Aba Nigeria Mormon Temple
An announcement was made on April 2, 2000, that a Mormon temple would be built in Aba, Nigeria. This temple was the third temple to be built in Africa and the 121st operating Mormon temple worldwide. The temple site is 6.3 acres on the outskirts of the Ogbor River. A bridge had to be built over the river so that people could get to the temple. The temple is highly visible.
The people of Nigeria received the announcement of the prospective temple in their country with great joy. The members here are strong and active in the Mormon Church. Many people began joining together to worship as Mormons even before Mormon missionaries were able to enter the country. These righteous people sought out any information they could find about the Church from pamphlets that somehow came into the country and from friends who were living in the United States or other places where the Church was available. There were, of course, minor errors in ritual, doctrine, and organization in some of the churches that had formed, but when missionaries were able to come into Nigeria, they found a people yearning to learn more about the Church, be baptized and receive the priesthood.
In the 1960’s the Mormon Church headquarters received more letters from Nigeria and Ghana than other countries combined. In all the letters the people were asking for more information and asking for missionaries to be sent. Representatives were sent from the Church to see what could be done in Nigeria and there they found thousands who had joined together to form churches patterned after the Mormon Church. All were waiting until the time when they could be baptized into the Church. The first missionaries were able to enter Nigeria in 1978. People lined up to be baptized and in just a few short weeks the first branch was organized in Nigeria. Now there are more than 68,000 members in Nigeria
A groundbreaking ceremony and site dedication was held on February 23, 2002. More than 2,000 people were present at the ceremony including Mormon members, Church leaders, tribal chiefs from the area, and government leaders. Construction began soon after the site dedication. The plan for the temple included two ordinance rooms, two sealing rooms and a total area of 11,500 square feet. The outer walls are made of Namibian pearl granite.
An open house was held June 18-July 2, 2005, to allow people to tour the inside of the temple and learn a little more about the ceremonies performed in the Mormon temple.
On Saturday August 6, 2005, the day before the temple was dedicated, a celebration was held. It told the story of the area through song and dance. President of the Mormon Church, Gordon B. Hinckley, dedicated the Aba, Nigeria Mormon temple on August 7, 2005. More than 7,000 people were present for the dedication. During the dedicatory prayer, President Hinckley prayed for the welfare of Nigeria, “Bless this nation that it may rise in strength and freedom from among the nations of Africa. Bless its leaders that they may look with favor upon Thy Saints and safeguard their rights, property and privileges.”
In late August, 2009, the Aba Nigeria Temple was closed for safety reasons due to ongoing violence in the area.
Off Aba-Owerri Road At Union Bank
P.O. Box 12709
Aba, Abia State
c/o Africa West Area Office
Phone: (234) 803-903-4804
Hinckley, Gordon B. Aba Nigeria Temple Dedication. 2005. www.ldschurchtemples.com