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Church sustains 2 new Area Seventies in leadership meeting ahead of general conference

The Church Office Building of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is pictured in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Church Office Building of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is pictured in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020. Two new Area Seventies were called during a leadership meeting Thursday.
Steve Griffin, Deseret News

Two new Area Seventies were sustained at a leadership meeting on Temple Square Thursday, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Friday in a news release.

Elder Charden Ndinga, 41, of Pointe-Noire, Republic of the Congo, was called to serve in the Third Quorum of the Seventy, which includes the church’s Africa Central, South and West Areas, replacing Elder Gaëtan Kelounou.

“Elder Ndinga is the CEO and Founder of AZ Trading & Services SARL. He was serving as president of the church’s Pointe-Noire Republic of the Congo Stake prior to this call. He and his wife, Sandrine Djemelaki, have four children.”

Elder Pedro E. Hernández, 51, of Punto Fijo, Venezuela, was called to serve in the Ninth Quorum of the Seventy, which includes the church’s South American Northwest and South Areas, replacing Elder Guillermo I. Guardia.

“Elder Hernández is a physician and was serving as a stake high councilor prior to this call. He and his wife, Magdalena, are parents of two children.”

Thursday’s leadership meeting was attended in person or virtually by about 300 General Authorities, General Officers and Area Seventies of the church.

Area Seventies are special witnesses of Jesus Christ to the geographic areas in which they reside. They serve under the direction of the Presidency of the Seventy.

The news comes on the eve of the church’s 191st Semiannual General Conference and only a few months after 66 Area Seventies were released on Aug. 1.

For the first time last April, 77 new Area Seventies were sustained at the start of the leadership session of general conference instead of during a general session.