Church History in Chile by Date!

Updated Dec. 6, 2001 

1851 to 1961 -- 1961 to 1970 -- 1970 to 1979 -- 1980 to 1988 -- 1989 to 1997 -- 1998 to 2001

Events from 1851 to 1961

On November 8, 1851 church history in Chile began with the visit of one of the twelve apostles Parley P. Pratt*. The following information was published in the LDS Church News July 13, 1996:

"The first stitch in the tapestry of faith in Chile began with the calling of Elder Parley P. Pratt of the Quorum of the Twelve and Elder Rufus Allen in February 1851, just four years after the arrival of the Pioneers in the Great Salt Lake Valley. Elder Pratt took his wife Phoebe, and the three arrived in Valparaíso, Chile, Nov. 8, 1851. Three weeks later, on Nov. 30, Sister Pratt gave birth to a baby they named Omner. The infant lived until Jan. 7 and was buried in a private cemetery. Hedged by a civil war and an inability to communicate with the people, the missionaries departed on March 5, 1852. No convert baptisms were recorded by the missionaries. While in transit from Chile to San Fransisco, Elder Pratt wrote a letter to Brigham Young, dated March 13, 1852 in which he stated, "We embarked on this ship bound for San Fransisco, without a sufficiency of the language to turn the keys of the Gospel." In this letter Elder Pratt expressed his desire to more fully learn Spanish so that he could translate some of the important texts of the church into that language. Then he added, "As these contemplated labors would be, under the blessing of God, a furtherance of the great work of laying the foundation for the restoration of unnumbered millions of the house of Israel and of Jospeh - even of many nations extending over a large and important portion of the earth - I feel to labor with patience, and to take time to prepare the way before me and before those who will, in due time, be sent unto them in power; knowing that God, who has said certain things, will cause those things to be performed in due time." Presumably, the "certain things" that Elder Pratt referred to as having been promised by God have to do with the flourishing of the gospel among the Israelites in general and among the Lamanites in particular."

Events would not occur again related to the church in South America until December 9, 1925 when the South American Mission formed with Melvin J. Ballard as it's first president. The South American Mission was discontinued about 10 years later and divided into the Brazilian Mission on May 25, 1935 and the Argentine Mission on August 14, 1935. On August 31, 1947 the third mission in South America was formed in Uruguay out of the Argentine Mission. "On February 8, 1954 President David O. McKay visited the William Fotheringham Family in Santiago" 1. A couple of years later on May 25, 1956 Chile became part of the Argentine Mission. "On June 23, 1956 Elders Joseph Bentley and Verle Allred crossed the Andes from Argentina and arrived in Chile, beginning missionary work in Chile. A couple of weeks later on July 5, 1956 the first branch was organized in Chile in Santiago." 1 The following excerpt describes the events of the dedication of missionary work written by Robert Y. Valentine son of Lee B. Valentine:

"President Henry D. Moyle of the First Presidency traveled to Chile From Buenos Aires in May or June, 1956 with the President of the Argentine Mission, Lee B. Valentine, to rededicate Chile to the preaching of the Gospel a century after Parley P. Pratt had visited the country. I was a teenager and remember these events clearly. Our family had traveled from Buenos Aires to Santiago in June, 1955 after the first bombs fell on Buenos Aires during the Revolution to ouster Peron to renew our passport visas. We met with the only LDS family in Chile at the time, the Fotheringham family. Brother Fotheringham was working for Kodak in Chile, later in Spain. My father, Lee B. Valentine sent the first missionaries to Chile in 1956 from the Argentine Mission. They were Elders Bentley and Allred. Bently was from Salt Lake and Allred was from Orem. I remember them clearly. My father is now deceased. If you want more information about the first LDS missionaries in Chile, you may wish to contact my mother, Amy Young Valentine who lives [ edited ] Or, you can contact my sister, Cristina Valentine, who is a secretary to President Monson in Church headquarters. The missionary work did not start with the founding of the Andes Mission. It started in 1956 with Bentley and Allred. Former President Royden Glade, who was a counselor to my father in the Argentine Mission in Buenos Aires, can also fill in the details of the early history of the Church in Chile."

The first baptisms were performed on November 2, 1956. Ricardo García was the first person baptized in Chile, followed by his wife, Perla, and two others. "In October 1959 when Elder Spencer W. Kimball, then of the Quorum of the Twelve, visited Chile, Chile had about 450 members. In that same month, 45 more members were baptized, a 10 percent increase in one month." 1 A month later, on November 1, 1959, the Andes Mission, which included Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador was created. By this time there were six branches in Chile.

