One of Africa’s longer-gestating temples is finally making some headway. We’ve waited four-and-a-half years for some movement, and now The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced the groundbreaking for the Harare Zimbabwe Temple, the first temple in the African nation.
Elder Edward Dube of the Africa South Area Presidency will preside over a groundbreaking for the temple sometime in December 2020. This is keeping with the Church’s recent trend of only announcing a month for a groundbreaking as opposed to a fixed date.
Along with the announcing the groundbreaking, the Church has also revealed the temple’s design, and it keeps with the more austere style put forth recently by the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple.
According to the Church Newsroom, the temple will occupy one level across 17,250 square feet, situated on a 6.7-acre site. It will be located at 65 Enterprise Road Highlands in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital. That places it near a current meetinghouse northeast of the Harare city center.
The design is straightforward. Honestly, you’d be forgiven for mixing this up with a meetinghouse in a random North American locale if you didn’t know any better. But as we’ve learned from many a Saturday morning special, it’s what’s inside that counts. And the saints of Zimbabwe, currently assigned to the Johannesburg South Africa Temple, will be grateful to have this sacred building in their midst.
Zimbabwe is home to roughly 34,000 Church members across seven stakes and three districts. Outside of the original Harare Zimbabwe Stake, almost all of those units have been organized since 2000.