UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Jan. 1, 2009: Est. population, 304,060,000; Members, 5,974,041; Stakes, 1,438; Wards, 11,289; Branches, 2,074; Districts, 12; Missions, 106;Temples in use, 62; under construction or announced, 7; Percent LDS, 2, or one in 51.
A few stakes and missions have headquarters in states other than that for which they are named. To simplify this listing, these stakes and missions are listed in the states for which they are named. Numbers preceding stakes and missions are their chronological numbers assigned at the time of creation. Letters are added if number has been used previously.
(* Stake name changed 14 Jan 1974 or as indicated otherwise.)
Jan. 1, 2009: Est. population, 6,500,000; Members, 374,830; Stakes, 88; Wards, 690; Branches, 94; Missions, 4; Temples, 2, announced, 3; Percent LDS, 5.8, or one in 17.
The Mormon Battalion marched through the area that is now Arizona in 1846 on its way to California. The next time Church members entered the area was in 1858 and 1859, when Jacob Hamblin and his companions camped at Pipe Spring in the northwestern part of Arizona while journeying to and from their missions among the Moqui (Hopi) Indians east of the Colorado River. During the 1860s and 1870s, Church parties explored portions of the area searching for possible settlement sites. Also during this period, isolated ranches and small Mormon settlements were established at Short Creek (now Colorado City), Pipe Spring, Beaver Dams (now Littlefield), and Lee’s Ferry, all in the area between the Utah border and the Grand Canyon known as the Arizona Strip.
The first effort at large-scale colonization by the Church in Arizona came in March of 1873 when a group of saints was sent from Utah to the Little Colorado River drainage under the direction of Horton D. Haight. The colonizers turned back, discouraged by the poor prospects, but a few returned the following year and began farming among the Indians at Moencopi, including John L. Blythe. Local hostilities forced the colonists to leave again after only one month. A year later, James S. Brown led another small colonizing group that successfully settled at Moencopi, then began exploring the surrounding area. Following these explorations, a large group of pioneers arrived in the spring of 1876 and established four settlements on the Little Colorado, which they called Ballenger’s Camp (later renamed Brigham City), Sunset, Obed and Allen City (later renamed St. Joseph, then still later Joseph City).
Two years after the initial settlement, on 27 January 1878, the Little Colorado Stake, the first in Arizona, was established at these settlements. The first school in Arizona sponsored by the Church was also begun at this time at Obed. Although Joseph City is the only one of the original four settlements remaining, several other communities grew and flourished in the area as more colonists arrived during the ensuing decades and spread throughout the Little Colorado drainage.
During 1877, Jonesville (later renamed Lehi) in the Salt River Valley was established, along with St. David on the San Pedro River. The following year saw the creation of another settlement on the Salt River at Mesa. Then, beginning in 1879, several pioneer families settled at Pima on the Gila River. The next few years also saw the establishment of Thatcher in that same area.
Eventually, more than 30 Mormon colonies were started in Arizona and some of the pioneers also helped establish colonies in northern Mexico. These hardy pioneers overcame severe hardships in the early years, including drought, crop failures, difficulties with neighbors and floods. At Woodruff on the Little Colorado River, for example, members built 17 successive dams after each was destroyed by flash floods.
Over the years, members gained prominence and were involved in the progress of the state. They earned a good reputation for their industry and integrity.
On 23 October 1927, the first Arizona temple was dedicated in Mesa. Until that time, members had traveled to the St. George Temple. In fact, because of all of the bridal parties that traversed the trail during the early years, the wagon road between St. George and the Arizona settlements became known as the Honeymoon Trail. The temple at Mesa was also the first temple in the Church to be rededicated – on 15 April 1975 – after extensive remodeling and enlarging to accommodate increased attendance. A second Arizona temple was dedicated in Snowflake on 3 March 2002.
During the colonization period, many of the settlers shared the gospel with the Native Americans near their settlements. In fact, some of the earliest settlements were purposely established in or near concentrations of the Hopi people to make missionary work easier. The formation of regular missions in Arizona did not begin, however, until later in the 20th century with the establishment of the Arizona Mission (now Arizona Tempe) in 1969, followed by the Arizona Holbrook Mission in 1974, which was discontinued in 1984 when the Arizona Phoenix Mission was created. The Arizona Tucson Mission was organized in 1990. The fourth mission in Arizona, the Arizona Mesa Mission, was established in March 2002.
