President Gordon B. Hinckley, who led The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through 12 years of global expansion, has died at the age of 97.
President Hinckley was the 15th president in the 177-year history of the church and had served as its president since March 12, 1995.
The church president died at his apartment in downtown Salt Lake City at 7 p.m. Sunday night from causes incident to age. Member of his family were at his bedside.
A successor is not expected to be formally chosen by the Church’s Quorum of the 12 Apostles until after President Hinckley’s funeral within the next few days, however, until such time the church will be under the direction of Thomas Monson S. Monson, President of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles.
President Hinckley was known, even at the age of 95, as a tireless leader who always put in a full day at the office and traveled extensively around the world to mix with church members, now numbering nearly 13 million in 171 nations.
His quick wit and humor, combined with an eloquent style at the pulpit, made him one of the most loved of modern church leaders. A profoundly spiritual man, he had a great fondness for history and often peppered his sermons with stories from the church’s pioneer past.
He was a popular interview subject with journalists, appearing on 60 Minutes with Mike Wallace and on CNN’s Larry King Live, as well as being quoted and featured in hundreds of newspapers and magazines over the years. During the Salt Lake Olympics of 2002, his request that the church refrain from proselytizing visitors was credited by media with generating much of the goodwill that flowed to the church from the international event.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a long history in the Effingham County area and in Georgia.
Rincon's first official church congregation was created in Effingham County in the early seventies, where they met in a house on 4th Street. Today they are meeting in a newly completed building on Fort Howard Road.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is headquartered in Salt Lake City and has a worldwide membership of over 13,000,000 members. It is recognized as one of the fastest-growing denominations in the U.S.
Currently, some 60,000 Latter-day Saints are participating in full-time proselytizing missions around the world, with missionaries here, and members from the Rincon Ward that have served missions both in the U.S. and abroad.