Reaching the Nations

Grenada

By David Stewart and Matt Martinich

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Geography

Area: 344 square km.  A small Caribbean island nation north of Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada consists of the main island of Grenada and several small islands part of the Grenadines.  Administration of the Grenadines is shared between Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.  Volcanic mountains dominate the interior of Grenada and tropical weather occurs year round.  Hurricanes are natural hazards.  Grenada is administratively divided into six parishes and one dependency. 

Population: 107,818 (July 2010)       

Annual Growth Rate: 0.563% (2010)    

Fertility Rate: 2.21 children born per woman (2010)   

Life Expectancy: 70.27 male, 75.55 female (2010)

Peoples

black: 82%

mixed black and European: 13%

European and East Indian: 5%

Languages: Grenadian Creole English (88%), East Indian languages (3%), Grenadian Creole French (2%), standard English (1%), other (6%).  English is the official language.  Grenadian Creole English shares many characteristics with English creoles spoken in Barbados and Trinidad whereas Grenadian Creole French is similar to Saint Lucian Creole French.  

Literacy: 96% (2003)

History

Carib Amerindians drove most Arawaks from Grenada prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1498.  Caribs warded off any European colonization of the island for a century after its discovery.  The English sold Grenada to a French company in 1650.  The French established a small presence on the island and defeated the Caribs shortly thereafter.  The English retook the island in 1762 and formally annexed Grenada in 1763.  The English began cultivating nutmeg and cocoa after recurrent challenges growing sugarcane due to natural disasters, which brought Grenada to greater prominence in trade.  Between 1833 and 1958, Grenada became part of the British Windward Islands Administration followed by the Federation of the West Indies until 1962.  The British granted full autonomy in 1967 and independence in 1974.  Between 1974 and 1979, Sir Eric Gairy held the office of prime minister until a coup brought a Marxist-Leninist government to power.  The communist government fell into chaos in 1983, resulting in military invasion by the United States and other Caribbean nations to restore order.  Political order has been reestablished for several decades.  Hurricane Ivan devastated the island and the economy in 2004, killing 37, leaving between 8,000 and 10,000 homeless, and destroying or damaging 90% of the buildings on the island.  The economy has recovered, but continues to suffer from debt generated from the rebuilding process.[1]  

Culture 

African, French, British, and Indian culture have influenced contemporary Grenadian culture.  Blacks, Europeans, and East Indians have traditionally segregated themselves, but intermarriage has increased in recent years.[2]  Christianity is a dominant social influence.  Common cuisine includes fruit, coconuts, dumplings, soups, fish, pork, and curry.  Many common Caribbean music genres appear in Grenada, such as reggae and Zouk.  Alcohol consumption rates compare to the world average. 

Economy

GDP per capita: $10,300 (2009) [22.2% of US]

Human Development Index: 0.813

Corruption Index: N/A

Hurricanes Ivan and Emily in the mid-2000s crippled the economy which relied heavily on nutmeg and cocoa crops for stability and revenue.  Some diversification of the economy has occurred in recent years, such as in construction, manufacturing, tourism, and financial sectors.  The worldwide recession in the late 2000s has halted economic growth due to fewer tourists and lower remittances.  Poverty remains a serious issue as a third of the population lives below the poverty line.  Timber, fruit, and deepwater harbors are natural resources.  Services employ 62% of the work force and generate 77% of the GDP whereas industry employs 14% of the work force and generates 18% of the GDP.  Primary industries include food products, textiles, assembly, tourism, and construction.  Agriculture accounts for 24% of the work force and generates 5% of the GDP.  Major crops include bananas, cocoa, nutmeg, mace, avocados, sugarcane, and corn.  Trinidad and Tobago, the United States, Saint Lucia, and Antigua and Barbuda are primary trade partners.

Corruption appears less prevalent in Grenada than in many other developing Caribbean nations.  Concerns over corruption in government resulting in the passing of the Integrity in Public Life Act in 2007, which requires an Integrity Commission to review reported income and assets of government employees.  Bribery is illegal and corruption allegations are taken seriously.  Grassroots organizations help monitor and report corruption.[3]

Faiths

Christian: 95%

other: 1%

nonbelievers: 4%

Christians

Denominations  Members  Congregations

Catholic  47,440

Anglican  12,938

Seventh Day Adventists  12,841  46

Pentecostal  11,860

Jehovah's Witnesses  576  9  

Latter-Day Saints  230 1

Religion

Grenada has a homogenous Christian population. The largest denominations include Catholics (44%), Anglicans (12%), Pentecostals (11%), and Seventh Day Adventists (11%).  Denominations which account for over two percent of the population include Methodists, Presbyterians, the Church of God, Baptists, and Evangelicals.  Non-Christian religious groups include Baha'is, Hindus, and Muslims.  Church attendance is high as over 60% of Grenadians regularly attend formal religious services.[4]

