News Release

Called to Serve: Mission Presidents in Ghana

Four mission presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are training and supervising hundreds of missionaries assigned to specific geographic areas throughout Ghana. These men and their spouses leave homes, careers or retirement, and even family to serve without pay for three consecutive years in one of the Church’s 405 worldwide missions.

Mission presidents and their spouses share a variety of responsibilities in their service. On a day-to-day basis the supervising couples give direction and instruction to missionaries assigned to their mission. They also oversee the physical and emotional well-being of each missionary, as well as his or her spiritual development.

Mission presidents’ leadership and guidance creates a pattern for missionaries to follow during their missions as well as for the rest of their lives. They help them learn how to become teachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and serve their fellowmen, which also prepares them to become successful future husbands and wives, parents, and faithful, effective members and leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a counselor in the Church’s First Presidency, said a mission president can make a significant impact in the lives of their missionaries.

“One of the great gifts you will give your missionaries, a gift that will stay with them for the rest of their lives, is to teach them how to be close to the Spirit,” he said at the 2009 training seminar for mission presidents and their wives. “Through the Spirit, they become self-motivated and self-directed, and they find joy and satisfaction in continual growth.”

The Church in Ghana has seen remarkable growth since the first missionaries arrived in 1978. The Church membership in Ghana is now more than 53,000, with 162 congregations meeting throughout the country. As the Church grows in Ghana, more missionaries and mission presidents are called to serve.

Norman C. Hill, president of the Ghana Accra West Mission, cited a Pew Foundation survey which reported that Ghana is the most religious country in the world with more than 85 percent affirming they believed in God, attended a worship service regularly and encouraged others to do the same thing.

“We are pleased to serve among such a faith-based people,” President Hill said. “Our goal is to help improve the daily lives of others as much as we can as well as share a deeper, richer belief in God and His eternal plan for all humankind than most people consider possible.”


Ghana Accra Mission

Daniel K. Judd and Kaye Seegmiller Judd are from Orem, Utah, United States. They have four children.

Dan and Kaye Judd

President Judd served in various Church assignments such as stake president (a stake is a group of Latter-day Saint congregations, similar to a diocese), bishop and the first counselor in the General Sunday School presidency of the Church. He also taught ancient scripture at Church-operated Brigham Young University, the largest religious university and third-largest private university in the United States. Sister Judd is a former leader of women and young women in her congregation and taught religion classes for adults.

“Ghana is a chosen land that I believe will yet have much to do with the salvation of souls in other lands,” President Judd said. “It is one of the great blessings of our lives to be serving in this nation among these wonderful people and outstanding missionaries.”

“Being a missionary in Ghana has had an impact on our lives,” Sister Judd added. “Ghanaians are happy, helpful, and God-fearing people. It is rare to have someone say ‘no’ to an invitation to learn more about the gospel. I feel Ghanaians are spiritually sensitive; they hear truth and recognize it. It is a privilege to watch people embrace the restored doctrines of the gospel.

“Many people have dreams about the Book of Mormon, and they know it is scripture, even another testament of Jesus Christ. It’s always a thrill to see people follow the example of the Savior and enter the waters of baptism.”

Ghana Accra West Mission

Norman C. Hill and Raelene B. Hill, are from Klein, Texas, United States. They have five children. President Hill served in the Church as marriage and family relations instructor, counselor in a stake presidency and bishop. His professional career was an international human resources specialist at Exxon Mobil.

President and Sister Hill3

Sister Hill is a former stake public affairs committee member, and a former leader of women and young women in her congregation. The Hills have lived and traveled throughout West Africa for the past 12 years, including previous business trips to Ghana before their retirement.

“Occasionally, someone will ask us to compare Ghana to other countries in the region,” President Hill said. “Of course, we reply that each country is unique and has its own charm and distinctive perspective. Our goal is to learn as much as we can from others while living here in Ghana as well as contribute to the community.”

Ghana Cape Coast Mission

Jeffrey Lynn Shulz and Lynette Pierce Shulz have five children. They come from Hooper, Utah, United States. President Shulz is a former counselor in a stake presidency and bishop. He also served a Church mission in Armenia, Ghana and Australia. He worked as a contractor and land developer at Shron, Inc.

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Sister Shulz is a former leader of women and young women in her congregation and taught gospel doctrine classes. President and Sister Shulz served as missionaries in Ghana eleven years ago.

“When we were recently assigned to return and serve a second time, we couldn’t have been more thrilled!” Sister Shulz said. “We were welcomed with open arms and appreciate the hand of friendship from the people of Ghana. It’s also a great joy to see how much our missionaries grow to love the Ghanaians as well.”

Sister Shulz continued. “These people are so willing to learn more about the Savior and His doctrine. Observing the positive changes the gospel of Jesus Christ makes in their lives is inspiring. We love hearing their conversion stories and seeing the joy that comes to them and their families.”

Ghana Kumasi Mission

Leon Arthur Holmes and Elizabeth Anne Holmes are from Benoni, South Africa. President Holmes’ previous Church assignments include the Church national public affairs director, stake president and bishop. He also worked full-time for the Church as director of temporal affairs in the Africa Southeast Area.


Sister Holmes is a former leader of women, young women and young children in her congregation as well as a Cub Scout leader and seminary teacher (seminary is the Church’s weekday program of religious institution for high-school-age young people).

“My wife and I are delighted to be serving our fellow Africans here in Ghana,” said President Holmes. “We have set up the new Ghana Kumasi Mission and have begun the expansion of the Church into the northern regions of the mission.”

“We also rejoice in the opportunity to direct a force of 124 young missionaries who are the cream of the communities from which they come,” he added. “Their example of righteous service to God is unique and an absolute inspiration to us.”

Currently, more than 80,000 missionaries are serving missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Most are young people under the age of 25. The missionary effort is based on the New Testament pattern of missionaries serving in pairs, teaching the gospel and baptizing believers in the name of Jesus Christ. Like apostles of old, they follow Jesus Christ’s admonition, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations….” (Matthew 28:19)

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