The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Alabama
Concerted missionary efforts in Alabama started around 1842-1843 in Alabama with the work of Elders James Brown and John U. Eldridge. Before August 24, 1842, branches in Tuscaloosa (the Cybry Branch) and Perry (Bogue-Chitto Branch) counties were organized by Elder Brown. Elder Eldridge baptized his brother, wife, and mother-in-law earlier that year.
Elder John Brown, was among the early missionaries baptized a number a people in Tuscaloosa and Perry Counties including some of the first African-Americans to join the church. Hagar and Jack, two African-American men, joined the Church on October 24, 1843. Many of the early missionaries frequently passed between Alabama and Mississippi in their work.
Most early members immigrated west to join the body of the saint and to avoid persecution. Some of these Alabama members were among the group of "Mississippi Saints" that emigrated under the leadership of John Brown and William Crosby in 1846.
In 1876, missionary work resumed with the creation of the Southern States Mission. Persecution was widespread in the 1880s with some even asking Alabama's governor to force the missionaries from the state. This subsided somewhat by 1894.
A new branch was established in Magnolia, Alabama during the late 1890s. Despite the tarring and feathering of some missionaries to the branch and the attempted arson of an early meeting place, a wood-frame Magnolia Chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was completed in 1913. Two elders from Utah assisted in the construction, Elder Sellers from Vernal and Elder Joseph E. Ward from Parowan. Although the branch completed a new brick chapel adjacent to the old one in 1972, the historic chapel continues to be used for social occasions. It is the oldest surviving LDS chapel in the state. The Magnolia Branch is currently a member of the Montgomery Stake.
By the mid-1930s Sunday School groups existed in Birmingham, Elkmont, Gadsen, McCalla, and Montgomery. In 1937, the Alabama District split in half to create the Alabama and North Alabama Districts. In 1940, the Montgomery Branch staged a pioneer parade that attracted thousands.
Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, several thousand Latter-day Saint volunteers, from a 7 state area (including Alabama), went to Louisiana and Mississippi. Many of them taking time out of their jobs or came down on the weekends to help anyone needing assistance.
On September 3, 2000 the Birmingham Alabama Temple was dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley.
|98. Birmingham Alabama|
Gardendale, Alabama, US
- LDS Newsroom (Alabama)
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - Official Site
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - Visitors Site
- Deseret News 2010 Church Almanac (Illinois)
- LDS Meetinghouse Locator.Nearby Congregations (Wards and Branches).
- USA-Alabama, "Facts and Statistics: Statistics by Country", Newsroom (LDS Church), December 31, 2011
- Mississippi Mormons
- Marengo County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Marengo County, Alabama, page 34. Clanton, Alabama: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2000. ISBN 1-891647-58-X
- Lynn Tilton (August 1977). "Magnolia Heritage". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Intellectual Reserve, Inc. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
- Latter-day Saints to Mobilize Another 4,000 Volunteers in Chainsaw Brigade's Second Wave 
- Latter-day Saints Mobilize 4000 Volunteers in Chainsaw Brigades First Wave. PR Web. September 17, 2005
- Joining Hands as Neighbors and Now Friends