The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) in Virginia

by 2020, there were 173 wards and 31 branches in Virginia
by 2020, there were 173 wards and 31 branches in Virginia
Source: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Find a Meetinghouse or Ward

The first members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Virginia arrived in 1832, a dozen years after Joseph Smith had his revelation in upstate New York. Missionaries focused on southwestern Virginia. The Virginia Conference was created in 1843.

Missionaries were recalled after Joseph Smith was murdered in 1844. There were an estimated 340 members of the church, and most are thought o have migrated to Utah. Some returned a decade later to Tazewell County, but then the Civil War interrupted efforts to attract new members.

Efforts were renewed in 1875, with creation of the Southern States Mission. By 1919, there were clusters of Mormons in Danville, Petersburg, Portsmouth and Richmond. By 1973, Virginia was a stand-alone mission. In 1992, the church had grown enough to create the separate Virginia Roanoke Mission and the Virginia Richmond Mission.

The expansion of the Federal government during the Great Depression and World War II led to Mormons concentrating in the Washington, DC area. The Washington Stake was created in 1940, and its Arlington Branch became the first ward in Virginia. In 1945, the Richmond Ward was established. It was part of the Washington Branch until the Virginia Stake was created in 1957.

When the Potomac Stake was created in 1963, wards in Northern Virginia were transferred to it. Groundbreaking for a temple in Richmond was held in 2018. By 2020, there were 22 stakes with 173 wards and 31 branches. The almost 100,000 members in Virginia constituted slightly more than 1% of the state's population.1

Religion in Virginia

Links

References

1. "LDS Church in Virginia," The Mormon Wiki, https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/facts-and-statistics/state/virginia (last checked December 21, 2020)


Religion in Virginia
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