CENTRAL — A new temple presidency was organized for The Gila Valley Arizona Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in November 2018.
Organized under the direction of the First Presidency of the Church, the temple presidency includes President Paul Ben Kartchner and Susan Dee Blanchard Kartchner, First Counselor Melvin J. Palmer and Adeline Lamoreaux Palmer, and Second Counselor Danny Lee Merrill and Pennie Post Merrill.
The Gila Valley Arizona Temple is one of six temples in Arizona and serves more than 30,000 members of the church from six stakes, including the Pima Arizona Stake, Thatcher Arizona Stake, Safford Arizona Stake, Duncan Arizona Stake, St. David Arizona Stake and Silver City New Mexico Stake.
The temple was dedicated May 23, 2010, and Paul Kartchner will be the temple’s fourth president. Temple presidencies serve voluntarily, usually for a period of several years, and oversee all activities performed at the temple.
Paul Kartchner is from St. David and has previously served as a stake president, a bishop and a temple volunteer. A retired anesthesiologist, he was born in Tombstone to James Anderson and Lois Martineau Kartchner.
Melvin Palmer worked for the Church Educational System in Flagstaff, St. Johns and Thatcher. He has served in the past as a bishop and temple volunteer. He and his wife also served senior missions at the Hawaiian Polynesian Cultural Center and in Crownpoint, N.M. He was born in Flagstaff to Gus and Ruth Palmer.
Danny Merrill, from Clifton, has served as bishop, stake president, mission president and temple volunteer. He is retired from the insurance business and now owns his own home inspection business. He was born in Tucson to Glen Eugene Merrill and Lorina Goodman Merrill.
Susan Kartchner will serve as temple matron. She has served in various positions in the Church Relief Society, Young Women and Primary organizations. She has previously been a temple volunteer and a family history consultant. She was born in Torrance, Calif., to Joseph Ben and Dolores Ann Bernhardt Blanchard.
Adeline Palmer is serving as an assistant to the matron. She is the mother of 10 children and has 43 grandchildren. She has served in the Church Relief Society and Primary organizations and in the Young Women organization as the director at girls camp. She has also been a temple volunteer. She was born in Gilbert to Tenney and Ruth Ison Lamoreaux.
Pennie Merrill will serve as an assistant to the matron. She has served in the Church Relief Society, Primary and Young Women organizations. She has also been a family history consultant and temple volunteer. Pennie was born in Benson to Howard O. Post and Inez Scott Post.