News Release

Chairman of Samoa National Council of Christian Churches Meets with Pacific Area Presidency

The Chairman of the Samoa National Council of Christian Churches, Deacon Kasiano Leaupepe, and his wife, Suega Toleafoa, met yesterday [24 May] in Auckland, New Zealand with members of the Pacific Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The meeting provided an opportunity to renew friendships, reaffirm common goals to ensure religious freedom in Samoa, and espouse principles of Christian belief.


Speaking about the cordial visit, Deacon Leaupepe remarked, “This is a rare opportunity to meet with the Area Presidency at their office. I am grateful that even though they are busy, they made time to meet with my wife and me.”

He also thanked the Church “for its support and contribution to the Council of Christian Churches in Samoa."

The Samoa Council of Churches was founded in 1961. It functions as an interfaith group which embraces a mission “to develop sincere fraternal fellowship and cooperation among member churches and to work together towards true Christian unity.”

Members of the Area Presidency also expressed appreciation for the opportunity to meet together.

Elder Kevin W. Pearson said, “We have enjoyed a warm and wonderful relationship with Deacon Leaupepe and the Samoa National Council of Christian Churches over the past years.  We are grateful to call them friends.  It was an honour to have the Deacon and his lovely wife visit the Area Offices and to discuss the great work the Council of Christian Churches is accomplishing in Samoa.”

Elder O. Vincent Haleck said, "The meeting with Chairman Kaisano Leaupepe and his wife affirms the close working relationship The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has with the Samoa National Council of Chrsitian Churches."  

He added, "Deacon Leaupepe, as the Chairman of the Council, wanted to pay a special courtesy visit to the Area Office to personally thank the leaders of the Church in the Pacific Area for its valuable support for work of the Council on matters common to all of its members.  

"The Area Presidency were honoured and delighted to greet the Chairman and his lovely wife."

Elder S. Gifford Nielsen said, "It was an honour to meet with Deacon Leaupepe and his wife. They were both so gracious in their comments about how we are working together to improve relationships with the religious communities in Samoa. We feel it is so important to join with them as we build our faith and trust in Jesus Christ." 

Current council membership is composed of ten churches, including:

  • Anglican Church in Samoa
  • Apia Protestant Church
  • Baptist Church
  • Church of Nazarene in Samoa
  • Congregational Christian Church in Samoa
  • Congregational Church of Jesus in Samoa
  • Methodist Church of Samoa
  • Pentecostal Church
  • Roman Catholic Church in Samoa
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined the Samoa National Council of Christian Churches on 19 April 2013.

At that time, the president of the Church in the Pacific Area was Elder James J. Hamula. He told Samoa’s TV3 News, “The Church is very, very pleased that we have become a full member of the Council of Churches. This is something that we have worked for and prayed for and are grateful that our fellow brothers in Christ have opened their arms to us and received us so warmly as they did today.”

He further noted, “There are many forces in the world that seek to divide us and seek to fight against us, and in these days we must stand together and talk with each other and work with each other to achieve good things for all people—not just members of our respective churches but for the entire nation in Samoa.”

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