Although The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent numerous missionaries to labor in the South prior to the Civil War, a formal mission organization did not exist until the etsablishment of the Southern States Mission of the Church in 1875 at Shady Grove, Tennessee. This thesis details the significant events in the mission during the eventful years of the Ben E. Rich administration, 1898 to 1908. Following his courageous example, hundreds of missionaries taught the message of the Restored Gospel to the people of the South during a renewed period of persecution and hatred as the acceptance of Utah on a par with her sister states was tested by the Roberts Trial and the Smoot Hearings. In addition to his role as mission president, Ben E. Rich played a significant part in winning the friendship and support of Theodore Roosevelt during the Smoot Hearings.
This study also outlines the history of the mission and the growth of the the Southern Church membership following the Rich administration until 1970.
College and Department
Religious Education; Church History and Doctrine
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Anderson, Ted S., "The Southern States Mission and the Administration of Ben E. Rich, 1898-1908: Including a Statistical Study of Church Growth in the Southeastern United States During the Twentieth Century" (1976). Theses and Dissertations. 4479.
Ben. E. Rich, Benjamin Erastus, 1855-1913, Mormon Church, Missions, Southern States