The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Washington

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The Seattle Washington LDS Temple

As of January 1, 2016 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reported 284,631 members in 61 stakes, 552 Congregations (481 wards and 71 branches), eight missions, and three temples in Washington.[1][2] In addition, members in the Bellingham Washington Stake are served by the Vancouver British Columbia Temple[3] and members in and around Vancouver, Washington are served by the Portland Oregon Temple.[4]


The first known member of the Church moved to Washington in 1852,[5] with missionaries arriving in Washington Territory from California as early as 1854. Enough converts were baptized along the Lewis River in the southwest portion of the state that a congregation was created in that area. Tensions escalated to the death of one member in 1911, who has given a secret burial at night.

Members of the Church helped construct the Oregon Short Line Railroad in the 1880s. By 1930, nearly two thousand members lived within the state with chapels located in the Puget Sound Region and in Spokane. Washington saw many members move to the state after the completion of the Grand Coulee Dam and during World War II to work in defense industries.[5]

The first branch in Washington was created at Tacoma near the end of 1899, with its first stake being created at Seattle in 1938.[5] Washington's first temple was built in Bellevue in 1980. There are now also temples in Spokane and Richland.[6]

Membership history[edit]

Year Membership
1920 1,199
1930 3,443
1940 5,113
1950 11,551
1960 35,701
1970 67,203
1980 138,000
1990 189,000
1999 226,411
2008 257,710
2012 271,625
2015 282,356


On July 26, 1897, the Northwestern States Mission was organized to search out Latter Day Saints who had moved to Washington, Oregon, and Montana. On January 1, 1968, The Pacific Northwest Mission was created with Joe E. Whitesides as president. On June 10, 1970, its name changed to the Washington Mission and ultimately the Washington Seattle Mission on June 20, 1974. As of 2016, Washington is home to eight missions, three of which are east of the Cascade Mountains, and five are on the west side.

Mission President Organized
Washington Everett Mission Michael S Wilding[7] 1 July 2001[8]
Washington Federal Way Mission Sterling A. Rasmussen[7] 1 July 2013[9]
Washington Kennewick Mission Doneal L White[7] 1 July 2002[10]
Washington Seattle Mission Anthony W. Schofield[11] 1 January 1968[12]
Washington Spokane Mission Wayne R Dymock[11] 1 July 1978[13]
Washington Tacoma Mission John D Blatter[14] 1 July 1990[15]
Washington Vancouver Mission Dennis A. McAteer[7] 1 July 2013[16]
Washington Yakima Mission John C. Lewis[11] 30 June 2015[17]


Washington currently has three temples in operation.

Seattle Temple.jpg

19. Seattle Washington Temple edit


Bellevue, Washington, United States
May 27, 1978
November 17, 1980 by Spencer W. Kimball
110,000 sq ft (10,000 m2) and 179 ft (55 m) high on a 23.5 acre (9.5 ha) site

Spokane Temple by colors fade.jpeg

59. Spokane Washington Temple edit


Veradale, Washington, United States
August 13, 1998
August 21, 1999 by Gordon B. Hinckley
10,700 sq ft (990 m2) and 71 ft (22 m) high on a 2 acre (0.8 ha) site
Classic modern, single-spire design

Columbia river temple.jpg

107. Columbia River Washington Temple edit


Richland, Washington, United States
April 2, 2000
November 18, 2001 by Gordon B. Hinckley
16,880 sq ft (1,568 m2) on a 2.88 acre (1.2 ha) site
Classic modern, single-spire design


Further reading[edit]

  • Bolton, Herbert E. (January 1926). "The Mormons in the Opening of the Great West". 17. Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine: 40–72.
  • Horne, J. Arthur (1968). Latter-day Saints in the Great Northwest. Seattle, WA: Graphic Art Press. OCLC 42251464.
  • Jorgensen, Rick B. (2002). A History of the Latter-day Saints in the Columbia Basin of Central Washington, 1850-1972 (M.A. thesis). Brigham Young University.
  • Silvester, Melanie L. (April 2002). "A Branch of Faith in the Forest". 32 (4). Ensign: 38–42.
  • Smart, William B. (January 1961). "Mormonism's First Foothold in the Pacific Northwest". 29 (1). Utah Historical Quarterly: 21–30.
  • Stinebaugh, Thomas L. (2000). "Washington State". Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book. pp. 1316–1317. ISBN 1-57345-822-8.

External links[edit]