News Release

Groundbreaking Announced for First Temple in Kenya

Kenya temple construction to commence

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced a groundbreaking date for the Nairobi Kenya Temple which was announced in April 2020 by Church President Russell M. Nelson.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Nairobi Kenya Temple will be held on Saturday, September 11, 2021. Elder Joseph W. Sitati, Africa Central Area president, will preside at the event. The location will be announced later.

Attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony will be by invitation only.

Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints differ from meetinghouses or chapels where members meet for Sunday worship services. Each temple is considered a “house of the Lord,” where Jesus Christ’s teachings are reaffirmed through baptism and other ordinances that unite families for eternity. In the temple, Church members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to follow Jesus Christ and serve their fellow man.

Kenya is home to more than 14,000 Latter-day Saints. The first African Latter-day Saints in Kenya were baptized in 1979. The first two missionaries, Elder Farrell McGhie and his wife, Sister Blanch McGhie, arrived in 1980, and in 1981 two branches (small congregations) were created in Nairobi and Kiboko. The Church received official recognition in 1991, and that same year missionary headquarters were established in Nairobi. The first Latter-day Saint stake (a collection of congregations) was created in 2001.

On a visit to Kenya in 2018, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, an Apostle of the Church said to the members, “I think you've prayed a temple here. The announcement has been made and the work is yet to be done, but I'm sure it was your faith and your devotion that the Lord would smile on you.”

Elder Holland encouraged Church members in the region to gather their family history in anticipation of the new temple. “It will be a while before it's up, but plan to attend when you can; plan to make that a highlight of your life as often as circumstances and finances and transportation will allow. Nothing will bless you more.”

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