The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Genesis Group on Saturday night in the Tabernacle on Temple Square.
The Genesis Group is a multi-stake activities group in the Church’s Utah Area.
It helps Black members of the faith and their families, friends, and others build faith in Jesus Christ, foster unity and strengthen their membership in the Church.
Under the direction of the First Presidency in October 1971, Elders Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008), Thomas S. Monson (1927–2018) and Boyd K. Packer (1924–2015) established the Genesis Group as a dependent branch of the Church. This move was a response to a request from three Black Latter-day Saints—Ruffin Bridgeforth, Darius Gray and Eugene Orr—to better serve the needs of African American Latter-day Saints in Utah.
Featured speakers included President M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Genesis Group President Davis Stovall, Church Historian, and Recorder Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Jr., Darius Gray, Natalie Sheppard, Jerri Harwell (wife of former group president Don Harwell, who died earlier this year) and Eddie Gist (a counselor in Harwell’s presidency).
The Debra Bonner Unity Gospel Choir provided the music.