History of the Mission

Our mission area is no stranger to the Mormon faith. In the fall of 1851, the San Bernardino Valley was transformed from a Mexican rancho into the largest predominantly Anglo-American settlement in the California southland with the arrival of some 400 Latter-day Saints. They possessed a unique commitment to their new community forged by persecution and pioneering challenges. Some had traveled across the plains with President Brigham Young. Others had come west around Cape Horn to San Francisco on the ship Brooklyn. Some were Mormon Battalion veterans, who had marched thousands of miles for God and country. The group also included an entire branch of Southern Converts known as the Mississippi Saints (Sister Dixon’s Ancestors); some of whom had given up thriving plantations and come west, bringing with them their African-American servants, who received their freedom. 

This diverse group of colonists, unified by their faith, was well suited to help establish a community with a spirit of unity and diversity. You will find that our mission is still rich in economic and cultural diversity today.  The arrival of rail and the importation of orange trees in the 1870’s touched off explosive growth, with the area quickly becoming a major center for citrus production. You will enjoy delicious, reasonably priced, fruits and vegetables and experience the most juicy and delicious oranges you have ever tasted! You will experience foods and meet people from many cultures and backgrounds.

In his dedicatory prayer of the Redlands Temple on September 14, 2003 President Gordon B. Hinckley asked, “Father, our people are not strangers to this area. Not long after settling the Salt Lake Valley, some of them came to this region to establish an outpost of Thy Church. Thy work has more recently been firmly planted here. Wilt Thou cause it to grow and flourish and touch many hearts that they may turn to Thee and learn of Thy ways and do Thy will and bidding.”

The California Redlands Mission began in 2013 with President Daniel Van Cott as the first President. Riverside and San Bernardino missions were divided to create the Redlands Mission.

2013-2016 President Daniel & Sister Emily Van Cott

2016-2019 President Sean R & Sister M'Shelle Dixon