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Monday, April 22, 2019

List of the Most Likely Changes Which May Be Made in Area Leadership for 2019

Hello again, everyone! Within the last 7 hours or so, I have taken time to look at the 2018 Area Leadership assignments and the members of each of the current area presidencies. Based on what my research on that subject showed, I have, as promised previously, compiled a list of the most likely changes which may be made to area leadership when the 2019 assignments in that respect are announced.

As I previously mentioned, until last year, it had been customary for the Church to release a list of those changes either in late April or at any point during May. Last year, those new assignments were released on the Newsroom website the Thursday after General Conference concluded. Since that did not happen this year, I am thinking that was a one-time thing, and that we will likely hear about the 2019 Area Leadership assignments within the next 1-4 weeks, but perhaps earlier than that if all goes well.

Having taken time to analyze what I know about the current area presidency members serving in various parts of the world, I have compiled a list of changes which, based on that research and analysis, seem likely to be announced whenever that information is released. I include a copy of that research below. In order to not disturb the flow of that data and the results of my research on that subject, I will end here and now as I always do:

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post5 at any time, as long as such comments are made in accordance with the established guidelines. Thank you for the privilege of your time. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of newly-added content, pleaxe feel free to subscribe. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.


List of the Most Likely Changes Which May Be Made in Area Leadership for 2019

New area—Africa Central: In mid-January, in a post on the Church Growth Blog which analyzed the announcement that 4 new missions would be created, with 12 current ones to be consolidated in July, Matthew Martinich noted that, given the growth trends of the Church throughout theI African continent, the Church could organize an Africa Central Area, which would likely be headquartered in Kinshasa and would include the following 9 nations: Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, and Sao Tome and Pricipe, although other nations could likely be included in that area if the Church deems it necessary.. If such an area is created, it may be based in Kinshasa DR Congo, and a 3-man area presidency would be needed to preside over it. That would also likely result in a realignment of the Africa Southeast and Africa West Areas.

Other potential new areas in Africa: If the Church wanted to ease the administrative burden on the area presidency members serving the African continent, in addition to the Africa Central Area, the Africa Southeast Area could be split further into the Africa East and Africa South
Areas.

New areas elsewhere: In 1995, the Church had several separate areas that have since been merged. A few examples: at that time, Idaho was not its’ own separate area, Mexico had two (North and South), the South American continent was divided between 3 areas (Brazil, South America North, and South America South), Europe had 3 areas (Europe East, Europe North, and Europe West), and there was a Philippines/Micronesia Area. Over the years, some areas have been consolidated (with the Chile Area being consolidated into the South America South Area). So in some areas where more significant growth is occurring, it may make sense to create or recreate new or previously-consolidated areas.

Potential Area Consolidations: Elsewhere in prior posts on the Church Growth Blog, Matt mentioned that the Europe East Area could potentially be consolidated into the Europe Area, and that the Asia North Area could potentially be consolidated into the Asia Area due to some issues the Europe East and Asia North Areas are having in terms of stagnating growth, If the Asia and Asia North and Europe and Europe East Areas were to be consolidated, the location of the area offices for what would then be one Asia Area and one Europe Area might be changed.

Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis released as President of the Brazil Area.
Note: Elder Aidukaitis has served in this assignment since 2017, but has served in this area presidency since 2014. As he has been away from headquarters for 5 years straight, it would make sense if he was released from area service and reassigned to Church headquarters. If he is released, it seems likely that one of his two current counselors (Elders W. Mark Bassett or Adilson de Paula Parrella) would succeed him in that assignment.

Elder Jose L. Alonso released as First Counselor in the Caribbean Area Presidency.
Note: Elder Alonso has been away from Church headquarters since 2014, serving in the Central America Area Presidency for 3 years, and having served in the Caribbean Area Presidency since 2017. It would not surprise me if he and the current area president, Elder Gonzalez (as I will explain more fully below) were released and reassigned to Church headquarters, with Elder Eduardo Gavarret perhaps called as the new area president.

