The first non-Mormon Churches opened in Cache Valley in 1873. They were financed by Protestant faiths that desired to send “missionaries” to Utah, but they found success by exploiting a rift within the Mormon community and because they filled an educational need. Education was barely functional in Cache Valley and these churches created schools with regular hours and even college-educated teachers (a rarity). The story of these early churches was told by former Special Collection’s Director A.J. Simmonds in The Gentile Comes to Cache Valley (BX 8611 .S5). What is not as well known is that the gentile, in fact, stayed in Cache Valley as many of these churches are still around today. Cache Valley has a surprisingly diverse group of non-Mormon churches. This collection features items concerning the rich and interesting history of these sometimes overlooked religious denominations.
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