*Did Lehi land in Chile? Possible but not Confirmed. "Frederick G. Williams, a counselor to Joseph Smith, wrote that Lehi and his family landed in Chile. A great-great-grandson of Frederick Williams wrote a paper which assesses the likelihood of the accuracy of this proposition. He addresses the question of whether this statement was a revelation, discusses the nature of the original document on which the statement was written, and compares other early documents on the subject." Quote from the FARMS site.

This has been a topic that I've heard different variations about in the mission but no one knew the original source. The paper published by Williams descendent listed the statement has never been confirmed to be revelation. In fact Presidents of the church, namely Joseph F. Smith, were asked to confirm the statement made by Williams. He did not deny it but more importantly he did not confirm it either. What is important to note is that the *Pratts (Orson and Parley) did take the Williams statement as literal and that is one reason why Parley visited Chile in the early 1850's. In my opinion because no president of the church has had reason to support or confirm the Williams statement then the topic should not be considered true or important until such time. You can go to the FARMS website and order the paper if you would like more detail on the subject.

Chilean Mission from 1961 to 1970

On October 8, 1961 the Chilean Mission was created, when it was split off from the Andes Mission, "with 1100 members in Chile" 1. In November 1964, Carl Beecroft, President of the Chilean Mission, travelled to southern Chile. He met with the mayor of Puerto Montt on the 20th of November. Sister Helen Beecroft recorded in her journal that her husband received a "warm welcome from the mayor." The local paper announced their arrival and said that the delegation hoped to start a branch and build a meetinghouse in the community. In December Elders Gary Parnell and Norm Whiting were sent to Osorno and Elders Noel Roundy and Alan Winder were sent to Puerto Montt. The following excerpt was supplied by Gary Parnell, on the Chile Osorno ALumni Website:

In December 1964, Elder Norm Whiting and I were sent from Santiago to Osorno to open up the city to missionary work. We first stayed in the loft of a four story pensión just off the plaza and later, when another set of elders arrived, rented a small apartment and began to hold church meetings in the cramped living room. After about a month, Brother Ricardo García, the first person to join the church in Chile, moved from Curicó to Osorno with his wife and family and took over from my companion as Branch President. We next found a larger home on a hill above the main part of the city. It had a number of wood stoves, including one in each of the large bathrooms and a wood cooking stove in the kitchen with a tank on it for heating the bath water. Several good families were baptized in one of the near-by rivers and we were able to put on a "Man's Search for Happiness" display in the basement of the City Hall. When I left in May, 1965, there were six elders working in Osorno and another four in Puerto Montt.

Later in 1970 the first Stake Organization was postponed. The following information was supplied by Paul Anderson who was serving in the Chilean Mission and was present when the first stake was NOT organized:

In January or February 1970, then apostle Gordon B. Hinckley traveled to Santiago with the apparent intention of organizing the first stake in Chile. After evaluating the situation, Elder Hinckley announced to the congregation crammed into the Nunoa Chapel (standing room only), that there were not enough worthy Melchizedek Priesthood holders to organize a stake. I left in May and there was still no stake in Chile.

1970 to 1979 Five Missions Formed in Chile

On June 10, 1970 the Chilean Mission was renamed to the Chile Mission. Note: Most Missions around the world changed their names to more accurately reflect the exact name of the country. No areas within the mission changed. The first stake in Chile was organized November 19, 1972 in Santiago by then apostle Gordon B. Hinckley, there were over 20,000 memebers, Santiago Stake (590) 1 (All stake information underlined was provided by Church Statistics 2001). A couple of years later, on June 20, 1974 the Chile Mission was renamed to the Chile Santiago Mission. Note once again: Most Missions around the world changed their names to more accurately reflect the exact name of the country AND also a city within the country. No areas changed. On December 5, 1974 the Vina del Mar Stake (671) was created and three days later on December 8, 1974 the South Santiago Stake (672) was created.

On July 1, 1975 the Chile Concepción Mission was created when it was split off from the Chile Santiago Mission. The Concepcion Mission had no stakes but basically divided with the southern most five regions of Chile, from North to South; Maule, Araucana, Los Lagos, Aisen and Magallanes. Chile Santiago Mission kept the three stakes in Chile; Santiago, Vina del Mar and South Santiago and also the Northern seven regions North to South; Tarapaca, Antofagasta, Atacama, Coquimba, Valparaíso, Santiago Metro and Libertador G. B. O'Higgins Regions (Two missions in Chile). For current stakes in the Concepción mission see Maps.

