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  Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission

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History of the LDS Church in Louisiana and in the South

Thanks to Dane Bounds of the Hammond, LA Ward for this information

This chronology was created by Dane Bounds on 17 April 1997 for his seminary class. He used material presented in the Ensign magazine, Sister Mary Nelson's history of the Church in Louisiana, the Southern Saints web site, and from the Church News. It was updated on 22 July 1999, 23 November 2002, and 1 December 2002.

Date Event
14 Jan 1841 A branch of the Church was organized in New Orleans with 34 members with F. B. Jackman as president.
Jan 1841 Two Louisiana saints mailed $10 to the Prophet Joseph Smith, indicating there was a small branch of the Church in New Orleans and requesting that an elder be sent to the area.
28 Mar 1841 Joseph Smith called Elder Harrison Sagers to open the city of New Orleans to the preaching of the gospel at the insistence of a few members there.
Nov 1841 First Presidency made New Orleans the port of entry for LDS emigrants.
1849 New Orleans branch reached 169 members.
1855 The First Presidency discontinued New Orleans as port of entry because of the prevalence of deadly cholera and yellow fever along the Mississippi River. Soon the New Orleans branch disbanded.
11 Aug 1878 Southern States Mission was organized. Although Louisiana was included in its boundaries, no missionaries were sent to the state for 20 years.
late 1895 Six missionaries were sent to Louisiana (the first since before the Civil War).
1897 Missionaries were in all parts of the state. Elders Swenson and Dall were driven from Livingston Parish by a mob led by a Methodist minister.
4 Feb 1899 37 missionaries were serving in Louisiana.
9 Oct 1899 An armed mob of 78 men were kept from hurting Elder Carter by an old lady.
Oct 1900 Louisiana was transferred to the Southwestern States Mission.
1904 Louisiana was transferred to the Central States Mission.
about 1915 A caravan of covered wagons drawn by "jennies" (female donkeys) traveled from Pride to Corleyville area to swell the numbers of the Corleyville branch.
1930 Louisiana became a part of the Texas Mission head quartered in Houston. There were over 1500 members of the Church in Louisiana.
1938 The Louisiana District of the Texas Mission was split into 2 districts.
1943 Because of the war, local members presided over districts and branches.
May 1945 Louisiana became a part of the newly created Texas-Louisiana Mission.
1953 When the Dallas (Texas) Stake was organized, Shreveport branch became the first ward in Louisiana.
19 Jun 1955
  • Louisiana became a part of the newly created Gulf States Mission head quartered in Shreveport.
  • The New Orleans Stake (the fifth stake in the South) was organized with Clive Larson as president and Mark Weede and Clarence Call as counselors. The stake included 17 other wards and branches in Mississippi and Louisiana and a population of 2600 members.
Jan 1958 Shreveport Stake was created.
14 Aug 1966 Another addition to the Hammond meetinghouse was dedicated 14 Aug 1966 by Elder Gordon B. Hinckley.
16 Sep 1967 The first Hammond seminary class met at 6:30 a.m.
26 Jan 1969 Elders Mark E. Peterson and Boyd K. Packer of the Twelve created the Baton Rouge Stake.
1970 Membership in Louisiana was over 8100.
20 Jun 1974 The Gulf States Mission was renamed to the Louisiana Shreveport Mission.
1 Jul 1975 The Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission was created from the Gulf States Mission.
27 Aug 1978 The Alexandria Louisiana Stake was formed.
1 Jul 1979 The Mississippi Jackson Mission was created from the Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission.
1980 The state had over 12,500 members.
19 Apr 1981 Elder Gordon B. Hinckley created the Denham Springs Louisiana Stake.
12 Oct 1982 Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone created the Monroe District in northern Louisiana with ten branches and a population of 1500 members.
1 Jun 1983 The Atlanta Georgia Temple was dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley. It was the first temple in the Southern United States. Louisiana was assigned to its temple district.
19 Oct 1984 The Dallas Texas Temple was dedicated. Most of the membership in the state were assigned to the Dallas Temple district and the rest to the Atlanta Temple.
1985 The Monroe Louisiana Stake was organized.
17 Nov 1985 The Slidell Louisiana Stake was organized.
6 Nov 1988 A five-stake regional conference was held in Hammond at Southeastern Louisiana University's University Center with thousands of members in attendance. Visiting General Authorities were President Gordon B. Hinckley, Elder Marvin J. Ashton, and President J. Richard Clarke.
1989 Louisiana had 22,000 saints with 7 stakes, 56 wards and branches.
January 1993 Another five-stake conference was held in Hammond at SLU. Presiding at the conference was Elder L. Tom Perry of the Council of the Twelve.
28 Feb-1 Mar 1998 Yet another five-stake conference was held in Hammond at SLU. Presiding at the conference was Elder Richard G. Scott of the Twelve.
14 Oct 1998 The First Presidency sent a letter announcing the construction of the Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple. It was sent to the stake presidents, bishops, and branch presidents in the nine stakes in Mississippi and Louisiana, which form the new temple's district.
8 May 1999 The ground breaking ceremony for the Baton Rouge temple was held at 10 a.m. on Saturday 8 May 1999. Elder Monte Brough of the Seventy and president of the North America Southeast Area of the Church presided.
28 Dec 1999 The statute of the Angel Moroni was placed on the top of the steeple of the Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple. Approximately 250 people assembled to witness the event on a rather cool morning in Baton Rouge.
1-8 Jul 2000 An open house was held so that the public could view interior of the Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple.
16 Jul 2000 The Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple was dedicated in four sessions by President Gordon B. Hinckley, assisted by Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Council of the Twelve.
17 Jul 2000 The Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple was opened for ordinance work with Doye Gregory Brumfield as president and his wife, Alicia Marie Whitney Brumfield as temple matron. Serving as his counselors were A. G. Moulder and Darell A. Nope. The Baton Rouge Temple became the 94th in operation worldwide.

©1998-2002, Dane Bounds (not sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
Used with permission
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