Effective today, Elder José A. Teixeira began his service as the new President of the Europe Area of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Elder Patrick Kearon will serve as First Counselor and Elder Kent F. Richards as Second Counselor. The new area presidency was announced last spring.
The administration of the Church worldwide is facilitated by geographic areas, currently 26. Today the Church in the Europe Area counts 485,403 members in 1,449 congregations across 39 countries and territories, 42 missions and 11 operating temples. Under the direction of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the highest governing bodies of the Church, the new area presidency will provide spiritual and administrative direction to the leaders and members of the Church.
Elder José Teixeira was sustained a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy on April 5, 2008. In his most recent assignment he was serving as the Second counselor in the Europe Area Presidency. With professional training in business, he received a degree in accounting and business management. Before his calling to full-time Church service, he was an international controller for the Church with responsibility over multiple area offices of the Church across Europe and Africa. Previous Church callings include full-time missionary, stake president, mission president and area seventy in the former Europe West Area from 1997-2005. Born in Vila Real, Portugal, on February 24, 1961, Elder Teixeira married Maria Filomena Lopes Teles Grilo in June 1984. They are the parents of three children.
Elder Patrick Kearon was sustained a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy on April 3, 2010. At the time of his call, he had been serving as a member of the Third Quorum of the Seventy in the Europe Area. He was educated in the Middle East and the United Kingdom and worked in various industries, including health care, food, automotive, and transport. Civic and community involvement has included service on the boards of charities, a school, an enterprise agency, and a college. Elder Kearon served in numerous Church callings, including assistant ward clerk, Young Men’s president, bishop’s counselor, branch president, stake president, and Area Seventy from 2005-2010. Elder Kearon was born in Carlisle, Cumberland, England, on July 18, 1961. He married Jennifer Carole Hulme in 1991. They are the parents of four children, one of whom is deceased.
Elder Kent F. Richards was sustained a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy on April 4, 2009. Prior to his assignment to the Europe Area, he served as the Second counselor in the Chile Area Presidency. Elder Richards received a Bachelor of Science degree and a medical degree from the University of Utah. He worked as a surgeon and was chairman of the department of surgery at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also served as senior vice president at Intermountain Health Care and was a member of their board and executive committee. He was also a clinical professor of surgery at the University of Utah. Elder Richards has served in many Church callings, including full-time missionary, bishop, scoutmaster, stake president and mission president. Elder Richards was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on February 25, 1946. He married Marsha Gurr in August 1968. They are the parents of eight children.
The history of the Church in Europe dates back to the first seven missionaries that arrived in England in 1837, only seven years after the Church was founded. They were the first group to be sent overseas.