President Spencer W. Kimball, who served as president of the Church from 1973-1985, was reared in Thatcher and served as the first president of the Mt. Graham Stake.
Membership in 1930 totaled 18,732 members. By 1980, membership reached 171,880. By 1990, membership was 241,000, and 305,000 by 1999. In 2002, membership was 330,972 with 78 stakes.
On 14 September 1997, President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke to about 5,000 Native Americans at Window Rock on the Navajo Reservation, the first Church president to speak in the Navajo capital. Later that same year, on 13 December, the Casa Grande Arizona Stake presented a plaque to officials of the Gila River Indian Community in honor of the kindness shown to the Mormon Battalion by the Pima Indians 150 years earlier.
In June 2002, the worst forest fire in Arizona’s history burned nearly a half million acres and threatened many of the towns in eastern Arizona that had been established by Mormon pioneers. The fire destroyed 467 homes and forced the evacuation of 35,000 people, including 14,000 Church members. The Church sent food, tents, sleeping bags and emergency power-generation equipment. In addition, the Church donated $125,000 for food and other supplies in the needed areas.
Membership in 2003 was 339,891.
Sources: Littlefield Ward manuscript history and historical reports, Church Archives; Lehi Ward manuscript history and historical reports, Church Archives; Mesa Ward manuscript history and historical reports, Church Archives; Thatcher Ward manuscript history and historical reports, Church Archives; Pima Ward manuscript history and historical reports, Church Archives; Southwest Indian Mission manuscript history and historical reports, Church Archives; Jenson, Andrew, Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1941; Updike, Paul, “Early History of Arizona,” The Pioneer, January 1981; Kate B. Carter, Heart Throbs of the West; Thomas Edwin Farrish, “Mormons in Arizona,” reprinted in the Deseret News, 31 August 1918, section 4, 1; “President Kimball Rededicates Arizona Temple,” Ensign, June 1975, p. 76; “Native Americans remembered for help to Mormon Battalion,” Church News, 20 December 1997, 3; “5,000 Native Americans gather to hear prophet,” Church News, 20 September 1997, 6; “Temple fulfills old prophecies,” Church News, 9 March 2002, 3; “Members respond to evacuees’ needs during Arizona’s Rodeo-Chediski fire,” Church News, 6 July 2002, 6; BYU Department of Church History and Doctrine, Regional studies in Latter-day Saint church history, 1989; Jack Cary, “St. David on the San Pedro,” Arizona Highways, August 1956; McKoy, Kathleen L. Pipe Spring, Cultures at a Crossroads: An Administrative History, 2001.
Stakes — 88
(Listed alphabetically as of Oct. 1, 2009.)
No. / Name / Organized / First President
North America Southwest Area
1616 / Apache Junction Arizona / 16 Nov 1986 / Charles Wray Squires
1666 / Buckeye Arizona / 13 Dec 1987 / Charles Roy Rucker
1819 / Casa Grande Arizona / 13 Oct 1991 / Scott J. McEuen
988 / Chandler Arizona / 3 Dec 1978 / Elone Evans Farnsworth
1513 / Chandler Arizona Alma / 24 Feb 1985 / Martin H. Durrant
2732 / Chandler Arizona East / 17 Sep 2006 / Scott R Palmer?
2255 / Chandler Arizona West / 20 Oct 1996 / Donald Lynn Jones
1773 / Chinle Arizona / 30 Sep 1990 / Edwin I. Tano
888 / *Cottonwood Arizona / 9 Apr 2000
Camp Verde Arizona / 22 Jan 1978 / John Edward Eagar
963 / Duncan Arizona / 24 Sep 1978 / Earl Adair Merrell
1627 / Eagar Arizona / 25 Jan 1987 / Charles D. Martin
232 / *Flagstaff Arizona
Flagstaff / 23 Sep 1956 / Burton R. Smith
2358 / Gilbert Arizona / 18 May 1997 / John Wootton Lewis
703 / *Gilbert Arizona Greenfield / 11 Oct 1981 / Gilbert Arizona / 24 Aug 1975 / Newell A. Barney
2282 / Gilbert Arizona Highland / 24 Nov 1996 / David E. Lesueur
2657 / Gilbert Arizona Higley / 31 Oct 2004 / Mark Dee Pugmire
2578 / Gilbert Arizona San Tan / 3 Dec 2000 / Mark Dee Pugmire
1295 / Gilbert Arizona Stapley / 11 Oct 1981 / Wilburn James Brown
1661 / Gilbert Arizona Val Vista / 22 Nov 1987 / Craig Allen Cardon
612 / *Glendale Arizona
Glendale / 6 May 1973 / Melvin L. Huber
1236 / Glendale Arizona North / 15 Feb 1981 / Richard Johnson Barrett
650 / Globe Arizona / 16 Jun 1974 / Bennie Joe Cecil
2789 / Goodyear Arizona / 9 Dec 2007 / John Clarence Hayes
536 / *Holbrook Arizona
Holbrook / 22 Nov 1970 / Jay Barder Williams
1436 / Kingman Arizona / 21 Aug 1983 / Louis George Sorensen
750 / *Lake Havasu City Arizona / 11 Feb 1997
Blythe California / 14 Mar 1976 / Jerry Dean Mortensen
2790 / Maricopa Arizona / 9 Dec 2007 / Malin Walter Lewis
161 / *Mesa Arizona
Mesa / 8 Dec 1946 / L.M. Mecham Jr.