Religious Freedom

Persecution Index:

The constitution protects religious freedom which is upheld by the government.  There is no state religion and the government recognizes most major Christian holidays.  To receive tax exemption status, a religious group must register with the Prime Minister's Office which also provides licenses for  buildings and events.  There have been no reports of societal abuses of religious freedom.[5]  

Largest Cities

Urban: 31%

Saint George's, Gouyave, Grenville, Victoria, Saint David's

Cities listed in bold have no LDS congregations.

One of the five largest settlements has an LDS congregation.  16% of the national population resides in the five largest settlements.  Over 90% of the national population resides on the island of Grenada.

LDS History

Only a handful of Latter-day Saints resided on Grenada prior to 1985, some of which attended medical school on the island.  The West Indies Mission placed two full-time missionaries in May 1985 in Grenada and established the St. George's branch in the following September.[6]  Church growth slowed in 1987 as a result of antagonism propagated by the local media, which resulted in senior missionaries being brought to court to testify about LDS beliefs.  Missionaries were removed from Grenada that year and did not permanently return until 1990 when six-month visas were granted to the Church.  In 2001, the Church dedicated its first chapel in St. George's.[7]  Seminary and institute began in the mid-1990s.  Some Grenadian members traveled to Trinidad and Tobago to attend a meeting with President Hinckley in 2002.[8]  The West Indies Mission continues to administer Grenada.  As a result of strong active membership and leadership growth in the late 2000s, mission and local church leaders in early 2010 were beginning to explore prospects of beginning a second congregation and mission outreach outside St George's. 

Membership Growth

LDS Membership: 230 (2010)

During the mid-1990s there were approximately 100 members.  Latter-day Saints totaled 116 by year-end 2000, increasing to 157 by 2002.  Slow to stagnant LDS membership growth occurred thereafter as membership reached 173 in 2005 and 176 in 2007.  Membership declines occurred in 2003 and 2006.In 2009, one in 564 was LDS. 

Congregational Growth

Wards: 0 Branches: 1

The St. George's Branch is the sole LDS congregation in Grenada.  The branch is a mission branch of the West Indies Mission.

Activity and Retention

In 2010, three students were enrolled in institute.[9]  During 2009, church attendance in the St. George's Branch increased from 40 to 80.  National active membership is estimated at 80, or 40% of total membership. 

Language Materials

Languages with LDS Scripture: English

All LDS scriptures and materials are available in English. 

Meetinghouses

The St George's Branch meets in a church-built meetinghouse. 

Humanitarian and Development Work

The LDS Church has completed at least two humanitarian projects in Grenada.  Medical supplies, hygiene kits, newborn kits, clothing, and powdered milk have been donated.[10]  The Church sent 16 pallets of hygiene kits and medical supplies to Grenada in 2004 following Hurricane Ivan.[11]

 

Opportunities, Challenges and Prospects

Religious Freedom

Latter-day Saints face no government or societal restrictions regarding assembly, missionary activity, or worship.  Foreign full-time missionaries serve on the island. 

Cultural Issues

High rates of church attendance and religious interest create opportunities and challenges for Latter-day Saints as most have a Christian background and have developed regular religious habits but many are socially entrenched in their current churches.  Competition between various denominations for converts can create a difficult environment for full-time LDS missionaries to find, baptize, and retain new converts.  

National Outreach

36% of the national population resides in St. George Parish, the only parish with an LDS congregation.  LDS mission outreach does not appear to occur regularly outside of St. George Parish. 

The majority of the inland's inhabitants reside in small communities and rural areas outside the capital in unreached parishes which have never had full-time LDS missionaries assigned.  The small geographic size of Grenada and its population over slightly over 100,000 require few LDS mission outreach centers to accomplish outreach among nearly the entire island population.  A mission outreach center in each of the six parishes would provide outreach to virtually the entire population on Grenada.  The most populated lesser-reached or unreached parishes appear most suitable for future expansion of national outreach in the foreseeable future and include parishes in St. Andrew and St. David.  The creation of groups or dependent branches around a small nucleus of active members in these areas may help establish permanent branches over time. 

The Church has no country-specific internet site for Grenada, but has abundant English language LDS materials online.  A website tailored to the cultural conditions and circumstances of Grenada may assist in national outreach expansion and finding. 

