The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints plans Roanoke Temple

Published: Oct. 3, 2023 at 7:31 PM EDT
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SALEM, Va. (WDBJ) - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has announced plans to build a Roanoke temple that will serve all of southwest Virginia.

Tuesday afternoon, we spoke with members of the church who told us they have prayed for a temple to be located in this region.

They described the announcement Sunday afternoon as a “wonderful surprise.”

When President Russell Nelson announced plans for new temples, Roanoke was among 20 locations in 13 countries.

“I was shocked and just couldn’t believe it,” said church member Sandy Camp. “I am so excited about it.”

Camp and others in local congregations weren’t expecting the news, but they are thrilled by the prospect of a temple serving southwest Virginia.

“I think it’s going to mean people being able to go more often,” said Debbie Richardson. “I think it’s going to add to people knowing more about what a temple may be.”

A new temple opened in Richmond in May. It took about five years from the announcement to its dedication, but church leaders are optimistic the Roanoke temple won’t take that long.

“We’re hopeful that without COVID in the middle, that our timing will be faster than that,” said Sondra MacArthur, Communications Director for the Roanoke stake.

Exactly where the temple will be built and when it will be completed remain open questions, but church leaders say they look forward to sharing the announcements and celebrating those milestones over the next few years.