News Release

‘Bush Chapels’ Evidence of Pioneer Spirit

Over 160 years later, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the island country of Vanuatu continue a pioneer legacy by gathering to worship in "bush chapels". Like the valley of the Great Salt Lake that welcomed the Mormon settlers, the Erakor bush country has no buildings available to lease. Saints construct temporary meeting places using local labourers and Church provided materials.

Shortly after the July, 1847, arrival of the first pioneers in what is now Utah, the prophet Brigham Young began work to build a bowery. The Saints needed a gathering place for worship and social events.

Even before homes were constructed, a structure of logs and branches was assembled to provide protection from the sun.

Eventually, more permanent structures were built, including the world famous Tabernacle on Temple Square, which still stands and has recently been refurbished. The pioneering spirit will go on as the frontiers of Church growth continue to expand and broaden.

Members meeting in bush chapels are modern day pioneers who will see great blessings follow their humility, dedication, missionary activity, and optimism. As Church numbers increase, the "bush chapel" gives way to buildings of bricks and blocks, heating, air conditioning, running water, electric lights and other facilities.


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