2517 / Mesa Arizona Alta Mesa / 14 Mar 1999 / Donald Milford Erickson
2539 / Mesa Arizona Boulder Creek / 5 Dec 1999 / Russell David Thornock
1265 / Mesa Arizona Central / 10 May 1981 / Clayton H. Hakes
1904 / *Mesa Arizona Citrus Heights / 7 May 1999
Mesa Ariz Red Mountain / 20 Sep 1992 / James Joseph Hamula
2625 / Mesa Arizona Desert Ridge / 18 Jan 2004 / James Bryant Reeder
224 / *Mesa Arizona East
*Mesa East / 29 May 1970
East Mesa / 20 Nov 1955 / Donald Ellsworth
2777 / Mesa Arizona Hermosa Vista / 21 Oct 2007 / Creg Donald Ostler
1087 / Mesa Arizona Kimball / 25 Nov 1979 / Allen Smith Farnsworth
1741 / Mesa Arizona Kimball East / 14 Jan 1990 / Wayne D. Crismon
1026 / Mesa Arizona Lehi / 6 May 1979 / Otto Stronach Shill Jr.
24 / *Mesa Arizona Maricopa
Maricopa / 10 Dec 1882 / Alexander F. MacDonald
2544 / Mesa Arizona Maricopa North / 27 Feb 2000 / Jim L. Wright
1628 / Mesa Arizona Mountain View / 25 Jan 1987 / James R. Adair
558 / *Mesa Arizona North / 27 Feb 2000
*Mesa Arizona Maricopa North / 15 Mar 1978
*Mesa Maricopa North
Maricopa North / 7 Nov 1971 / Raymond L. Russell
1479 / Mesa Arizona Pueblo / 10 Jun 1984 / E. Clark Huber
745 / Mesa Arizona Salt River / 15 Feb 1976 / Elden S. Porter
2593 / Mesa Arizona Skyline / 3 Jun 2001 / Kevin Fenwick Smith
362 / *Mesa Arizona South
Mesa South / 18 Nov 1962 / Stanley F. Turley
555 / *Mesa Arizona West
Mesa West / 10 Oct 1971 / Weymouth D. Pew
633 / Page Arizona / 10 Mar 1974 / J Ballard Washburn
1061 / Paradise Valley Arizona / 9 Sep 1979 / James David King
2552 / Payson Arizona Stake / 9 Apr 2000 / J. Fred Hollobaugh
1631 / Peoria Arizona / 22 Feb 1987 / Thomas G. Jones
2545 / Peoria Arizona North / 27 Jan 2000 / Lloyd S. Price
121 / *Phoenix Arizona
Phoenix / 27 Feb 1938 / James Robert Price
1233 / Phoenix Arizona Deer Valley / 8 Feb 1981 / E. Wayne Pratt
212 / *Phoenix Arizona East
*Phoenix East / 29 May 1970
East Phoenix / 28 Feb 1954 / Junius E. Driggs
253 / *Phoenix Arizona North
Phoenix North / 19 Jan 1958 / Rudger G. Smith
896 / *Phoenix Arizona West Maricopa / 18 May 1978
West Maricopa Arizona / 5 Mar 1978 / DeNelson Jones
1830 / Pima Arizona / 17 Nov 1991 / Stephen Lavar John
2039 / Pinetop-Lakeside Arizona / 26 Mar 1995 / Chester Trent Adams
517 / *Prescott Arizona
Prescott / 7 Jun 1970 / Edward A. Dalton
2609b / Queen Creek Arizona / 27 Oct 2002 / Russell L. Richardson
2792 / Queen Creek Arizona Chandler Heights / 17 Feb 2008 / Russell Lyle Richardson
2656 / Queen Creek Arizona East / 31 Oct 2004 / Brian Val Solomon
2793 / Queen Creek Arizona North / 17 Feb 2008 / Alyn Michael McClure
