Ira Ransom’s evangelical sketches of Utah (1850-1950)

Ira Ransom’s Utah Christian evangelism observations on 1850-1950. Quoting “These Forty + Years”, published in 1999:

Shortly after the Mormons arrived in Utah, three denominational groups which were quite evangelical at the time (Presbyterians. Methodists, and the Baptists) began ministering in Utah. A number of Presbyterian churches were built in cities and towns such as Salt Lake City, Logan, Kaysville, Brigham City, Payson and other places. The Methodists and Presbyterians had an agreement that certain towns would be for the Presbyterians and others for the Methodists. Methodists built churches in Corinne. Tremonton, Price, and other places.

For a period of several months, [Fredrik] Fransen, the founder of The Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM), came to Utah and walked from home to home and farm to farm to minister to Mormons who had come from Scandinavian countries.

Early in the twentieth century, John Nutting, a Congregational minister, came to Utah to minister. He organized the Utah Gospel Mission. At first he came with a group traveling with covered wagons. He would go from town to town, and preach around camp fires and from the steps of various court houses. Later his mission groups traveled in model T trucks.

In 1929, George Cook came to Utah under Utah Gospel Mission. He later became a member of Utah Bible Mission and continued serving the Lord in Utah until his death.

In 1957, I talked with the Hansons in Brigham City who had heard John Nutting preach from the court house steps in Brigham City. Archie Yetter, of Rockmont College, told me in 1957 that he heard John Nutting pray near the end of his life that God would raise up someone to evangelize Utah.

One of the notable early Baptists serving in Utah was Rev. M. T. Lamb who, in 1887, wrote a book called THE GOLDEN BIBLE. It was a scholarly work analyzing the Book of Mormon. Reprints are available now through Utah Lighthouse Ministries.

About 1920, a Rev. Baynes established Bethel Baptist Church in Salt Lake City. In 1924, he drew quite a few Mormons to hear a special sermon which he preached on the subject “When Modernism Comes to Mormonism”. He was followed by his son, Rev. James Baynes who pastored the Bethel Baptist Church until about 1958 or perhaps 1960. Rev. James Baynes also started Anchor Baptist church, and Sandy Baptist Church (Which is pastored today by Wesley Clem). Rev. Baynes was active in the IFCA, and frequently attended the Regionals held in Colorado, and shared his burden for Utah with the men in the Rocky Mountain Regional. James Baynes passed away suddenly in 1963 and Thomas Miller succeeded him as pastor of Anchor Baptist Church.