Maryland Stake Adds Spanish Speaking Branch
ELLICOT CITY, MARYLAND -- Mercedes Yarn, and 30 other Spanish
speaking members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
will be able to worship in their native language as the Church adds a
Spanish speaking branch to the Columbia, Catonsville, Laurel,
Hampstead and Eldersburg wards in Maryland. Over 1,300 members meet
in the 1976 brick church on Johns Lane and U.S. 29.
"It's always good to pray in your own language," said Yarn, a mother
of two who runs her own day care center. "More people will talk in
the meetings....and we can help more." The new branch is a sign of
the continuing growth that has been a part of Howard County where the
first Mormon congregation was formed 60 years ago.
"The church is growing at quite a good pace....When they hear the
teachings of the church, they often embrace them," said Stake
President Clarence Johnson. "I think there is a resurgence in
religion, and it has accelerated since Sept. 11."
"It's a tremendous step forward," said Steven Baily, who joined in
1975. Many of the members have emigrated from South and Central
America. Some joined the Church in their native countries. Baily
moved to Columbia, Maryland when he was 7 from Bogota, Colombia with
his father, Pat, who is an Irish Catholic, and his mother, Maria is a
Mormon from Peru.
"The Spanish members are so excited about the ability to serve in a
much greater capacity...Once you're a believer, you want to give,"
said Bailey, who owns a lawn-care business. "This allows them to give
of themselves freely and the branch to grow."
Apostle Dallin H. Oaks spoke at the semiannual conference held in
Ellicot City last month. Oaks discussed strengthening the family and
urged the youth not to get tattoos. "He was delightful and
inspiring," President Johnson said.
Language of worship is flexible
Baltimore MD Sun 25Jan02 D1
By Rona S. Hirsch: Special To The Sun
Change: In Howard, the Mormon church accommodates its growing number of Spanish-speaking congregants.