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Does Anyone How A Branch Becomes A Ward?


Wants2know

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I'm just curious as I learned today there will be a special Fast in a few weeks that our branch family will expand.  I think this was done in the past before we had a church building and it's talked about quite a bit, that several families moved into our rural area afterwards and we were able to build enough members to have a building.  I understand we are close in numbers to "earn" an addition to our building.  I'm just curious about what this entails?  Is there a magic number of active members in order to get the go ahead on an addition and also change to a ward?  

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I'm just curious as I learned today there will be a special Fast in a few weeks that our branch family will expand.  I think this was done in the past before we had a church building and it's talked about quite a bit, that several families moved into our rural area afterwards and we were able to build enough members to have a building.  I understand we are close in numbers to "earn" an addition to our building.  I'm just curious about what this entails?  Is there a magic number of active members in order to get the go ahead on an addition and also change to a ward?

Size and assuring that tithing and offerings will insure support.
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I always have wondered what would happen if in a ward, the Stake can’t find someone worthy and smart enough to become the Bishop. I think that this is why it is more about priesthood leadership, than about pure numbers within the ward.

 

If that were the case, it wouldn't be a ward, it would be a branch.  And they would probably "import" a capable member from a nearby unit to fulfill the calling (if they didn't just dissolve the branch outright).  Or, if I'm not mistaken, they could have one of the local missionaries fulfill the calling.  

 

Keep in mind the bar can be pretty low when it comes to finding a branch president; sometimes desperation can have a big influence on inspiration.

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I always have wondered what would happen if in a ward, the Stake can’t find someone worthy and smart enough to become the Bishop. I think that this is why it is more about priesthood leadership, than about pure numbers within the ward.

They pull one from outside. Saw this happen in a ward where the police showed up about once a month because of violence at church. The one case where I saw this happen did not end well as the importee abandoned his wife and left the country with the Relief Society President. I hear the ward is better now.

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They pull one from outside. Saw this happen in a ward where the police showed up about once a month because of violence at church. The one case where I saw this happen did not end well as the importee abandoned his wife and left the country with the Relief Society President. I hear the ward is better now.

 

I think I heard about that ward once in a country song.

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If that were the case, it wouldn't be a ward, it would be a branch.  And they would probably "import" a capable member from a nearby unit to fulfill the calling (if they didn't just dissolve the branch outright).  Or, if I'm not mistaken, they could have one of the local missionaries fulfill the calling.  

 

Keep in mind the bar can be pretty low when it comes to finding a branch president; sometimes desperation can have a big influence on inspiration.

 

 

I understand what you're saying here; however, something about the way you have expressed it ("pretty low bar" and "desperation" vs. "inspiration") rubs me the wrong way. I grew up in area full of small branches of the Church with somewhat meager Priesthood numbers; however, I don't recall ever feeling that any one of my Branch Presidents was called as an act of desperation or that the Lord had somehow set a "pretty low bar" for them. They were good men--all of them--who labored with their hands and served with their hearts. They taught me (and many others) the Gospel, and they were diligent in shepherding their little flock.  I will always honor and love them for their service.

 

Well said, Okrahomer. :)

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I understand what you're saying here; however, something about the way you have expressed it ("pretty low bar" and "desperation" vs. "inspiration") rubs me the wrong way. I grew up in area full of small branches of the Church with somewhat meager Priesthood numbers; however, I don't recall ever feeling that any one of my Branch Presidents was called as an act of desperation or that the Lord had somehow set a "pretty low bar" for them. They were good men--all of them--who labored with their hands and served with their hearts. They taught me (and many others) the Gospel, and they were diligent in shepherding their little flock.  I will always honor and love them for their service.

 

My comment was based more on stories I've heard from missionaries who served in Central and South America.  Apparently there is a wide variation in the commitment (and doctrinal knowledge) among Branch Presidents down there.  

 

I served in several branches on my mission in the United States and found the quality of leadership to be exemplary (although one branch did have leadership from outside its boundaries).  

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  • 2 weeks later...

I know it used to be by attendance out on the East Coast. I'm sure there were requirements for an amount of active M.Priesthood holders as well. But recently I've only heard the talk of active priesthood holders and tithepayers thrown around in talks of whether a unit should be changed to a ward, disbanded or anything else. Can't quote official policy but I'm sure there are some variations for rural areas with sparse memberships like on the East (although, for the East, Maine seems to be a little more dense memberwise than the urban areas).

Edited by oats
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I'm not by my own pc so I haven't got exact figures just best recollection;

 

Minimum 14 faithful, active, tithe paying Melchizedek Priesthood holders for a Branch to become a Ward.

A Stake President would also look for anything from 18 months to 3 years of a steady Sacrament attendance of 80+ before applying for Ward status & the commitment to a permanent building from area.

Milford Haven Branch (Wales) recently got their own building as part of a land deal with a developer, despite only averaging in the 40's. The Church had held a large site there for many years.

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Is there a magic number of active members in order to get the go ahead on an addition and also change to a ward? 

 

You need a minimum 15 active full tithe paying Melchizedek priesthood holders.  This number matches the following organizational make up...

 

Bishopric (3)

High Priest Group Leadership (3)

Elders Quorum Presidency (3)

Young Men's Presidency (3)

Ward Mission Leader (1)

Sunday School President and counselor(s) if needed (2-3)

 

...so one can see where it comes from.  One could also think Executive Secretary and Membership Clerk here too.

 

In the USA, there should be 300 members to make a ward. A ratio of one active full tithe paying Melchizedek priesthood holder per 20 ward members is the initial goal.  If a ward has more than 300 members, more than 15 active Melchizedek priesthood holders is expected.  Exceptions and allowances are made on a case by case basis.

Edited by BCSpace
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We used to joke about "twigs" that were being established up in Michigan in the 70's and 80's.

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