"On October 3, 1975 President William R. Bradford was sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy while president of the Chile Santiago Mission. He continued to serve until January 1, 1977" 1. In 1976 five stakes were created or renamed starting on April 18, 1976 the Santiago Stake was split into the Republica Santiago Stake (754) and the Providencia Santiago Stake (590) (The Providencia Stake continued the original created Santiago Stake). Also on the same day April 18, 1976 the South Santiago Stake was renamed La Cisterna Santiago Stake (672). At the end of the year two more stakes were formed on November 28, 1976. The Quilpue Stake (791) was formed south of Vina del Mar. Also the Nunoa Santiago Stake (792) was formed in what is now the Santiago East Mission.

On January 1, 1977 the Santiago North Mission was created when the Santiago Mission was divided into the Santiago North and Santiago South Missions. The North kept the Providencia, Republica, Quilpue and Vina del Mar Stakes along with the surronding Santiago communities and all cities North of Santiago. The South Mission stakes were La Cisterna and Nunoa as well as surronding communities going South and Cities South of Santiago to the border of the Maule Region and the Concepcion Mission. There are now three missions in Chile. For current stakes in the Santiago South and North missions see Maps.

On January 30, 1977 the Concepción Stake (808) was created. "On February 28, 1977 with seven stakes in chile and approximately 30,000 members, President Spencer W. Kimball visited Chile. After arriving in Santiago, President Kimball flew by helicopter 60 miles to the national summer palace to visit Chilean president, Augusto Pinochet Ugarte. On March 1, 1977 President Kimball addressed nearly 7,000 members in an area conference. At the same gathering, Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve predicted in the future, the church would become the most powerful influence in the nation and said that the day would come when a temple would be built in Chile." 1 This was during the time when ground had just been broken in Brazil on the first temple in all of South America.

On July 1, 1977 the Chile Osorno Mission was formed in a division of the Chile Concepción Mission. There was only one stake in the Concepcion Mission at that time, the Concepcion Stake. The president of the Concepción Mission, Lester D. Haymore, moved to Osorno and served for one year as the president of the new mission. Osorno was the fourth mission created in Chile. For current stakes in the Osorno mission see Maps.

After the Osorno mission was formed in 1977 two more stakes would be created in Chile, then five more in 1979 before the Vina del Mar Mission was created. On October 16, 1977 the Talcahuano Stake (866) was formed in the Concepcion Mission. On November 20, 1977 the Valparaiso Stake (882) was created. On February 25, 1979 the San Bernardo Santiago Stake (1003) was created. On May 6, 1979 the Independencia Santiago Stake (1024) was crated. On June 8, 1979 the Villa Alemana Stake (1037) was created in the Vina area. On June 10, 1979 the La Florida Santiago Stake (1039) and the Cinco de Abril Santiago Stake (1038) was created.

The fifth mission, the Viña del Mar Mission, was split off from the Santiago North mission on July 1, 1979. After the division, the Santiago North mission covered northern cities from Arica to Chañaral and Copiapó, and all previous Santiago suburbs; Quinta Normal, Conchalí, Peñalolén, Las Condes, Renca, Providencia, Lo Prado, Pudahuel, and La Reina. Note: Santiago North Mission also included the islands of Robinson Caruso and Easter Island. But it seems for a time these islands were in the Vina Mission. If the islands were in the Vina Mission I'm not sure when they came over to the North Mission. I do know for a fact they were in the mission by 1990. For current stakes in the Viña del Mar mission see Maps.

Before the end of 1979 three more stakes would be created. October 28, 1979 the Andalien Stake (1075) near Concepcion, then November 4, 1979 the Conchali Santiago Stake (1077) and November 17, 1979 the Talca Stake (1083) were created. The Talca stake was the first in the Maule VIII Region. By the end of 1979 there were five missions and seventeen stakes formed in four regions of Chile. The regions with the fastest church growth were Santiago Metro, Valparaiso (Vina del Mar), and Bio-Bio (Concepcion).

1980 to 1988 Strengthening and Building the Five Missions

During this nine year stretch there were no missions created. This was a time to build and help each of the existing missions grow and increase membership and stakes. During this time 33 stakes would be created and Chile would be one of four counties in the world to have 50 or more stakes. (Others were United States, Mexico and Brazil).

The most important event of this time period was the announcement and building of the Santiago Chile Temple. The building of the temple allowed Chileans to have the spiritual blessings of a nationally accessable temple. Prior to the temple in Chile members had to go to Brazil to the São Paulo Brazil Temple which was dedicated on October 30, 1978. In South America, the Chilean temple was the second temple dedicated. The third and fourth, Peru then Argentina, would not be dedicated for three more years.

