Photo by Marinda McKenzie-Cummings New Stake Presidency left to right: Jacob J. Henderson, Darryl G. Ward, and Andrew J. Bonner

June 8, 2024

By Marinda McKenzie-Cummings

In a significant event for local members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Kansas City Stake recently saw a change in its stake presidency at a conference in Lee’s Summit. This leadership transition is a routine, yet profoundly meaningful event within the church, reflecting a new chapter in spiritual guidance and community service.

In the Church, a stake is an administrative unit composed of multiple congregations, known as wards or branches. Stakes are fundamental in fostering community, providing leadership, and supporting the individual congregations and members within their geographical area. The Kansas City Stake has eight wards, three of which are in Lee’s Summit

After nine years of dedicated service, President G. Michael Ortiz, who has led the Kansas City Stake since 2014, was released from his position. His tenure was marked by significant contributions to the growth and spiritual enrichment of the local members and improved outreach with other faith groups in the area.

The newly appointed Stake President is Darryl G. Ward, who has previously served as a counselor in the stake presidency. President Ward runs a business with his wife, Sow Right Seeds, out of their Lee’s Summit home and small farm. He is known for his deep commitment to faith, community outreach, and service. His experience and dedication are expected to bring continued spiritual growth and unity among the members.

Joining President Ward in the new presidency are his counselors, Jacob J. Henderson, and Andrew J. Bonner, also a Lee’s Summit resident. Both counselors bring experience and dedication to their roles.

President Ward, in his first address as stake president, expressed his humility and gratitude for the opportunity to serve. He spoke of his love for Jesus Christ and emphasized the strength that comes from Christ our foundation while quoting a scripture from the Book of Mormon, Heleman 5:12, “It is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Song of God, that ye must build your foundation.”

The Kansas City Stake, encompassing several congregations in the greater Kansas City area, plays a vital role in the spiritual and social life of its members. The stake presidency oversees spiritual guidance, welfare programs, and community outreach for thousands of Latter-day Saints in the area. The leadership change is a pivotal moment, heralding new opportunities for service and growth.

The change in stake presidency is more than a simple leadership shift; it is a reaffirmation of faith, community, and the guiding principles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As the Kansas City Stake moves forward under new leadership, its members are united in their commitment to faith, service, and the betterment of their community.

For further information about the Kansas City Stake and upcoming events, please visit the Church’s local Facebook page:

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