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Facts and Statistics

Suriname

1,390

Total Church Membership

6

Congregations

1

Family History Centers

Suriname

The Jay and Shirley Bills family lived in Suriname from 1969 to 1972 and held their own Church services. Their daughter Lisa Bills was baptized at age 8 in August 1967 in a river outside Paramaribo, the first known baptism in the country.

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Former Netherlands Amsterdam Mission President John Limburg and his wife, Beverly, were called to begin missionary work in Suriname. The Limburgs arrived in Paramaribo in October 1988. By the beginning of 1989, approximately 16 people were attending services. On Easter Sunday, March 26, 1989, August Marengo and two sisters, Eleni and Maudi Treonosimitoe, became the first converts baptized.

A month later Iwan Nathaniel and Philly Denswel were baptized. Denswel’s extended family lived in Lelydorp, which led the Limburgs to begin holding worship services there in December 1989. Membership  had increased in Paramaribo so that in November 1989 a branch (a small congregation) was formally organized. By 1990, attendance at the branch averaged about 100 people.

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve (the second highest governing body of the Church) visited in February 1990. Four men saw in the newspaper an announcement of Elder Ballard’s coming to Suriname and attended the meeting. All four joined the Church, including Stanley Cooman, who became the first native branch president. In 1990, don and Lorna Rapier received copies of pre-recorded radio broadcasts about gospel principles from missionaries in Holland and arranged for broadcasts on a local Dutch-speaking radio program. Irena Manakavera heard one of the broadcasts and was later baptized. She was influential in bringing 28 people into the Church, including several members from a local Carib Indian tribe.

In 2001, there were 495 members in Suriname. The Paramaribo chapel was dedicated in July 2001 and, due to membership growth, the Paramaribo Branch was divided in September 2002 to form the Wanica Branch.

 

For Journalist Use Only

Rafael G. Gutiérrez
Caribbean Area

Office: (809) 487-0120, Ext. 2233

Fax: (809) 533-2340

E-mail

 

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