Genesis Group

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The Genesis Group is a social organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for African-American members and their families. It was first organized in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1971 to provide members an organization where they could affiliate with fellow African-American members. The group was led by Ruffin Bridgeforth from 1971 through 1978. Shortly after the church's June 8, 1978, announcement of the revelation extending the priesthood to all worthy male members of the church, the group was dissolved.

The Genesis Group was reorganized in the 1990s, based on a perception that African Americans still had unique issues and could benefit from a chance to affiliate with one another, especially since many were the only members of African descent in their local wards and even in their stakes. Leaders of the group include Darius Gray (1997–2003) and Don Harwell (2003–present). Seventy President Ronald A. Rasband is currently the LDS general authority responsible for overseeing the group. Whereas when the group was first organized it was a potential resource at least in theory for issues relating to black members throughout the United States, under its current existence it is under the Utah Salt Lake City Area with designation to be a resource throughout all three Areas in Utah, a multi-area system facilitated in part by having one man preside over all three areas. Genesis Groups formed in other parts of the United States would either be under the local stake or more likely have either the member of the Presidency of the Seventy assigned to that area or an Area Seventy as the priesthood advisor over the group. This would be roughly similar to how members of an LDS High Council interact with the wards or branches they are assigned to.

Other Genesis groups have existed in Washington, D.C. and presently exist in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio, Los Angeles and Oakland, California, Houston, Texas, Rochester, New York and Arlington, Texas.

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References[edit]

  • "Faithful witness", feature story, Salt Lake Tribune, July 7, 2007, pp. C-1, C-3.

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