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Church relocates after 58 years

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Relocating: members of the congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Photograph supplied)

They are marked by their signature style of sharing their faith – missionaries walking the streets with friendly smiles and warm conversation.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is easily recognisable and has recently experienced a significant change in its Bermuda Church.

Sister Lena Harmon, a senior missionary here with her husband, said: “Many people have heard of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints without knowing it.

“Perhaps you have seen the young missionaries in their white shirts and ties walking and talking with everyone on the streets of Hamilton, sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and the restoration of His church through the prophet Joseph Smith.

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is founded upon apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone as taught by the apostle Paul anciently.”

The significant change for the church comes as a move from their Lyceum Building. After 58 years of services operating out of the Bailey’s Bay location, they have moved their congregation to a more central base, in Hamilton House in the City of Hamilton.

They are celebrating this milestone with a dedication ceremony taking place on May 19 at 1.30pm at their new meeting house location.

Ms Harmon, reflecting on the church’s early days in Bermuda, said: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was first introduced to Bermuda when the United States established two bases on the island in July 1953.

New home: Hamilton House in the City of Hamilton (Photograph supplied)

“The first organised groups met at Kindley Air Force Base and the US Naval Base in the spring of 1957. By 1966, the church membership had grown to 65 individuals in Bermuda.

“That same year, in May, the Government of Bermuda granted permission for a senior missionary couple to come proselyte, and then three weeks later, two younger missionaries were also granted permission to serve for three to six-month rotations.

“On July 10, 1966, the Bermuda Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was officially organised. Then, the branch started renting the upper hall of the Lyceum Building in Bailey's Bay. As the Bermuda branch grew, the Lyceum building was renovated so that the chapel would be the downstairs section and other classrooms and offices would be upstairs.”

While the Lyceum Building served their congregation for over five decades, the need for better accessibility for their congregants and community visitors initiated moving locations.

“The move into Hamilton was planned several years ago to allow for easier transportation for our congregation members who travel from all parts of Bermuda. We hope this move will help our congregation and the community as we serve and love our neighbours,” said Ms Harmon.

She continued: “In Bermuda, we have a small but faithful congregation now meeting at our new location at 10 Hamilton House, Queen Street in the City of Hamilton.

“Anyone wanting to know more is welcome to contact The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints here in Bermuda or go to comeuntochrist.org. All are welcome to join us and participate in our worship of Jesus Christ on Sunday mornings at 11am.

“We also serve the community by offering a Free Family History Workshop on the first and third Saturdays of each month from 10am to 12pm, where individuals can receive help starting or building their family tree on the free FamilySearch website or app, or other available formats.”

Looking ahead, Ms Harmon said: “The primary goal of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to help all of God’s children live in such a way that they can return to live with Him after this life.

“One of the missionaries' key messages is that of the Plan of Happiness, which answers three commonly asked questions: where did we come from, why are we here, and where will we go after this life is completed?

“Christ’s Gospel is truly the way to happiness. We learn of the plan in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ, which works hand in hand with the Bible in teaching us of the divinity of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.”

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Published May 04, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated May 06, 2024 at 8:11 am)

Church relocates after 58 years

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