Member Activity and Convert Retention

Grenada has historically experienced low member activity rates.  Reactivation efforts by full-time missionaries and local members doubled member activity rates from 20% to 40% in 2009.  Local members appear to be highly involved in member-missionary activity and reactivation work, working together with full-time missionaries. 

Ethnic Issues and Integration

The lack of ethnic diversity has resulted in few, if any, ethnic integration issues at church.  LDS membership appears to reflect Grenadian population demographics. 

Language Issues

Local members utilize materials in standard English.  There are no LDS materials in Grenadian Creole English.  Prospects for future translations in this and other Caribbean English creoles appear unlikely due to few speakers and the use of standard English in official settings.

Missionary Service

Few if any Grenadian members have served full-time missions.  Emphasizing seminary and institute attendance may help increase the number of local members who serve full-time missions.  In 2009, two young full-time missionaries and a senior missionary couple were assigned to the island.  Few missionaries are needed to maintain current national outreach due to the small size of the national population and the operation of only one LDS congregation.  Another missionary companionship may be assigned if the Church organizes additional congregations outside of St George's.   

Leadership

Local leadership has matured in recent years as in 2009, all three members of the branch presidency were local members.  Local priesthood leadership would likely face challenges staffing callings for a second branch due to their limited numbers.  

Temple

 Grenada belongs to the Orlando Florida Temple district.  Temple trips for the branch are not organized regularly and most members attend the temple on an individual basis.  Prospects for a temple closer to Grenada are unlikely due to few Latter-day Saints in the region. 

Comparative Growth

Grenada is among Caribbean territories with the fewest Latter-day Saints as only Martinique, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Dominica have fewer than 200 LDS members.  Grenada, Martinique, and Saint Kitts and Nevis have all experience similar membership growth trends during the 2000s.  Some of the most rapid active membership growth in the Caribbean occurred in Grenada in the late 2000s.  In 2010, Grenada had one of the highest member activity rates in the region.  The percentage of Latter-day Saints in the population is lower than most Caribbean nations. 

Several Christian groups have experienced rapid, sustained church growth over the past several decades.  Pentecostals and Seventh Day Adventists are among the most successful.  Seventh Day Adventists experienced robust church growth between 1998 and 2008 as membership increased by 50% and congregations grew from 29 to 44.  Adventists generally baptize approximately 500 new converts a year, more than five times the number of active Latter-day Saints in Grenada.  Jehovah's Witnesses gain few new converts annually.

Future Prospects

The staffing of the entire St George's Branch presidency by local Priesthood holders and recent growth in active membership are welcome developments in Grenada which in the past has experienced low member activity and inadequate numbers of active members to fill leadership positions.  Sustained growth will be most clearly measured by the creation of additional congregations in the coming years as active membership grows too large to be administered by one congregation.  Youth regularly preparing and serving full-time missions and remaining in Grenada will add greater stability and promote long-term growth. 


[1]  "Background Note: Grenada," Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, 8 November 2010.  http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2335.htm

[2]  "Grenada," Countries and Their Cultures, retrieved 11 November 2010.  http://www.everyculture.com/Ge-It/Grenada.html

[3]  "2010 Investment Climate Statement - Grenada," Bureau of Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs, March 2010.  http://www.state.gov/e/eeb/rls/othr/ics/2010/138074.htm

[4]  "Grenada," International Religious Freedom Report 2009, 26 October 2009.  http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2009/127391.htm

[5]  "Grenada," International Religious Freedom Report 2009, 26 October 2009.  http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2009/127391.htm

[6]  "Grenada," Country Profile, retrieved 11 November 2010.  http://beta-newsroom.lds.org/country/grenada

[7]  "Grenada," Deseret News 2010 Church News Almanac, p. 494

[8]  "Visit to West Indies because 'We love you'," LDS Church News, 1 June 2002.  http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/41901/Visit-to-West-Indies-because-We-love-you.html

[9]  "Grenada," Institute of Religion Locator, retrieved 11 November 2010.  http://lds.org/institutes/locate/0,10049,1397-1-36-0-134,00.html

[10]  "Projects - Grenada," Humanitarian Activities Worldwide, retrieved 11 November 2010.  http://www.providentliving.org/project/0,13501,4607-1-2008-111,00.html

[11]  Swensen, Jason.  "Hurricane Ivan batters Gulf Coast," LDS Church News, 18 September 2004.  http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/46151/Hurricane-Ivan-batters-Gulf-Coast.html