The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Apia Samoa West Stake held a dedication ceremony yesterday evening for its new Stake Center at Vaitele-uta.
The new stake center will cater for 2,500 members of seven wards or units, two from Tulaele (Tulaele first and second ward), 2 from Siusega (Siusega 1st and 2nd Wards), 2 from Vaitele (Vaitele 1st and 2nd Ward) and Vaitele-uta.
President of the Apia Samoa West Stake, Papalii Simon Vaoifi welcomes the spacious centre for holding conferences meetings and gatherings for the members of the LDS Church at that part of Upolu.
The Centre was very much needed as the original space could no longer accommodate the hike in the numbers of the stake members. The Centre replaces the tents which were used for the members to hold their events.
"For two decades, marquees and tents were set up at Tulaele where we had been gathering in the past for a number of years. With the growth of the members of the Apia Samoa West Stake we need a bigger space,” President Papalii told Newsline.
“I am grateful for the vision that has now become a reality and as I realized the need for more space.”
Papalii said after talking to his counselors the new centre became one of the five goals they set. That goal is now a reality he enthused. “ It’s a dream come true.”
He commended the visionary leaders who supported the project all the way.
Papalii has been a President of the Apia Samoa Stake Ward for 7 years and told Newsline that the Stake had always wanted a big centre.
"We have always wanted a bigger stake center so all 7 units,with more than 2,500 members to fit in for regular gathering however, there are certain criteria in place by the stake for a stake center to be set up. This year, those criteria were achieved and now we have a centre.”
Papalii said that there were 10 units before but new changes in their stake reduced it to the current number.
"We were left with 6 units but 2 years ago, a newest unit was created to cater for more members and Vaitele-uta was then created and has since become part of this stake. At the moment, we are also planning to create another unit so that our stake could hold 8 units or Wards."
This whole week, the Apia Samoa West Stake held a program for open house and to celebrate the church building.
The new building which was dedicated yesterday will hold its first Conference meeting today for the Apia Samoa West Stake.
The center has12 teaching spaces with a chapel that can hold more than 3000 members.
The stake center was built by Craig Construction Ltd.
The LDS church in Samoa is the third largest denomination in Samoa.