News Release

Miracle in Mangu, 104 Baptized in Nigerian City

Desire for Local Branch Fuels "Vehement" Missionary Effort

New members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from Mangu, Nigeria2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Brother Simon Panan Mwanchi desired to meet with his fellow members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and to be sealed to his family for eternity.   However, not having a congregation near his home made it difficult to attend church and recognize those blessings.  In early 2023 things would change.  Through the inspired leadership of a mission president, and the “vehement” efforts of Brother Simon to share the gospel with his family, friends, and neighbors, missionaries were brought to his hometown.  This resulted in the baptism of 104 individuals from Brother Simon’s hometown of Mangu, Plateau State, Nigeria into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  

President Mathias N. Niambe of the Lagos Nigeria Mission was inspired to work with his full-time missionaries to establish Church units in some of the more remote areas of Nigeria, specifically in the Jos District, Plateau State.  One of the areas that he identified was Mangu.  This was certainly an answer to the prayers of Brother Simon and the other members in Mangu. They were members of the Bukuru Ward of the Jos District, but the church building was nearly 2 hours’ drive away, and the members were without vehicles. Attending church was nearly impossible for these families yet they desired the blessings of the gospel.  They believed that missionaries in their area would find individuals desirous of baptism. With enough members in their area, they could have their own branch of the Church established.

President Niambe travelled to Mangu to meet with Brother Simon and the other members in Mangu and promised them that the Lord had not forgotten them. He committed to providing them with missionaries and challenged them to prepare the way for the missionaries by sharing the gospel with their families, friends, and neighbors.  He then met with local municipal and tribal leaders and was warmly received as he shared the Church’s desire to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ in their town.

In January 2023, 6 Missionaries from the Jos District, Lagos Nigeria Mission, with the assistance of President Domkat Bess, 1st Counselor in the Jos District Presidency, arrived in Mangu to meet with the members and to teach all those who were interested in the gospel.  What they found astounded them.  Dozens of individuals had been prepared to be taught by Brother Simon and the other local members.  Over the course of the next 2 months, the missionaries returned to Mangu often and the number of people being taught continued to grow.  The missionaries met with larger and larger groups to accommodate all those who wanted to learn more.  By March many of the investigators from Mangu had been taught the gospel and had accepted the invitation to be baptized.

On March15, 2023, 43 individuals from Mangu arrived at the Jos District Center after a 2-hour drive in rented vehicles.  Today was their baptism day.  This was an answer to prayers…from Brother Simon, the local members in Mangu, the missionaries in the Jos District, and the new members and their families.  President Joseph Edouk of the Jos District presided over the baptism ceremony.

“This service was more than just baptismal services,” said Joseph Samson Garba, 2nd Counsellor in the Jos District Presidency.  “It was a day for rekindling faith, a day to remember covenants, and a day to rejoice as family in the Lord’s kingdom. God truly sees and blesses all of his children.”

The 43 individuals who were baptized were part of a much larger group. There were additional investigators who had been taught and had accepted the invitation to be baptized, but who could not attend because the service was held on a weekday, and they had work and school commitments. And there were others who were still waiting to be taught.

After the baptism in March, President Niambe arranged for an outdoor meeting place in Mangu for the newly baptized members.  On the evening of April 1, 2023, the missionaries held a fireside to teach the gospel and identify individuals interested in investigating the Church further.  The fireside was attended by 127 people, and many expressed an interest in learning more.

“We taught the interested persons, they accepted the gospel, and we extended a baptismal date to them,” said Elder Joseph Success Menjor.  There were many additional investigators who had committed themselves to living the Gospel of Jesus Christ and accepting baptism in His church.

On April 10, 2023, President Niambe presided over the baptism of 33 more new members from Mangu. On April 30th an additional 28 individuals entered the waters of baptism. 

The efforts of Brother Simon, and the dedicated missionaries of the Nigeria Lagos Mission resulted in the baptism of 104 individuals.  These new members had been taught the gospel, recognized the truth of what they had been taught, and had made covenants that would bless them throughout their lives.  Elder Menjor noted that,” with the help and support of our Mission President and his companion, the District President and his counsellors, and Brother Simon, who worked vehemently with his family and friends, we have had 104 convert baptisms in Mangu.”  All of this in a period of 4 months.

They are now holding Sacrament meeting in Mangu with support from priesthood leadership in Jos. Their hopes and prayers for a new branch in Mangu will soon be realized.

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