Mission History

Here's what we have so far. Please feel free to help by contributing and correcting. The following comes from a copy of the Avante May 1966 (for the ultimate in a detailed history, please refer to "A Pioneer in Guatemala" by John O'Donnal):


Have you ever paused and wondered where you would be and what you would be doing in ten years from now? Or have you ever pondered over what great events transpired ten years ago? The following is offered with the hope of helping you "Look Back".


September 1946: With the advice of John F. O'Donnal, a member who was then working with rubber plantation experiments in Honduras and Guatemala, the President of the Mexican Mission visited the Central American Countries.

July 1947: The Central American Countries were added to the Mexican Mission.

August 1947: Four missionaries were assigned to work in this new addition.

November 13, 1948: The first baptismal service was held in Guatemala when Mrs. O'Donnal and her two daughters became members.

March 2, 1951: The first baptismal service was celebrated in San Salvador when Ana Villasenor and eleven more 'went under'.

November 1952: The Central American Mission was organized with Gordon M. Romney presiding.

July 31, 1965: The Central American Mission was divided with President Teddy E. Brewerton called to lead the Central American Mission and President Hansen remained at the helm of the newly named Guatemala-El Salvador Mission.

MISSION PRESIDENTS: 1. Gordon M. Romney November 1952 - October 1955 2. Edgar L. Wagner October 1955 - March 1959 3. Victor C. Hancock March 1959 - June 1962 4. Leslie O. Brewer June 1962 - July 1964 5. Terrence L. Hansen July 1964 - (cuando se le diga)


From the first member in 1948 the growth was slow with only 241 members in Guatemala in March 1956. Then we grew like a 'weed'. In 1963 there were 12,000 members, and in July when we 'split' there were 18,360 members in 45 branches organized in 10 districts with 217 missionaries. And today with only two countries the growth is still impressive. There are 15,400 members in 7 districts with 35 branches and 120 missionaries. With about half the number of missionaries working harder than ever the baptismal statistics compare as follows: LAST YEAR TO DATE: 878. THIS YEAR TO DATE: 654 And for leadership material in the branches we have 280 Melchizedek Priesthood bearers assisted by the Aaronic Priesthood with 878 over 21 and 616 'jovenes' who are priesthood holders.

WE HAVE BEEN BUILDING TOO: The Guatemala Branch #2 was the first started in the mission on July 6, 1950. We now have 8 Church owned chapels: Retalhuleu, Quezaltenango, Patzicia, Guatemala 2, 1-3, 4-10, Santa Ana and San Salvador. With four more to be started this year and 4 the next we will double the chapels by 1969."

Mission Presidents Since 1966:

  • Terrence Hansen 1964 - 1967
  • David Clark 1967 - 1970
  • Harvey S. Glade 1970 - 1973
  • Robert B. Arnold 1973 -1976
  • Eddie Barillas 1976 - 1978 (El Salvador Mission)
  • Samuel Flores 1978 (El Salvador Mission - Closed)
  • John F. O'Donnal 1978 (Xela Mission)
  • Richard D. Allred 1978-1981 (Xela Mission)
  • Juan Manuel Cedeno 1981-1884 (Xela Mission)
  • Skousen 1978 - 1981 (Guate City Mission)
  • Carlos Amado 1981-1984 (Guate City Mission)
  • Gary Elliott 1984-1987 (Guate City Mission)
  • Manuel Diaz 1984-1987 (El Salvador Mission)
  • Lopez 1987 - 1990 (Xela Mission)
  • Alvarado 1990 - 1993 (Xela Mission)
  • Gordon W. Romney 1987 - 1990 (Guate City North Mission)
  • David Frischknecht 1990 - 1993 (Guate City North Mission)
  • Pres. Gilberto Cerda 1990-1993 (Guatemala City South)
  • George Lyman 1993-1996 (Guatemala City South)