CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
Jan. 1, 2012: Est. population, 4,511,000; Members, 406; Branches, 1; Percent LDS, .009, or one in 11,478; Africa Southeast Area; Ghana Cape Coast Mission.
The Central African Republic, previously known asUbangi-Shari, became independent from France on 13Au^st1960. It is a landlocked country bordered by Cameroon, Chad, Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Republic of Congo. French istheofficial language with Arabic andlocal dialects also spoken. Fifty percent ofthepeople areChristian, while 50 percentfollow Muslim, and tribalbeliefs.
Thefirstknown Church member living inCentral African Republic wasCarol Forrest oftheU.S. Peace Corps. Areturned missionary, shearrived inJune 1991. She shared thegospel with many ofherassociates andinSeptember 1991, was set apartasa district missionary. Elder J. Ballard Washburn oftheSeventy and counselor intheAfrica Area presidency, and Robert L. Mercer, president oftheCameroon Yaounde Mission, visited Forrest andagroup ofinvestigators inSeptember 1992.
ElderWashburnvisitedCentralAfricanRepublicfrom16-21September1992.On19September,20peoplewere baptized, and on20September, two branches were organized. Celestin N'Gakondou was called aspresident oftheBangui 1st Branch, and Gaspard Lapet wascalled to preside overthe Bangui 2nd Branch.
Thefirstfull-time missionaries, Raymond andChristianne Fourtina, from Bordeaux, France, arrived inJanuary 1993. In July ofthatyear, theChurch received legal recognition. The seminaiy program was introduced in1995. The Central African Republic was moved totheIvory Coast Abidjan Mission on1January 2003, and then reorganized aspartoftheGhana Cape Coast Mission on 1 July 2005.
Membership was 118 in 2003.