevin H. Clawson; Kissy Sierra Leone Stake President Idrissa Turay; Albert U. Pessima, bishop of the Mount Aureol Ward; and Mariatu Browne, Sierra Leone public affairs director.
At the meeting, Church leaders presented President Bio with a letter of congratulations and family statue.
According to a Mormon Newsroom article, President Bio thanked the Church for the support they have given to the people of Sierra Leone. The Church has helped provide many necessities to people in Sierra Leone, one of the world's poorest countries, including clean water and eye care services.
The Church has had an official presence in Sierra Leone since 1988 when the first branch was established in Goderich, a suburb of the capital city Freetown.
Despite instances of civil unrest and political corruption over the years, the Church has grown steadily in the area with membership increasing from an initial 14 members in 1988 to well over 5,000 in 2007 when the first mission in the area, the Sierra Leone Freetown Mission, was established.
Today, Church membership in Sierra Leone has reached 19,443 with 67 congregations.
At the conclusion of the meeting, President Clawson prayed for the people of Sierra Leone and for President Bio in his duties as their leader.
For more details on the meeting, read Mormon Newsroom's article here.