Iowa City Stake
Congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are organized into specific geographic areas called "stakes" (a Biblical reference to what strengthens the tent of Zion; see Isaiah 54:2 KJV). The Iowa City Stake comprises ten different congregations, five of which meet in Iowa City. The other five serve members living in or near Muscatine, Ottumwa, Washington, Fairfield, and Belle Plaine. While many members are native to Iowa, others have moved to Iowa from other parts of North America; and some have come from Africa, Europe, and Asia.
Iowa City and southeastern Iowa figure prominently in early Mormon History. Mormons driven from Nauvoo, IL, in 1846 crossed the Mississippi River into southern Iowa and spent three months traveling in difficult conditions to the Missouri River before heading on to their eventual destination in Utah in 1847. Thousands followed this path, camping along a route now part of the National Park Services Auto Tour. Within the boundaries of the Iowa City Stake are various markers or reminders of the Mormon Exodus. One such place is Richardson's Point, which is located between Keosauqua and Bloomfield. Richardson's Point is privately owned, but visitors are welcome. During summer months, members and friends of the private non-profit group, Iowa Mormon Trails Association, are often on hand to provide tours.
Mormon immigrants from England and Wales arrived in Iowa City around 1856 via the new railroad. Often lacking the means to buy a wagon, many of these travelers purchased handcarts to walk from Iowa to Utah. The Mormon Handcart Park honors the thousands who took up their journey from Iowa City in search of a place to worship God in peace. Handcart use ended once the railroad expanded across the nation.
Approximate Members in Stake
Different Native Languages Among Members
Members Serving Full-time Missions Outside Iowa
Property listed on National Register of Historic Places (A.W. Pratt House, 1885)