Details from the Temple page on LDS Church Temples:

"The temple's announcement by President Spencer W. Kimball on April 2, 1980, came just three years after a prophesy made by Elder Bruce R. McConkie at an area conference in Santiago: "The day will come when there will be a temple in Chile. I do not say when, but it surely will be." ...The site chosen for the temple was in Santiago where the Church college building and presiding bishopric area offices were then located. A Catholic school on the property was arranged to be purchased in 1970. In religion class one day, a priest at the school announced that the building would soon be sold to the Mormon Church. To help the students better understand religious diversity, the priest assigned a report on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. One student, Gregory Billikopf made the short trip to the mission home where he was given a copy of the Book of Mormon and other Church literature. During his studying he read Moroni's promise, gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon's truthfulness, and was eventually baptized into the Church. He later wrote, "How was I to know, as a youth in that religion class, that one day, on that very property, I would attend the house of the Lord, the Santiago Chile Temple?" Ground for the temple was broken on May 30, 1981, by President Kimball in the presence of about 6,000 members who waited in the rain several hours. ...Public tours of the temple started August 24, 1983."

On September 15-17 1983 over three days the temple was dedicated. The following information was supplied by Mike Anderson, return missionary in the Osorno Mission:

"I was lucky enough to be in the mission field at the time of the dedication of the temple in Santiago. We were informed serveral weeks ahead of the event that we would be attending one of the dedicatory sessions. Later tickets were distributed to the missionaries. On Friday, September 16, 1983 I boarded a train in Osorno along with the other missionaries serving in that town. As we rolled along, we stopped in the other mission towns and picked up other missionaries. This was quite enjoyable because we were able to see missionaries from all over the mission. The train was not exactly first class. When I lifted the lid in the bathroom, I could see the railroad ties going past (which altered my view of walking along the train tracks for the rest of my mission). It also had no sleeping arrangements other than bench seats that could be made to recline (sort of) and so it made for a long sleepless night. We boarded the train in Osorno at 7:00 PM and arrived in Santiago at 12:30 PM the next day. We had a few hours to kill and nothing in particular to do, so Elder Kron and I and one other missionary headed out to get a bite to eat and to look around the area of the location of the temple. The dedicatory session started at 4:00 PM. It was the last of 10 such sessions. President Hinckley performed the ceremony since President Kimball was in poor health. Also present were, Bruce R. McConkie and Boyd K. Packer from the Quorum of the Twelve along with three or four other General Authorities. The dedication itself was obviously terrific. During the meeting, President Hinckley announced that those present at the meeting would be allowed to walk through the temple after the dedication was complete. This was great news and came as a complete surprise to me. That night, the norteamericanos stayed in a gym which was owned by the family of one of the missionaries. The gym provided the needed shelter and the basic facilities, but of course, beds and bedding were completely absent. I "slept" in my suit and trench coat. The following morning, the norteamericanos boarded another train. The native missionaries stayed behind in order to perform temple ordinances for the first time. We boarded the train at 8:00 AM and arrived in Osorno at about 1:00 AM that night."

Events that have been found outside of stakes and the temple during this period are few. The following is a listing of the stakes 1:

