News Release

Changes in Church Leadership in Samoa

New leaders were announced recently for the Upolu Samoa Tafuaupolu Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


Elder O. Vincent Haleck, President of the Pacific Area of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, made the announcement in Upolu on 21 January 2018. Accompanying him was Elder Meliula M. Fata, Area Seventy.

The new stake president, Farani Loto, is joined by Ropeti Tiafau as first counselor and Tauati Luteru as second counselor.

The new stake presidency is replacing President Harry Fa’afeu Finau and his two counselors, President Faataui Sio Faleagafulu and Mahonri Moriancumer Sio.

Congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are organized geographically and members attend worship services near their home.

Each member belongs to a stake, which is similar to a Catholic diocese. The leader of a stake is called the stake president.

The word stake is taken from Old Testament tent imagery in which the “tent,” or church, is held up by supporting stakes (see Isaiah 54:2).

Each stake is made up of several smaller congregations called wards or branches. There are usually 5 to 12 wards and branches in a stake. In areas where the Church is new, members are organized into districts instead of stakes.

The substantial time and effort required to administer a stake and meet the needs of the members is carried out by the members themselves. Most members are asked by local leaders to contribute in specific capacities. Duties include local administrative, teaching or service-oriented positions. These responsibilities are changed on a regular basis, according to the needs of the congregation.

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