Country Profile


When missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints arrived in Tennessee in October 1834, they preached at a Campbellite church meeting and baptized seven converts. Another 24 were baptized later. These missionaries were joined by future Church President Wilford Woodruff in 1835, who preached to 500 people at a tavern. During the next three months, Woodruff and his companion baptized 20 converts. By year’s end, Woodruff had traveled 3,248 miles, baptized 43 people (—three of whom were Campbellite preachers) —and had three mobs rise against him.

The worst massacre of Church members in the South occurred on August 10, 1884, when mobbers shot to death missionaries William S. Berry and John H. Gibbs, and two local members during Church services near Cane Creek, Tennessee. B.H. Roberts, who was in charge of the mission at the time, heroically donned a disguise, traveled to the tense area and retrieved the bodies of the slain missionaries. In 1888, a group of 177 Church members left the unfavorable conditions in Chattanooga and moved to Colorado and Utah. By the 1890s, public opinion became more tolerant. The oldest existing Church building in the Southeast was dedicated in Northcutts Cove in 1909.

Two temples, one in Nashville and the other in Memphis, were dedicated in 2000.

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