January 10, 1980 The Providencia Stake, originally the Santiago Stake was renamed the Quinta Normal Santiago Stake (590).
January 29, 1980 Arica Stake (1100). The first stake created in the Tarapaca First (I) Region.
June 15, 1980 Hualpen Talcahuano Stake (1146). Near Concepcion.
August 10, 1980 Antofagasta Stake (1165). First in the Antofagasta Second (II) Region.
November 9, 1980 Huechuraba Santiago Stake (1205). Stgo. North, Currently named the Quilicura Stake.
December 14, 1980 El Bosque Santiago Stake (1216). Stgo. South.
Sometime during 1981 the Nuñoa stake was added to the Santiago North Mission.
February 1, 1981 Valparaiso South Stake (1230).
March 18, 1981 Temuco Stake (1245). First stake created in the Osorno Mission in the Araucana Tenth (X) Region.
May 10, 1981 Curico Stake (1264). In the Maule Region North of Talca.
May 17, 1981 Osorno Stake (1267). First stake created in the Los Lagos Eleventh (XI) Region.
May 24, 1981 Penco Stake (1268). Near Concepcion.
June 7, 1981 Quillota Stake (1275). Created North of Vina.
August 26, 1981 Rancagua Stake (1285). First stake created in the O'Higgins Seventh (VII) Region.
August 30, 1981 San Pedro Stake (1286). Near Concepcion.
December 10, 1981 Penaflor Stake (1320). West side of Santiago.
April 25, 1982 Puerto Montt Stake (1339). Near Osorno.
November 14, 1982 Las Canteras Santiago Stake (1379). Stgo. North, Currently named the Zapadores Stake.
February 13, 1983 Chillan Stake (1398). Near Concepcion.
March 12, 1983 Las Condes Santiago Stake (1402). Stgo. North.
March 13, 1983 Pudahuel Santiago Stake (1403). Stgo. North.
June 10, 1984 Punta Arenas Stake (1478). This is the first and so far the only Stake in the Magallanes Thirteenth (XIII) Region.
September 16, 1984 Renca Santiago Stake (1492). Stgo. North.
October 28, 1984 Achupallas Vina del Mar Stake (1499).
November 4, 1984 Caliche Stake (1501). Near Antofagasta.
March 17, 1985 Calama Stake (1522). Near Antofagasta.
August 18, 1985 San Miguel Santiago Stake (1549). Stgo. North.
August 18, 1985 Puente Alto Santiago Stake (1548). Stgo. South.
May 18, 1986 El Morro Arica Stake (1598). Stgo. North, currently in the Antofagasta Mission.
June 1, 1986 Los Angeles Stake (1599). In the Bio-Bio Region.
December 14, 1986 Iquique Stake (1621). In the Tarapaca Region.
January 10, 1988 Valdivia Stake (1667). Near Concepcion.
April 24, 1988 Linares Stake (1694). In the Maule Region.
October 23, 1988 La Serena Stake (1702). This is the first stake in the Coquimbo Fourth (IV) Region.
October 29, 1988 San Fernando Stake (1703). Chile became the fourth country in the world with 50 stakes upon the creation of the San Fernando Stake in the O'Higgins Region.
December 13, 1988 The Las Canteras Santiago Stake renamed the Zapadores Santiago Stake (1379).
December 13, 1988 The Huechuraba Santiago Stake renamed the Quilicura Santiago Stake (1205).

1989 to 1997 The Chile Santiago Missions Show Tremendous Growth.

By 1997 the Santiago Missions would split to form three new missions over a eight year period. Also within the same time period early in 1997 in the same eight years Chile would double it's number of stakes to 100. Even more amazing by the end of 1997 there would be 109 stakes.

Chile to have over 100 stakes is an astonishing achievement for a nation having only around 14.1 million people. Other countries with 100+ stakes are, the United States with 1,291 stakes (pop. 273 million and 1.8% LDS), Brazil with 185 stakes (pop. 161 million and 0.5% LDS) and Mexico with 179 stakes (pop. 94 million and 0.9% LDS). By percentage of the four nations with the most stakes Chile has the highest with 3.6% of the nation being members of the church. Note, a nation like Tonga has 106,000 people and only 16 stakes that accounts for 42.3% of the population being LDS. 1

The first major event of this time period was the split of the Chile Santiago North Mission. The Northern half of the mission, and the majority geographically was split off into the Chile Antofagasta Mission on July 1, 1989. The Antofagasta Mission included the first three regions of Chile and the following cities: Antofagasta, Iquique, Arica, Copiapó, Chañaral, María Elena, Portrerillos, El Salvador, Vallenar, Chuquicamata, Calama, Pedro de Valdivia, Mejillones, and Tocopilla. The Santiago North Mission included the following communities in and around Santiago: Quinta Normal, Conchalí, Peñalolén, Las Condes, Renca, Providencia, Lo Prado, Pudahuel, La Reina, Lo Barnachea, Zapadores, Maipu, San Miguel, Cinco de Abril, Republica, Nuñoa, and Quilicura. For current stakes in the Antofagasta and Santiago North Missions see Maps.

"On March 31, 1990 Elder Eduardo Ayala was the first Chilean called into the Second Quorum of the Seventy, at age 52."1 Later in Early 1992 the North Mission Song was written by Melanie (Roshto) Dunne and Tricia Rencher. These are Sister Dunne's words about the origin of the song: "I was serving in Republica Zone as Trisha Renchers senior comp...Our district was a little down so Hna. Rencher and I decided to rewrite the words for "Called To Serve" to sing for our District ...[then] our Zone. Our Zone leader then had the whole Zone learn it (including the Chileans) in order to sing it at Stake Conference. President Dupont was at the stake conference and heard the song. He called me later that night to get the words. The original version actually said 'Dupont's soldiers' in place of 'stripling warriors'. Pres. Dupont asked if we could change "dupont's soldiers" so we came up with stripling warriors. He wanted other mission presidents to be able to use the song."

