European Mormons consolidate headquarters to Frankfurt; hope to raise membership

Frankfurt, Germany - The Mormon church has consolidated its European headquarters to Germany as it undertakes a bid to increase its membership across the continent.

In August, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - which claims some 13 million members worldwide - consolidated its former western European head office in Birmingham, England, with its central European offices in Frankfurt in Germany.

More than half the members of the Salt Lake City-based church live outside the U.S., with about 450,000 members living in Europe.

The newly appointed senior church leader, or elder, in charge of European operations, Robert C. Oaks, a retired U.S. Air Force general, said the aim was to improve efficiency as the church strives to increase the ranks among Europeans.

"From the fusion, we expect more efficiency and closer cooperation between local management of the church," Oaks said Friday.

He said he also hopes to raise membership and to improve the quality of the weekly sermons and teachings in Frankfurt and across Europe.