I found this history of the Church in
fascinating. The source is the Church News, February 2, 2010. Oklahoma
Jan. 1, 2009: Est. population, 3,643,000; Members, 41,547; Stakes, 7; Wards, 58; Branches, 25; Missions, 2;
, 1; Percent LDS, 1.1, or one in 88. Temples
In the late 1840s, George Miller, a former bishop who had delayed going to the West, traveled from Winter Quarters, Neb., to visit his son in
. He and two other members of the Church with him, Joseph Kilting and Richard Hewitt, worked for a time in the Cherokee Nation in the borders of present-day Texas . They arrived in Tahlequah on 9 July 1847. They taught others about the Church, but antagonism forced Miller to leave in December. Hewitt and Kilting remained to work. Oklahoma
In 1855, Orson Spencer (pictured) and James McGaw visited the Indian Territory from
St. Louis, Mo., and on 8 April, five more missionaries were sent from Salt Lake City and four from . The Indian Territory Mission was created and placed under the leadership of Miller on 26 June of that year. The missionaries met and re-converted followers of Lyman Wight. One of these was Jacob Croft, who had met missionaries earlier and started for St. Louis , but met an apostate group that told the Croft party untruths about conditions there. The discouraged Croft party settled in Utah Indian Territory and built a gristmill.
As early as July 1855, missionaries preached to about 400 Indians, and the Cherokee Branch was started at Croft's Spavinaw Creek mill. This became mission headquarters. Croft later led a party of 56, including other former followers of Wight and some re-converted "Strangites" (followers of James J. Strang) to
Later in the year, missionaries were sent from
to southern portions of the Cherokee Nation. In 1856, the Princess Creek Branch was organized. The Lehi and Nephi branches were organized in 1858. St. Louis
Illness was a problem in the mission for many years. At least four missionaries died including Orson Spencer.
In 1858-1859, the remaining members migrated to
. By 1860, all the missionaries but John A. Richards, who had married an Indian wife, returned to Utah and the mission was discontinued. Disorder brought on by the Civil War ended what was left of the Church in the Utah Indian Territory. Members and leaders were scattered.
When Matthew Dalton and John Hubbard returned to begin missionary work in 1877, they found John Richards was still faithful, and they received assistance from him. Elder Hubbard died later that year and the mission was closed. In 1883, Matthew Dalton and Elder George Teasdale of the Quorum of the Twelve reorganized the mission. Tracts in the Cherokee language were printed.
On 29 March 1898,
became part of the Southwestern States Mission, and on 4 April 1904 it was included in the Central States Mission. On 7 November 1911, a branch was established at Gore, with 113 members but was later dissolved. It was not until 1 May 1960 when the branch was again organized in Gore. A Sunday School that began in Oklahoma in 1924 became a branch on 13 October 1945. Membership increased slowly as many converts moved to Bartlesville . Utah
Membership increased in the 1950s and 1960s. Two stakes were created, the Tulsa Stake on 1 May 1960 and the Oklahoma City Stake on 23 October 1960. Additional stakes followed in 1970s and the 1980s. The Oklahoma Mission was created on 10 June 1970. It was renamed the Oklahoma Tulsa Mission in 1974. A second mission in
Oklahoma, headquartered in , was created in 1990. Oklahoma City
The Latter-day Saint community reached out to those in need after a bomb destroyed the nine-story
Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown on 19 April 1995. Oklahoma City
, the Church's 95th temple in operation, was dedicated on 30 July 2000 by President James E. Faust (pictured) of the First Presidency. Oklahoma City Temple
In 2002, membership reached 35,369. In 2005, membership reached 38,772.
Sources: Lynetta K. Bingham, et. al., A History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Eastern Oklahoma from Oklahoma and Indian Territories to 1980, 1980; Central States Mission, Manuscript history and historical reports; Oklahoma Mission, Manuscript history and historical reports; Indian Mission, Manuscript history and historical reports.