Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints visits Afton, Wyoming
◆ Presiding Bishop manages humanitarian aid and welfare programs as part of his responsibilities.
By Lance D. Oviatt
Afton Wyoming Stake
Gérald Caussé became the 15th presiding bishop in the Church’s history in October 2015. Bishop Caussé is the third presiding bishop born outside the United States and the first for whom English is a second language.
Gérald Caussé was born in Bordeaux, France on May 20, 1963. He married Valérie Lucienne Babin in August 1986. They are the parents of five children. Bishop Caussé was serving as a General Authority Seventy and as a counselor in the Europe Area Presidency when he accepted the call to be a counselor in the Presiding Bishopric at the April 2012 general conference.
Bishop Caussé received a master’s degree in business from ESSEC in 1987. His career has been in the food industry, where he has worked with several supermarket chains and food distribution companies. At the time of his call as a General Authority Seventy, he was the general manager of Pomona, a food distribution company in France.
The Presiding Bishop of the Church is responsible for managing such matters as humanitarian aid, welfare programs, tithing and fast offerings, physical facilities, and the organization of membership records, among others for the Church as a whole.
Bishop Caussé is also called on to travel frequently to minister to Church members around the world. It was in this capacity that he was assigned to visit the Afton Wyoming Stake Conference which was held on August 28th and 29th. In addition to delivering inspiring messages to local members of the Church in meetings, he was also able to minister personally to several members of the Church in their homes.
In connection with Bishop Caussé’s responsibilities for overseeing the Church’s humanitarian aid and welfare programs, he was able to visit the local food bank in Afton. Bishop Caussé was able to meet with Julie Buckley from the Thayne Food Bank and Sierra Mitchell and her board with the Afton Food Bank. With his background in the supermarket business and food distribution he said he was greatly impressed with our local food banks and their organization. He said, “It doesn’t matter what religion we belong to, we all share a common belief in the Savior Jesus Christ and following His admonition to care for each other.” When speaking of the Church’s welfare system Bishop Caussé also said, “It is a labor of love as we work together to provide assistance to those in need.”
During the height of the economic impact of the pandemic the Church’s food relief program, overseen by Bishop Caussé, sent over 800 truckloads of food to 380 food banks, homeless shelters and charitable agencies throughout the U.S. In all, more than 26 million meals were provided to those in need. Our local food banks were blessed to receive three truckloads of canned and bottled food, flour, cheese, and milk from this great relief effort.
When asked about Bishop Caussé’s visit President Scott Milne of the Afton Wyoming Stake said, “It was a great blessing and privilege to have Bishop Caussé join us and preside at our Stake Conference. He and his wife are wonderful people and exemplify what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Their love and concern for the welfare of all people was truly remarkable and their desire to bring people closer to Christ was evident in their kindness and Christlike love. We were truly blessed to have them here to teach and edify us.”