North Mission Song (sung to Called to Serve)
Called to serve our mission here in Chile,
Glad to work and strive with all our might.
Stripling warriors sent to reap the harvest,
We will surely win the fight.
Onward, ever onward, we are leading souls to Christ,
Onward, ever onward, we've a future that is bright,
Go forward, ever forward, as we magnify our call.
Santiago North, God's mission, we will give the Lord our all!

In June 1993 Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin visited Santiago and spoke to members and later to a combined mission meeting of Santiago North and South.

The Santiago North, South and Vina Missions gave up stakes to form the Santiago West Mission on July 1, 1995. Stakes taken from Santiago North were Republica, San Miguel, San Joaquin, Ochagavia, Estacion Central, Cinco de Abril and Maipu. Stakes taken from the Santiago South Mission were La Granja, Lo Espejo, Los Cerrillos, La Cisterna, Olimpo, Melipilla, Talagante and Peñaflor. The San Antonio Stake was the only stake taken from the Vina del Mar Mission. However the San Felipe and Los Andes Stakes were removed from Vina and added to the Santiago North Mission (Still not sure if this was done during the West split or when the East Mission was created in 1997 but those two stakes currently are in the Santiago North Mission and were not there in 1994.) The formation of the Santiago West Mission was the seventh mission in Chile. For current stakes in North, South, Vina and West missions see Maps.

In June 1996 former missionary John McBride started the Chile Santiago North Alumni Website. He continued to maintain the site until December of 2000. During that time he brought to the list 525 of the possible 2800 alumni serving from 1957 to 2000 in the Chilean Missions. "The next month on July 1, 1996 Chile became its own area, with Elder F. Melvin Hammond as its President."1 Previously, Chile was part of the South American South Area, with Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay. "On August 14, 1996 President Gordon B. Hinkley and Elder Richard G. Scott held a conference in Santiago. Later that same year on November 11, 1996 President Gordon B. Hinckley visited Santiago and spoke to some 48,000 members."1 On March 9, 1997 the following appeared in the LDS Church News:

"With the creation of the Puerto Varas stake March 9, Chile joined the elite group of nations with 100 stakes. So great was the excitement among the local members that the meetinghouse where the stake was created was filled to capacity. Some 300 additional members stood along the walls or hallways to witness the historic event. Chile's 100th stake was created in south Chile, about 25 years after the first stake in this South American nation was organized in 1972. Only four nations have 100 or more stakes: the United States, with 1,241, Brazil with 154, Mexico with 152, and now Chile with 100. The next nation likely to reach 100 stakes is Peru, which currently has 77 stakes. The Puerto Varas Stake was created in a division of the Puerto Montt Stake. According to the article, Church membership in Chile as of March 1997 was 431,000."

Just two years later, on July 1, 1997 after the Santiago West Mission was created the Santiago Missions were divided again to form the Santiago East Mission. President of the Santiago East Mission, was Kelly Ogden, a religion professor at BYU. Taken from the Santiago North Mission were Las Condes, Nunoa, Penalolen, La Reina and Alicahue Stakes. Taken from the Santiago South Mission were La Florida, La Bandera, Jose Miguel Carrera, Javiera Carrera, Vicuna Mackenna, Progreso, Cordillera, Puento Alto and Gabriela Stakes. This was the eighth and last mission created in Chile. For current stakes in each mission see Maps.,

Also in July 1997 there was severe flooding that damaged 26 meetinghouses. This proved to be a time of service for many missionaries.

There were 59 stakes formed from 1989 to 1997. Of those, one was formed in July 1989. Then, for three years, no new stakes would be created in Chile until August 1992. This appeared to be a growing time for the stakes until the second half of the time period when it appears almost every stake was divided in the country. The other 58 were created from August 1992 to December 1997, showing in reality the stakes in Chile were doubled in five years. The formation of stakes were spread evenly among the missions with Santiago South creating 14 which was the most for any one mission. Santiago North created 8 stakes, Santiago West created 5, Vina del Mar created 12, Antofagasta created 5, Concepcion created 8 and Osorno created 7. Among the missions that would form the new missions were 39 new stakes 1 (All stake information underlined was provided by Church Statistics 2001), more than enough for two new missions.

