Elder Joseph W. Sitati Called to First Quorum of the Seventy

4 April 2009 – Elder Joseph W. Sitati of Nairobi, Kenya was called as a General Authority of the Church to the First Quorum of the Seventy. He had been serving as president of the Nigeria Calabar Mission when called. Since joining the Church in 1986, Elder Sitati has served in numerous callings, including branch president’s counselor, branch president, district president, mission president’s counselor, stake president, Area Seventy and mission president.


Elder Sitati earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Nairobi, a diploma in accounting and finance from the Association of Certified Accountants and has also done course work for an MBA degree. He has worked as an executive for a nongovernmental organization and in several positions with a large oil and gas company. More recently he served as the Church’s international director of public affairs in Africa. Elder Sitati and his wife Gladys Nangoni are the parents of five children.

See http://www.newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/new-general-authorities-and-auxiliary-leaders-called


He is the first Black African General Authority of the church. Other church leaders of Black African descent have served in the Seventy quoroms. The others were Elder Helvecio Martins from Brazil who served as a General Authority from April 1990 – September 1995 in the Second Quorum of the Seventy, and Elder Elijah Abel, an African American, who was ordained in 1839 to the Third Quorum of the Seventy. 


17 thoughts on “Elder Joseph W. Sitati Called to First Quorum of the Seventy”

  1. Adeyinka Ojediran

    It is interesting to see the fulfilment of the Gospel continuing in our days. First, it was the extension of the Priesthood to the blacks and some 30years after, it is the calling of the 1st black African as a General Authority Seventy. I pray that Elder Sitati will be sustained, strengthened and guided by God and the Holy Spirit as he serves the Lord in his new calling. May we all endeavour to learn, abide by, live and uphold the truth as contained in the fullness of the gospel, which we are priviledged to have in this dispensation.

  2. Elder & Sister Bingham

    Dear Marvin:

    As we watched conference here in the Area Office in Accra, Ghana via the internet, Sister Bingham and I were so excited when they announced Elder Sitati’s calling to the First Quorum of Seventy we jumped up and clapped our hands!

    Elder Sitati was our mentor for our first six months while we served under his direction as Public Affairs Missionaries here in the West Africa Area. In February of 2008, while traveling to Calabar, Nigeria to train local Priesthood Leaders and Stake and District Public Affairs Council Members we ate dinner with Presidient and Sister Sitati in the Calabar Mission home.

    We have often said to each other and to our family members that “someday, Joseph Sitati will be called as a General Authority of the Church.” We are thrilled to see this happen in our lifetime.

    We are equally impressed with Sister Sitati!

    We are so pleased to be reminded that our Heavenly Father knows His children.


    Elder Bingham
    Public Affairs Missionaries
    Africa West Area

  3. I think it is fantastic that this has occurred. I knew there had to be men of color who were righteous enough to hold these callings. I am sure there are others as well. The Lord is getting people in callings He feels have worked to be there.

  4. April 23, 2009
    When I joined the church, Brother Sitati was my district president and I remember those tough days when we were a small band, hated and persecuted by an ever-rising mob of anti-mormons in Nairobi. We were very cohesive and we’d fall into each other’s arms with delight whenever we met. There was a special spirit among the saints. It is something I’ve hungered for in the decade of living overseas where by necessity we are all too busy and detached. The issues surrounding the ban on priesthood on African people never came up (or bothered most of us); we knew God very intimately, and under the ambiance of His grace we were loved & endeared as offspring. It was therefore quite easy for me to make a distinction between man’s policy and God’s counsel when I moved to the west where racial conflicts are deeply entrenched. Most of the heartbreak that comes from church history can be cured with an intimate knowledge of God, his character and tendencies (it’ll help you distinguish truth from error). joe

  5. Martin Joseph Mbuga

    Of Elder Sitati,” I saw him once and it was business related yet again he left a graceful impress upon my spirit; I really think and hope we get more African leaders like him that mind more about the importantance of their mortal mission than their bellies” Way to go President Sitati, you are unto me a ray of hope.

