Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

TALLAHASSEE — Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Tallahassee Stake Saturday, May 6 at Chiles High School with a night full of activities.

Activities will include a festival from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. and a program at 7 p.m. The festival will include food trucks, live music and family-friendly activities. The public is invited to attend.

A “stake” in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is similar to a Catholic diocese. The Tallahassee Stake consists of wards and branches (congregations) in Tallahassee (6), Thomasville, Cairo, Crawfordville, Madison, Perry and Quincy.

The word “stake” is taken from the Old Testament imagery in which the “tent,” or church, is held up by supporting stakes.

Worldwide membership in the Church stands at 17.1 million. Florida is home to 164,558 members in 34 stakes made up by 282 congregations.

The first missionary for the Church in Florida is believed to be Phineas Young, who served in the state for two months in 1845. Early missionaries were not well received. From 1869 to 1929, law enforcement officers met each train arriving in Tallahassee and prevented LDS missionaries from getting off.

The state’s first official congregation was created in Jefferson County in 1897.

In 2024, the Church will open the Tallahassee Temple, marking the third Florida temple after Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. A public open house period will precede the dedication of the temple. Additional temples in Tampa and Jacksonville have been announced for future construction.