July 2, 1989 San Antonio Stake (1731). In Southern Valparaiso and created in the Vina Mission but is currently in the Santiago West Mission.
August 30, 1992 La Granja Santiago Stake (1899). Stgo. South.
December 6, 1992 Maipu Santiago Stake (1915). Stgo. North.
December 20, 1992 O'Higgins Santiago Stake (1919). Stgo. South.
March 21, 1993 Vicuna Mackenna Santiago Stake (1927). Stgo. South.
April 11, 1993 Rancagua Tupahue Stake (1930). In the O'Higgins Region.
April 11, 1993 El Belloto Stake (1931). In Valparaiso South.
April 11, 1993 Copiapo Stake (1929). In the Atacama Third (III) Region. This is the first stake created in the Atacama Region.
April 18, 1993 Gran Avenida Santiago Stake (1933). Stgo. South.
June 27, 1993 La Reina Santiago Stake (1947). Stgo. North.
July 4, 1993 Los Andes Stake (1949). This stake is in western Valparaiso and created in the Vina Mission but currently is located in the Santiago North Mission.
July 18, 1993 Melipilla Stake (1950). Southwest Metro Santiago Region.
September 5, 1993 La Portada Antofagasta Stake (1955).
November 7, 1993 Cerro Navia Santiago Stake (1960). Stgo. North.
December 5, 1993 Coquimbo Stake (1960). In the Coquimbo Fourth (IV) Region.
December 19, 1993 Miraflores Vina del Mar Stake (1967).
February 20, 1994 Ovalle Stake (1976). In the Coquimbo Fourth (IV) Region.
November 6, 1994 Jose Miguel Carrera Santiago Stake (1995). This stake was dissolved on April 23, 2000, and is the only stake in the history of Chile that was dissolved into other stakes.
December 18, 1994 Chiguayante Stake (2006). Concepcion.
December 18, 1994 Angol Stake (2005). In the Araucania Tenth (X) Region.
January 22, 1995 Agua Santa Vina del Mar Stake (2016).
January 22, 1995 Forestal Vina del Mar Stake (2015).
January 22, 1995 Oriente Valparaiso Stake (2014).
January 22, 1995 Playa Ancha Valparaiso Stake (2013).
February 19, 1995 Lo Espejo Santiago Stake (2024). Stgo. South.
February 26, 1995 Buin Stake (2026). Santiago South Metro.
March 12, 1995 Azapa Arica Stake (2035).
March 19, 1995 Cordillera Santiago Stake (2036). Stgo. South.
May 7, 1995 Colon Talcahuano Stake (2047). Near Concepcion.
June 11, 1995 El Mirador Talca Stake (2060). North of Concepcion
June 11, 1995 The Talca Stake (1083) was renamed the Lircay Talca Stake (1083) when the El Mirador Talca Stake was created.
July 30, 1995 Los Cerrillos Santiago Stake (2082). Stgo. West.
August 13, 1995 Lo Blanco Santiago Stake (2086). Stgo. South.
August 20, 1995 Las Araucarias Santiago Stake (2090). Stgo. South
August 20, 1995 Alicahue Santiago Stake (2089). Stgo. North.
November 12, 1995 Los Manantiales Santiago Stake (2121). Stgo. North.
November 19, 1995 Ochagavia Santiago Stake (2126). Stgo. West.
November 26, 1995 The Temuco Stake was renamed the Nielol Temuco Stake (1245) when the Cautin Temuco Stake was created.
November 26, 1995 Cautin Temuco Stake (2133). In the Araucania Tenth (X) Region.
February 18, 1996 Coyhaique Stake (2167). This is the first and only stake created in the Aisen Twelth (XII) Region. This was the last region in Chile to not have a stake.
March 10, 1996 Lo Prado Santiago Stake (2178). Stgo. North.
May 26, 1996 La Union Stake (2196). In the Los Lagos Eleventh (XI) Region.
July 14, 1996 Villa Alemana West Stake (2212). Near Vina del Mar.
November 24, 1996 Nuble Chillan Stake (2278). In Bio Bio Region outside of Concepcion.
December 1, 1996 Los Angeles South Stake (2285). In Bio Bio Region East of Concepcion.
December 1, 1996 The Los Angeles Stake was renamed the Los Angeles North Stake (1599) when the Los Angeles South Stake was created.
December 8, 1996 Santa Cruz Stake (2290). In the O'Higgins Seventh (VII) Region.
December 8, 1996 Gabriela Santiago Stake (2289). Stgo. South.
February 23, 1997 Lebu Stake (2313). South part of Bio Bio Region.
March 9, 1997 Iquique South Stake (2320). In the Tarapaca First (I) Region.
March 9, 1997 Puerto Varas Stake (2321). Near Osorno.
March 23, 1997 Coronel Stake (2334). In the Bio Bio Region near Concepcion.
April 27, 1997 Progreso Santiago Stake (2345). Stgo. South.
May 4, 1997 Copiapo East Stake (2348). In the Atacama Third (III) Region.
May 8, 1997 Fermin Vivaceta Santiago Stake (2352). Stgo. North.
May 18, 1997 Quilpue Marga Marga Stake (2353). Near Vina del Mar.
May 25, 1997 Rahue Osorno Stake (2362).
June 24, 1997 The Caliche Stake was renamed the Caliche Antofagasta Stake (1501).
June 24, 1997 The Chiguayante Stake was renamed the Chiguayante Concepcion Stake (2006).
July 6, 1997 San Felipe Stake (2384). Northern Valparaiso located in the North Mission.
October 12, 1997 Rauquen Curico Stake (2400). Located in the Maule Eighth (VIII) Region.
November 16, 1997 Estacion Central Santiago Stake (2410). Stgo. West.
November 23, 1997 Calle Calle Valdivia Stake (2413). Los Lagos Eleventh (XI) Region.
December 7, 1997 Talagante Stake (2421). South Santiago Metro.

