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United States information: Florida

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.)

Florida

Jan. 1, 2009: Est. population, 18,328,000; Members 131,621; Stakes 24; Wards 185; Branches, 53; Missions 5; Temples 1; Percent LDS, 0.7, or one in 139.

William Brown and Daniel Cathcart were called by Joseph Smith to serve a mission to Pensacola in April 1843, but no record exists of them fulfilling the calling. Between April and June 1854, Phineas Young visited the Indian chiefs in Florida and distributed copies of the Book of Mormon. John Morgan, Southern States Mission president, visited Florida in 1885 but long-term missionary work did not begin until the state became part of the mission on 1 March 1894.

Missionaries began preaching in Pensacola in January 1895 and started a number of Sunday Schools, the first was in Coe Mills in May 1895. The first branch, known as the Hassell Branch, was created in Jefferson County on 9 May 1897 and in September of that year the Sanderson Branch was organized. George P. Canova, a well-to-do landowner and chairman of the Baker County Commission, became the Sanderson branch president in January 1898. However, five months later, following threats of violence, Canova was killed as he returned home from a Church meeting.

In 1906, Charles A. Callis, a later mission president and a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, became president of the Florida Conference. That same year, a meetinghouse was dedicated in Jacksonville and a year later, another meetinghouse was completed in Oak Grove.

In 1909, missionaries began working in Miami during the winter months. Five years later, Julius C. Neubeck of Miami was called on a seven-month mission by Charles A. Callis and became the first missionary from that city. Following Neubeck's mission he became the presiding elder of the Church in Miami.

By 1925, branches or Sunday Schools existed in Jacksonville, Sanderson, Tampa, Miami and in other places throughout the state. In February and March 1925, President Heber J. Grant visited Jacksonville and held public meetings. Ten years later the Florida District had 22 branches, and the West Florida District had another 13 branches.

The first stake in Florida and in the South was created in Jacksonville on 19 January 1947, by Charles A. Callis of the Quorum of the Twelve. Alvin C. Chace, a grandson of early leader George P. Canova, was called as the first president.

In 1950, the Church purchased more than 50,000 acres near Orlando, now known as Deseret Ranch. The initial purchase has grown into a 300,000-acre ranch in Central Florida. Deseret Ranch has the largest cow-calf operation in the United States with 44,000 head of cattle. It also includes various cattle enterprises, orchards and other agribusiness projects.

Membership increased rapidly as members from the West moved into the state, drawn by commerce and the aerospace industry. When the Florida Mission was created in 1960, four stakes had been organized.

Membership in Florida in 1977 was 30,000, increasing four times in less than 30 years.

Beginning in 1978 the Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission was pivotal in taking the gospel to the islands of the Caribbean and also teaching the Spanish and Creole-speaking people in southern Florida. Creation of the first Spanish-speaking stake in the Southeast in Miami on 16 January 1994 reflected the increase in membership among Cuban, Latin American and Caribbean immigrants. Another Spanish-speaking stake was created in Hialeah Gardens in 1998.

The Orlando Florida Temple was dedicated 9 October 1994 by President Howard W. Hunter. President Gordon B. Hinckley on 19 January 1997, addressed more than 5,000 members at a conference in Jacksonville, commemorating the stake's 50th anniversary.

Membership reached 122,909 in 2003. By 2005, membership reached 125,830.

Sources: LaViece Moore-Fraser Smallwood, Salt of the South: The LDS Trail Blazers, 1997; Andrew Jenson, Encyclopedic History of the Church, 1941; LaMar C. Berrett, History of the Southern States Mission, thesis, July 1960; "New Florida Stake is No. 163 in Church," Church News, 25 January 1947; James E. Hill, "Pres. McKay Dedicates New Florida Stakehouse," Church News, 1 December 1956; "Southern States Division Set in October," Church News, 8 October 1960; Carma Wadley, "Florida's Oldest Chapel," Church News, 6 March 1976; Gordon Irving, "Early Days in Florida," Church News, 2 July 1977; Kathleen Ryan, "The First Spanish-speaking Stake in Southeast is Created in Florida," Church News, 19 February 1994; Gerry Avant, "Temple is Dedicated in Sunshine State, 20,670 Attend Sessions," Church News, 15 October 1994; Marian Bond, "Florida Stake Was First in the South," Church News, 25 January 1997; Gerry Avant, "Tabernacle Choir Brings Spiritual Enrichment on Southern U.S. Tour," Church News, 7 July 2001.

