The Apia Samoa Temple
was the 24th constructed and 22nd operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
. After it was destroyed by fire, a new temple was built and dedicated on the same grounds.
The temple in Apia, capital city of Samoa, was first announced on October 15, 1977. A groundbreaking ceremony and site dedication were held on February 19, 1981 with Spencer W. Kimball giving the dedicatory prayer. Both the original temple and the rebuilt temple use a classic modern design with a single spire, on a temple site. The original temple was , but with the rebuilding the total floor area is now . The exterior of the temple is finished with granite. The temple has two ordinance rooms and two sealing rooms. The temple was open to the public for tours July 19 through 30, 1983. Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the Apia Samoa Temple August 5, 1983 and rededicated the new temple on September 4, 2005. The Apia Samoa temple is one of the more heavily used temples of the Church and serves 56,000 members in 16 stakes from American Samoa, and the islands of Upolu and Savai'j.
Fire and reconstruction
The fire that destroyed the temple was on July 9
. No one was hurt in the fire because the temple was closed for expansion and renovation. The fire occurred in the evening after workers had gone home. One week later, on July 16
, The First Presidency sent a letter to the people of the area telling them that the temple would be rebuilt. A couple months later on October 19
the site was rededicated and a groundbreaking ceremony was held. As part of the construction process, the Church demolished a church building on the property and built a new chapel across the street from the temple. On January 25
the angel Moroni
statue that had survived the fire was placed on the spire of the new building.