News Story

Church Breaks Ground for Sopu Stake Centre in Tonga

Tongan Prime Minister and other guests celebrate “a sanctuary and place of refuge"

The groundbreaking for the new Sopu Stake Centre of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints took place Thursday, the 29th of April 2021, in the Nuku’alofa town district of Kolomotu’a, village of Sopu on Hala’ovave Road.  

The guest of honour was the Honourable Prime Minister Reverend Doctor Pohiva Tuionetoa. Also in attendance were local government leaders and other distinguished guests including Lady Fielakepa, Honourable Cabinet Ministers of the Crown and others.  

Presiding over the dedication was Elder Inoke F. Kupu, a senior Church leader in Tonga, who grew up in Kolomotu’a.  

He recounted his memories of Hala’ovave: “Its swampy, jungle-like terrain was susceptible to heavy flooding, but it was an ideal place for childhood adventures.It has been a challenging place to build a stake centre and I am so glad it has become a reality.”   

In the Prime Minister’s address, he added his encouragement to the local Saints to “maintain the beauty of these grounds and help build a better community in Christ.”    

Local Latter-day Saint, Toalei Tei, said, “My husband and I have waited 37 years for this new chapel to be built so that we won’t have to take long drives to go to church. We are truly blessed and grateful.”  

Honorable Prime Minster Reverend Doctor Pohiva Tuionetoa of Tonga, President Takaetali Tupou, Elder Inoke Kupu of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and others at the groundbreaking for the Sopu Stake Centre in Tonga. May 20212021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

The new stake centre will serve the Latter-day Saints of the Tonga Nuku’alofa North Stake presided by President Takaetali F. Tupou.    

In his heartfelt address, President Tupou described the dedication as “a happy day for the Sopu Saints."

Quoting the Doctrine and Covenants, a book of Latter-day Saint scripture, President Tupou said, “this new stake centre [will] be ‘a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning’ (Doctrine & Covenants 88:119.) It will be a sanctuary and place of refuge. A house where we learn of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.”    

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