2690 / Queen Creek Arizona South / 30 Oct 2005 / Ernest Lawes
137 / *St. David Arizona
*Arizona South / 29 May 1970 / Southern Arizona / 2 Mar 1941 / A.B. Ballantyne
31 / *St. Johns Arizona
St. Johns (Arizona, N.M.) / 23 Jul 1887 / David K. Udall
120 / *Safford Arizona
(Arizona, N.M.) / 20 Feb 1938 / Spencer W. Kimball
2840 / Sahuarita Arizona / 21 Jun 2009 / Thayne W. Hardy
1248 / *Scottsdale Arizona Camelback / 4 Oct 1994
?Phoenix Arizona Camelback 22 Mar 1981 Ernest Widtsoe Shumway
364 Scottsdale Arizona North 4 Oct 1994
Scottsdale / 9 Dec 1962 / Junius E. Driggs
668 / Show Low Arizona / 24 Nov 1974 / Elbert J. Lewis
1348 / Sierra Vista Arizona / 6 Jun 1982 C. / Lavell Haymore
31a / *Snowflake Arizona
Snowflake / 18 Dec 1887 / Jesse N. Smith
2667 / Surprise Arizona / 16 Jan 2005 / Alvin Bennett Hancock
2850 / Surprise Arizona North / 16 Aug 2009 / Alvin B. Hancock
1212 / Taylor Arizona / 30 Nov 1980 / Peter Delos Shumway
391 / *Tempe Arizona
Tempe / 2 Feb 1964 / George Isaac Dana
738 / Tempe Arizona South / 18 Jan 1976 / Fred Dale Markham
1708 / Tempe Arizona West / 8 Jan 1989 / Kent M. Christiansen
2585 / Tempe Arizona University / 21 Jan 2001 / David K. Udall
Originally created on / 12 Dec 1971 / Leo Rae Huish;
Discontinued / 28 Apr 1974 / 13 Salt River Valley stakes
25 / *Thatcher Arizona / Saint Joseph / 25 Feb 1883 / Christopher Layton
2068 / Tuba City Arizona / 25 June 1995 / Edwin I. Tano
238 / *Tucson Arizona
Tucson / 2 Dec 1956 / Leslie Odell Brewer
878 / Tucson Arizona East / 6 Nov 1977 / Paul Eugene Dahl
477 / *Tucson Arizona North
Tucson North / 2 Feb 1969 / Don Hakan Peterson
1517 / Tucson Arizona Rincon / 3 Mar 1985 / Ernest G. Blain
2281 / Tucson Arizona West / 24 Nov 1996 / Reed A. Hancock
959 / Winslow Arizona / 17 Sep 1978 / Thomas A. Whipple
263 / *Yuma Arizona
Yuma (Arizona, California) / 27 Apr 1958 / Marion Turley
22 / Eastern Arizona/ 29 Jun 1879 / Jesse N. Smith
Discontinued / 18 Dec 1887 / St. Johns (31), Snowflake (31a)
21 Little Colorado (Ariz., Colo.) 27 Jan 1878 Lot Smith
Discontinued 18 Dec 1887 ?Snowflake (31a)
380 / *Phoenix Arizona West
Phoenix West / 1 Sep 1963 / Keith W. Hubbard
Discontinued 16 Sep 2006
Missions — 4
(As of Oct. 1, 2009; shown with historical number.)
(179c) ARIZONA PHOENIX MISSION
18001 N 79th Ave Bldg C Ste 50
Glendale, AZ 85308-8388
(87) ARIZONA TEMPE MISSION
1871 East Del Rio Drive
Tempe, AZ 85282-2822
(231) ARIZONA TUCSON MISSION
1840 East River Road, #102
Tucson, AZ 85718
(329a) ARIZONA MESA MISSION
6265 N 82nd St.
Scottsdale AZ 85250