Stakes — 25

(Listed alphabetically as of Oct. 1, 2009.)

No. / Name / Organized / First President

North America Southeast Area

2828 / Bradenton Florida / 17 May 2009 / Robert William Clover Sr.

1898 / Brandon Florida / 23 Aug 1992 / James Franklin Henry

879 / Cocoa Florida / 13 Nov 1977 / Cleavy Eugene Waters

2494 / Deland Florida / 20 Sep 1998 / David Jay Norby

530 / *Fort Lauderdale Florida

Fort Lauderdale / 18 Oct 1970 / Stanley C. Johnson

1472 / Fort Myers Florida / 13 May 1984 / John M. Cyrocki

2151 / Fort Walton Beach Florida / 07 Jan 1996 / Charles E. Atkinson Jr.

746 / Gainesville Florida / 29 Feb 1976 / James R. Christianson

1842 / *Homestead Florida / 16 Jan 1994 / South Miami Florida / 19 Jan 1992 / Dean Michael Madsen

465 / *Jacksonville Florida East

Jacksonville / 15 Sep 1968 / Louis B. Vorwaller

163 / *Jacksonville Florida West

Florida (Florida, Georgia) / 19 Jan 1947 / Alvin C. Chace

2844 / Jacksonville Florida South / 21 Jun 2009 / Gene Renford Patch

1590 / Lake City Florida / 16 Mar 1986 / Ernest Robert Peacock

1153 / *Lakeland Florida / 27 Aug 2000

*Winter Haven Florida / 10 Oct 1991

Lakeland Florida / 27 Jun 1980 / Waymon E. Meadows

1380 / *Leesburg Florida

*Lake Mary Florida / 27 Oct 1987

Deland Florida / 14 Nov 1982 / Marvin Knowles

2432 / Miami Lakes Florida / 25 Jan 1998 / Mario B. Ayaviri

Hialeah Gardens Florida (Spanish)

257 / *Orlando Florida

Orlando / 23 Feb 1958 / W. Leonard Duggar

1900 / Orlando Florida South / 30 Aug 1992 / Carl E. Reynolds Jr.

2692 / Orlando Florida Hunters Creek / 6 Nov 2005 / Allan Thomas Pratt

732 / *Panama City Florida / 4 Feb 1986 / Marianna Florida / 16 Nov 1975 / Riley Malone Peddie

486 / *Pensacola Florida

Pensacola / 15 Jun 1969 / S. Elroy Stapleton

1970 / Pompano Beach Florida / 16 Jan 1994 / Richard Merlin Smith

651 / St. Petersburg Florida / 18 Aug 1974 / Bruce Earl Belnap

1190 / *Stuart Florida / 16 Jan 1994

West Palm Beach Florida / 12 Oct 1980 / Donald Wayne Carson

594 / *Tallahassee Florida

Tallahassee / 21 Jan 1973 / Jay Nicholas Lybbert

289 / *Tampa Florida

Tampa / 25 Oct 1959 / Edwin H.White

Stakes discontinued

311 / *Miami Florida (Spanish)

Miami / 13 Nov 1960 / Paul R. Cheesman

Discontinued 7 Sept 2008

Missions — 5

(As of Oct. 1, 2009; shown with historical number.)

(178b) FLORIDA FT. LAUDERDALE MISSION

7951 SW 6th St., Ste. 110

Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33324-3211

(197) FLORIDA JACKSONVILLE MISSION

8651 Baypine Road, Ste.105

Jacksonville, FL 32256

(326) FLORIDA ORLANDO MISSION

10502 Satellite Blvd. Ste E

Orlando, FL 32837-8426

(96) FLORIDA TALLAHASSEE MISSION

1535 Killearn Center Blvd., Suite C-4

Tallahassee, FL 32309

(139) FLORIDA TAMPA MISSION

13153 N. Dale Mabry, Ste. 109

Tampa, FL 33618

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