Elder Wilford W. Andersen released as President of the Idaho/North America Central Area and as Junior Administrator of the Middle East/Africa North Area.
Note: Elder Andersen will turn 70 in mid-August, and will thus likely be granted emeritus status. He could be replaced in the former assignment by either of his counselors (Elders S. Gifford Nielsen or Brian K. Taylor), and either of those two could also remain in the newly-reorganized area presidency. In the second assignment, he could potentially be replaced by Elder Paul B. Pieper, the current First Counselor in the North America Southeast Area, who has previously had oversight for that area.

Elder Claudio R. M. Costa released as President of the North America Southeast Area.
Note: Elder Costa, who is the longest-serving current General Authority Seventy, marked his 70th birthday one month ago (in late March). His release will make Elder Lynn G. Robbins the new longest-serving current General Authority Seventy, and the most-senior General Authority Seventies will be those originally called during the prophetic administration of President Gordon B. Hinckley. Elder Costa could be replaced as President of the North America Southeast Area by either of his counselors (Elders Shayne M. Bowen or Vern P. Stanfill), and either of those two could also remain in the newly-reorganized area presidency.

Elder LeGrand R. Curtis released as First Counselor in the Utah Area Presidency.
Note: On April 10, 2019, the First Presidency announced that Elder Curtis will be serving as the new Church Historian and Recorder, effective August 1, 2019. Because that assignment is established by revelation, sustained by the Church membership, and involves full-time focus, that in turn will necessitate his release from that area assignment. As a result of this change, it is likely that Elder Randy D. Funk, currently Second Counselor in that area presidency, may be called to succeed him, with a new Second Counselor then called.

Elder Walter F. Gonzalez released as President of the Caribbean Area.
Note: Elder Gonzalez has served as president of this area since 2016, and prior to that was president of the South America South Area from early January 2013-2016. Since he has spent more than 6 years away from Church headquarters, it would make sense if he returned back to Church headquarters to fill other assignments. Given what I noted above about his current First Counselor, Elder Jose L. Alonso, Elder Eduardo Gavarret, the current Second Counselor in this area presidency, could be called as the new president with two new counselors.

Elder O. Vincent Haleck released as Pacific Area President
Note: Elder Haleck turned 70 in mid-January of this year, and will thus likely be released and granted emeritus status in October. He could be succeeded as president of this area by either of his counselors (Elders Ian S. Ardern or K. Brett Nattress). Of the two, it would make sense if Elder Ardern became the new president, since his niece is the Prime Minister of New Zealand and Elder Ardern would thus be in a prime position to effect quick action on the Auckland New Zealand Temple. If Elder Ardern is assigned as the new area president, I could see Elder Nattress being called as the new First Counselor in the area presidency.

Elder Paul V. Johnson released as Europe Area President
Note: On April 10, 2019, the First Presidency announced that Elder Johnson would be succeeding Elder Kim B. Clark as Commissioner of Church Education. Since that is a full-time assignment at Church headquarters, he will be released from this assignment. I could see either of his counselors (Elders Gary B. Sabin or Massimo De Feo) being called as the new area president.)

Elder Arnulfo Valenzuela released as Mexico Area President
Note: Elder Valenzuela was called as a General Authority Seventy in April 2013, and has served in the Mexico Area Presidency since August of that same year, and was called as area president last year. While the Church could have him serve another year or two as the area president, if he is called back to Church headquarters, one of his two counselors (Elders Rafael E. Pino and John C. Pingree Jr.) could then be called as the new president of this area.

Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita released as First Counselor in the Asia North Area Presidency.
Note: Elder Yamashita has served in this area presidency since 2015. Since that was 4 years ago, I could see the First Presidency reassigning him to Church headquarters. If that happens, Elder Takashi Wada, the current Second Counselor in that area presidency, could succeed him as First Counselor, with a new Second Counselor called.

Elder Alexey V. Samaykin (Area Seventy) released as Second Counselor in the Europe East Area Presidency.
Note: Elder Samaykin has served as an area seventy since April 2014, and may thus be released during the October 2019 General Conference. Since he has served as a counselor in this area presidency for the last 3 years at minimum (which is also rare for an area seventy), it would make sense if a change was made here.