News Release

New Europe Area Presidency Begins Service

                 

Effective August 1, 2019, Elder Gary B. Sabin will begin his service as the new President of the Europe Area of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Elder Massimo De Feo will serve as First Counselor and Elder Erich W. Kopischke as Second Counselor. The new area presidency was announced in April.

The administration of the Church worldwide is facilitated by 21 geographic areas. Today, the Presidency of the Europe Area presides over 493,970 members in over 1,300 congregations across more than 40 countries and 26 missions and one Mission Training Center. There are also 15 temples, either operating, under construction or renovation, or announced. Under the direction of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the new area presidency will provide spiritual and administrative direction to the leaders and members of the Church in this region.

Elder Gary B. Sabin was sustained as a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 2, 2016. In his most recent assignment he served as the First counselor in the Europe Area Presidency.   

Elder Sabin has served in numerous Church callings, including full-time missionary service in the Netherlands/Belgium mission, bishop, stake president and Area Seventy. Elder Sabin was born in Provo, Utah on April 7, 1954, and holds a master’s degree in Management from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Brigham Young University. His career focused on commercial real estate as the founder and chairman/CEO of two New York Stock Exchange listed companies. He is the founder of the Sabin Children’s Foundation, which provides children’s health care in third-world countries. He married Valerie Purdy in August 1976 and they are the parents of six children.

                    

Elder Massimo De Feo was sustained as a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 2, 2016. At the time of his call, he had been serving as a member of the Third Quorum of the Seventy in the Europe Area. Elder De Feo has served in numerous Church callings, including full-time missionary service in the Italy Rome Mission, branch president, district president, counselor in a bishopric, high councilor, stake president and Area Seventy.

After serving as a full-time missionary, he began his career in international relations when he was hired by the U.S. Department of State and assigned to the diplomatic mission in Italy. After more than 30 years of service, he last served as the deputy regional federal benefits officer of the Social Security Administration for the Europe South, North Africa and Middle East Areas. Elder De Feo was born in Taranto, Italy on December 14, 1960. He married Loredana Galeandro in August 1984. They are the parents of three children.

                  

Elder Erich W. Kopischke was sustained as a General Authority Seventy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on March 31, 2007. He served as First Counselor (2008-2009) and President (2009-2012) of the Europe Area Presidency. Prior to his call as a full-time General Authority, Elder Kopischke was the Seminaries and Institutes of Religion coordinator for Europe. Earlier in his career, he was self-employed as an insurance broker and later became managing director of a nationwide insurance company in Germany.  He received his initial professional training and degree in business.

Elder Kopischke has served in numerous Church callings, including full-time missionary in the Germany Munich Mission, stake president, district president, high councilor, and branch president. In 2003 he was called to preside over the Germany Berlin Mission.

Erich Willi Horst Kopischke was born in Elmshorn, Germany, on October 20, 1956. He married Christiane Glück in December 1978. They are the parents of seven children.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.