Utah Church History

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Before 1900 the largest religious groups in Utah were The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Methodists, and Presbyterians.[1]

Reported Membership by Denomination[edit | edit source]

1906[edit | edit source]

Denomination Members PCT
Baptist 987 0.57%
Congregational 1,174 0.68%
Methodist Episcopal 1,537 0.89%
Presbyterian 1,902 1.10%
Protestant Episcopal 977 0.57%
Other Protestant 1,616 0.94%
Roman Catholic 8,356 4.84%
Jewish 183 0.11%
Greek Orthodox 4,500 2.60%
Latter-day Saint 151,032 87.40%
All other 550 0.32%

Source: United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. Religious Bodies : 1906, Part I. "Table 4. Population in 1900 and Communicants or Members for Selected Denominations, For Each State and Territory, by Counties: 1906." Washington, D.C. : Government Printin Office, 1910. p. 364 Google Books edition.

1916[edit | edit source]

Denomination Members PCT
Adventist 175 0.06%
Baptist 1,305 0.46%
Congregational 1,616 0.58%
Disciples of Christ 318 0.11%
German Evangelical Synod 118 0.04%
Jewish 670 0.24%
Latter-day Saint 257,719 91.76%
Reorganized RLDS 563 0.20%
Lutheran 257 0.09%
Methodist 1,848 0.66%
African Methodist Episcopal 69 0.02%
Presbyterian 2,254 0.80%
Protestant Episcopal 1,469 0.52%
Roman Catholic 10,000 3.56%
Salvation Army 111 0.04%
Swedish Evangelical Free 71 0.03%
All other 2,285 0.81%

Source: United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. Religious Bodies 1916, Part I. "Table 62. Statistics of Religious Bodies in Each State, By Denominations: 1916." Washington, D.C. : Government Printing Office, 1919. p. 226 Google Books edition.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons)[edit | edit source]

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The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.


A source that describes events in Church history from 1805 to 1913 is: 

The following are a few general sources and histories for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Most of the sources are indexed in The Pioneer Heritage CD-ROM, LDS Family History Suite, and the Early Church Information File. Some of the complete text is also computerized on the compact disks:

  • Jenson, Andrew. Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret News Publishing Company, 1941. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library; FHL film 496776; FHL fiche 6053258; FHL book 289.309 J453e. Index: FHL film 928073 item 8; FHL fiche 6103908; FHL book 289.309 J453ei. This record contains histories of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints units describing when they were organized and if they were created from a different unit. From this you will be able to determine where the membership records are found. Leaders of the area are also listed. Indexed in the Early Church Information File.
  • Journal History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1830-1973). Salt Lake City, Utah: Historical Dept., 1969, 1973. FHL films 1259729-795. Films do not circulate to Family History Centers. This collection includes newspaper clippings and extracts from journals, letters, histories, biographies, rosters, and manuscript material. Daily events are arranged chronologically. Also available at the Church History Library and Church Archives. The sets at the Harold B. Lee Library and the Utah Historical Society Library are not as current.
  • The Journal History Index is online from the Church History Library. (Images of a card index) The microfilm index is cataloged separately in Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The. Historical Department. Index to Journal History. Salt Lake City, Utah: Historical Department, 1973. FHL film 1233503 (first of 58). Films do not circulate to family history centers. This index contains an alphabetical listing of individual names, places, events, and subjects. Each entry gives the date and page where the entry is found in the Journal History films.

Methodist[edit | edit source]

The Methodist church was organized in Salt Lake City, Utah on August 8, 1872.Its history is found in the following:

  • Merkel, Henry Martin. History of Methodism in Utah. Colorado Springs, Colorado: Dentan Printing, 1938. FHL book 979.2 K2m. This book has a bibliography and a list of pastors. Each congregation maintains its own records.
  • The Ira J. Taylor Archives has the records for some of the discontinued congregations of Utah. Staff there can also help you locate existing congregations. See Iliff School of Theology above.

Presbyterian[edit | edit source]

For a history of the Presbyterian Church see:

  • Murray, Andrew E. The Skyline Synod: Presbyterianism in Colorado and Utah. Denver, Colorado: Golden Bell Press, 1971. FHL book 978.8 K2m. It is indexed by the name of the church. It is a historical account of the church with a list of officials. There are some pictures of church buildings and reverends.

Roman Catholic[edit | edit source]

For a history of the Catholic Church in Utah, see:

  • Mooney, Bernice Maher. Salt of the Earth: The History of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City, 1776-1987. Salt Lake City, Utah: Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City, 1987. FHL book 979.2258 K2m. This gives a history of the church for most Utah congregations. It includes photographs and an index. It gives a historical account and information of church officials, when church buildings were erected, and a list of reverends and their dates of service.
  • Catholic Church, Diocese of Salt Lake City. The Official Directory of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City. Salt Lake City, Utah: The Diocese, 1988. FHL book 979.2 K24c. Covers many parts of Utah in addition to Salt Lake City. It has a list of parishes with addresses and maps for Salt Lake City showing the 1988 boundaries. It includes a list of clergy, sisters, and deacons and their wives.


References[edit | edit source]

  1. William Chamberlin Hunt and United States Bureau of the Census, Religious Bodies: 1906 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1910), Vol. 1:364. Digital version at Google Books.