The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has broken ground for the Lubumbashi Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Elder Matthew L. Carpenter, a General Authority Seventy who serves as the church’s Africa Central Area president, presided at the groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 20, according to a news release.
“Dear friends, we are truly blessed to be in this land where we can worship God freely,” Elder Carpenter said. “We express our appreciation to the wise government leaders who uphold the standards of religious freedom and seek to create and sustain laws that support the sanctity and importance of the family and faith in God.”
Elder Thierry Mutombo, a General Authority Seventy who serves as first counselor in the Africa Central Area presidency, expressed gratitude to have a second temple in his native country.
“Sister Mutombo and I are so grateful to be here,” he said in a news release. “This is our homeland. We are so grateful to witness God’s love for the people. This temple will bless lives on both sides of the veil, this place will be a place of joy, a place of peace and a place of learning.”
Lubumbashi Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple
- The Lubumbashi temple, located in the southern part of the country, will be the second in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, joining the Kinshasa temple, which was dedicated in 2019.
- The Lubumbashi temple was one of eight new temple sites announced by President Nelson during the church’s October 2020 general conference.
- Before the Kinshasa temple was dedicated, the nearest temple was in Johannesburg, South Africa. But traveling to Kinshasa is still a difficult journey of more than 1,000 miles from Lubumbashi, a mining town of almost 1.8 million people.
- The Lubumbashi temple will be 19,300 square feet in size and will be constructed on 2.57 acres. It will include two endowment rooms of 30 seats each. Ancillary buildings of 31,000 square feet will be built on the site, which will include a distribution center and patron and missionary housing.
- There are nearly 90,000 Latter-day Saints attending 250 congregations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to the church’s newsroom.