1998 to 2001 The Beginning of the Next Period of Growth.

By 1998 six more stakes were created for Chile giving Chile a total of 115 stakes. No other stakes were formed between November 22, 1998 and October 1, 2000. October 1, 2000 was the last date church information was released and searching the Gospel Library Magazine Database has turned up no new stakes created between October 2000 and October 2001. During these past three years it would appear that this was a time of strengthening the individual stakes and in one case of the Jose Miguel Carrera Santiago Stake (disolved April 2000), it was disolved to strengthen other stakes. As for 2001 the official list of stakes created has not yet been released and there is no guess to when the period of member retention and growth will continue before stakes and missions begin to split again. If this period is like the 1989 to 1997 period then there may be another year or two before stakes will start to split and then another year or two after that when the missions begin to split again. However, even at the current number of stakes the Missions Vina del Mar and Concepcion are bulging at the seams and it is only a matter of time before other missions are formed such as Vina del Mar North and South and Concepcion North and South.

Also with the consideration of temples, Concepcion presents a wonderful location of many faithful members and a geographical location farthest from any temple currently announced or in operation. A possible temple in Concepcion (or anywhere else in Southern Chile) would be more easily accessible to members to the South of Chile but also to members in Southern and Southwestern Argentina. It would be a beautiful blessing to those faithful in that area.

Other significant church events in this period include "...on March 22, 1998 a new temple patron housing complex with 168 units was dedicated by Elder Dallas N. Archibald. Also the next year on April 25, 1999 President Hinckley returned to Chile and spoke to 57,500 members at a regional conference in Santiago."1 This was the largest gathering of church members to date outside of the United States to hear a prophet speak.

The six stakes formed in 1998 were:
April 19, 1998 San Joaquin Santiago Stake (2451). Stgo. West.
June 21, 1998 Hualqui Concepcion Stake (2481).
June 25, 1998 The Andalien Stake name changed to the Andalien Concepcion Stake (1075).
June 25, 1998 Baquedano Concepcion Stake (2463).
July 26, 1998 Penalolen Santiago Stake (2487). This is the first and only stake created by the Santiago East Mission.
November 22, 1998 Olimpo Santiago Stake (2500). Stgo. West.

As of October 1, 2000 the current Area Authorities from Chile in the fourth quorum of the seventy, totaling 59 of whom 10 are Chilean are: Elders Gustavo A. Barrios, John A. Harris, Julio Humberto Jaramillo, Eduardo A. Lamartine, Wilfredo R. Lopez, Julio E. Otay, Jorge A. Pedrero, Claudio D. Signorelli, Hector M. Verdugo and Jorge F. Zeballos. Also as of October 1, 2000 the following are Chilean Statistics year end 1999 published 2001: Est. Population 14,161,000; Members 502,153; Stakes 116; Wards 744; Branches 207; Missions 8; Districts 9; Temples 1; Percent LDS 3.6 or one in 28. 1

Eagle Crest 1992
©2001 Chile Santiago North Alumni

Compiled by Keith LeBlanc November 2001.

Sources. Click BACK button to return to previous position if clicked on Source 1.

1 Official Church Statistics Publication.