The First Presidency has announced the Church’s area leadership assignments for 2020–2021, effective August 1. The changes affect the Presidency of the Seventy and area presidencies. 

Changes include a third area in Africa, which was announced in the summer of last year. The Africa Southeast Area was divided into the Africa South and new Africa Central areas. Also last year, Nairobi, Kenya, was designated as headquarters for the new Africa Central Area.

The Africa Central Area will include Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Seychelles, and São Tomé and Príncipe. 

A map of Africa shows the Church’s four areas (when were proposed)

The Church has more than 100,000 Latter-day Saints in the new area and missionaries in half of the aforementioned nations. 

As for the continent, Africa is home to three currently designated Church areas—Africa Southeast, Africa West, and Middle East/Africa North—with Latter-day Saint membership totaling more than 621,000 in some 2,150 congregations.

The division and area creation in Africa brings the total number of Church areas to 22—six that span the United States and Canada, with 16 more outside those two countries.

Area presidencies direct the work of the Church in specific geographic locations. The presidencies for the North America and Utah areas are administered in Salt Lake City as is the presidency for the Middle East/Africa North Area.

The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles acts under the direction of the First Presidency “to build up the church, and regulate all the affairs of the same in all nations. … 

“The Seventy are to act in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the Twelve … in building up the church and regulating all the affairs of the same in all nations” (Doctrine and Covenants 107:33–34).

(For more details about the new Area Presidencies read the article on the Church News)

Quorums of the Seventy

THERE ARE CURRENTLY EIGHT QUORUMS of the Seventy. Members of Quorums of the Seventy are often referred to simply as “Seventies.” Seventies are called to serve as special witnesses of Christ, proclaim the gospel, and build up the Church throughout the world. They work under the direction of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

General Authority Seventies serve in the Presidency of the Seventy, in Area Presidencies, and in other headquarters administrative functions. Under the direction of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, they travel frequently to meet with and teach Church leaders, missionaries, and members of the Church in local congregations.

General Authority Seventies have authority to serve anywhere in the world. Area Seventies’ authority is generally limited to the area where they serve.

The Presidency of the Seventy is drawn from the General Authority Seventies and presides over all quorums of the Seventy.


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