Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission
The first branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized in New Orleans with 334 members in 1841. The prophet Joseph Smith sent the first missionary to New Orleans in March of that year. After reaching 169 members in 1849, the New Orleans branch disbanded because of the threat of serious disease in the area. The Southern States Mission, which included Louisiana opened in 1878, but the first missionaries were not sent to the state until nearly 20 years later. Missionary work spread throughout the state during the early twentieth century and by 1930, there were 1500 members. The first ward was established in Shreveport in 1953 and the first stake in New Orleans in 1955.In 1975, the Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission was created and by 1980, there were over 12,500 members in the state of Louisiana. By 1989, Louisiana had 22,000 members in seven stakes. In 1998, the First Presidency announced the building of a temple in Baton Rouge. That temple was dedicated on 16 July, 2000.The Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission extends from Natchitoches South to the East and West borders through the state including the Gulf of New Orleans. The mission also includes the South West corner of Mississippi including Natchez, Liberty, and Macomb.