  6. Elder Sitati spoke during our special stake meeting in Surrey Stake, British Columbia, Canada on Sunday, August 30, 2009. He spoke of his spiritual experiences since he joined the church. It was very uplifting and inspiring. I saw a spiritual giant in him. He left a strong impression on me and to the members of our stake.

  7. This was very good news for me and all the mormons back in Kenya, especially the ones who had a chance to interact with Elder Sitati. Am from his home branch, in Westlands, Nairobi. I am certain he is a man of God and the work he’s doing is our Heavenly Father’s work. Its so amazing! I can stil remember the talks he used to give at our small meeting house. Truly this is the work of true church of God.

  8. Elder Sitati came to our Stake Conference here in Payson, Utah West Stake. We have now a new Stake Pres. as well as first and second. I am not sure I can add anything greater than others have written, about the impression of what a great spirit he has within him. I was very happy to see him as I suffered great persecution when I stood my ground that blacks would some day have the priesthood before the famous letter. I knew that the Prophet had not spoken on the issue as the Prophet. I am a convert and by reason knew in my heart that this church is here for the restoration of all things. Our church must go to all nations and people. What a shame it would have been to leave such a wonderful happy man such as Elder Sitati out of the priesthood and the leadership of the church.

  9. Thanks for posting this information. Elder Sitati’s calling is inspirational and I was thrilled to see him speak in General Conference. I also wanted to pass along that the link to the SL Trib article is no longer good so if it’s possible to re-post the story that would be helpful.

    NOTE from Editor: We could not find the Tribune article. Let us know if you find it. You can do a search to find other articles.

  10. Douglas R. Bunker

    Having just heard Elder Joseph Sitati speak in conference, and having no previous knowledge of him, I rejoice in his testimony and in the leadership that he offers among the Saints in Africa. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the necessary gathering place for real intergroup peace and understanding. I am thankful to live in a time in which this process is underway. Elder Sitati is the first of many great leaders from among African members. I am not of African descent, but I enjoy the fellowship of those who are, and appreciate the strength they bring to the church. Indeed, in my own community of Buffalo, New York, I believe that the growth of the church in the near future will be principally among African Americans. That will be a blessing for all of us.

  11. Charleen Crenshaw

    I was thrilled to see Elder Sitati speak in conference today. The Lord knows our hearts and is no respector of persons. I look forward to seeing many others from the four corners of the earth also be called to positions of leadership within the church. At times it has been said that the LDS church is a church for white people and only an American church, but with the Lord this has never been so. For men look on the outward appearance and the Lord looketh upon the heart. Righteous individuals are found in every nation in whom the Lord seeks. I am so greatful to God as He moves His work forward offering His Spirit and truth to all who are willing to “Come unto Him”. We now see our leadership in the church from many corners of the earth. I expect to see this continue and to see even more leaders from nations other than our own and of every color, speaking many differant languages and having many cultural differances yet being grounded and united in the truths of the gospel. Horrah for Israel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. I am happy for the opportunity to learn of Elder Sitati and his background, and to know something of his life. What saddens me is that the need for such a website as this is felt. Don’t get me wrong. No one was happier when Pres. Kimball announced that the Priesthood would be extended to all worthy male members. It is simply the fact that the American culture is such a racist culture that, even as we try to learn, to accept, to grow closer to Christ and to each other as brethren and sisters, that we feel the need to create more discrimination, even positive discrimination as this website represents. My apologies to anyone this message may have offended. I simply try to see people of different skin colors and ethnic heritages as people, as my brethren in Christ. Yes, we still live in a very imperfect world.

  13. Pingback: First Black African General Authority | Mormon Bloggers

  14. Joel Ferreira de Sousa

    Sou negro e nunca fiquei Incomodado por não haver negros nos Quoruns do Setenta ou em qualquer outro
    Para mim já basta saber que cada um destes homens são chamados por Deus e Élder Sitati não é diferente
    ele assim como todos os outros foi chamado por Deus, tenho o mesmo sentimento por ele, como tenho pela primeira presidência e os Doze.

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  16. I just viewed a video clip about a young 10 year old Joseph Sitati with his start in obtaining an education to be shown in our AP lesson tomorrow. I was very impressed with his wonderful presentation.
    Thank you Elder Sitati

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